Over the years, the only constant has been Ponche. Whether it's the festive Ponche de Jamaica made with hibiscus flowers, or the slightly tangy Ponche de Tamarindo that my sister-in-law makes every year, or my grandmother's Ponche de Manzana, Christmas wouldn't be the same without a steaming mug of fruit laden Ponche.
That's why Girlichef and I thought it was the perfect recipe to share for this month's installment of She Made/Ella Hace.
With my grandmother's recent passing, there was really only one Ponche I wanted to make...my abuelita's. The best Ponche in my book. Gramm made her Ponche at least once a week in December and it was always a treat.
I've made a few changes here and there, like substituting apple nectar for apple cider and adding guavas and pecans for added flavor and texture. But it still tastes just like Gramm's. One sip was like a hug in a cup.
Ponche Navideño de Manzana
(Hot Apple Cider Punch)
- 4 cups apple nectar or cider
- 4 cups apple juice
- 4 cups water
- 4 Apples (2 red/2 green)
- 2 Pears
- 6 to 8 Guavas
- 6 oz. sugar cane, peeled
- 2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
- 2 whole cloves
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 cup pecan halves
- Tequila or Rum
Pour the apple nectar, juice and water into a 4-quart pot.
Chop the apples, pears, guavas and sugar cane into bite-size pieces. Add them to the pot along with the cinnamon sticks and cloves. Simmer over medium-low heat for 40 to 45 minutes or until the fruits are tender.
Remove from heat and stir in the raisins and pecans. (Adding the pecans at the very beginning can make the Ponche bitter.) Let cool about 10 minutes before serving. Ladle into coffee mugs and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Enjoy!!!
*For a grown-up version of this Ponche, add a shot of tequila or rum to each mug before serving.
Be sure to check out Girlichef's Ponche!
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