Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sweet Jack

According to myth, a pregnant woman smells like a jackfruit to an aswang. Such is her fragrance that an aswang need only follow that scent to find his prey. It is no wonder, as the scent of jackfruit is sweet to many and conjures up happy summer memories.

Often used as a topping for the star cooler -- halo-halo-- or as a kicking sweetener in turon, jackfruit, or the langka is often recognized for its supporting role in dessert favorites. But its versatility is famous since it effortlessly transitions from vegetable to dessert, depending on the state of ripeness.

Enjoyed all throughout Asia and Southeast Asia where it is endemic, the langka is also served as a snack fresh or dried.

Langka trees are usually prolific. Farmers are advised to cull some of the fruit that a tree produces in order to favor the biggest one, and for it to develop into sweeter fruit. The culled fruit can be turned into a vegetable dish, cooked with gata.

But because a single fruit can produce so much edible flesh, it is often preserved in syrup. What follows is a lighter recipe for preserves than what are produced commercially.


6 cups jackfruit flesh, seeds removed, flesh cleaned and drained
3 1/2 c water
1 1/2 c sugar

Boil 2 cups water.
Blanch the jackfruit by immersing it in the boiling water for two minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and put into a bowl.
Add remaining one cup water, bring to a boil.
Add sugar. Do not stir.

When sugar has been completely dissolved test done-ness by dipping in a metal spoon. If the liquid that drips from the spoon is slightly sticky, it is done.
Pour syrup over the jackfruit and cool.
When at room temperature place into sterilized jars and refrigerate.