Monday, July 29, 2013

Pindo/Jelly Palm Part 1

Last week here in Florida was the first week I was able to get my hands on some ripe Pindo fruit. I have some ideas with it this year which will be different from previous years but for this installment "Part 1" I'll be going over the process of getting juice, with which jelly can be made from later, or wine if that's more your style.

Step 1: Collect fruit. I prefer the yellow, golden, or light orange colored fruit. The ones with much red seems to be not as good, and any green indicates it needs more time ripening, which this fruit does very well sitting in the front seat of your car as long as it's still attached to the main stem.

At this point there are 2 routes to choose. Cut the pits out, or keep them in and boil away. Cutting the pits out is great if you need the fruit and pit separated, like if you want to press the very oil filled pits for their oil, or keep the left over fruit for another project, this really only works for fruit at a exact time of ripeness when they are about as firm as an apple, but not yet to the firmness of a good peach. However, keeping the fruit whole and just boiling it a bunch is less labor intensive and works well at any level or ripeness. I'll go over the cutting process first.

Step 2: Cut across the fruit to make 2 halves. Twist the 2 sides until one separates from the pit.

Step 3: Cut the halved fruit again in half and peel off which over quarter is the easiest. The last quarter is not usually too bad if you have small thumbs that can dig in around the pit and dislodge it out of place. (Sorry no pictures here).

Now I will back track and go over the method of just keeping the fruit whole and boiling it all.

Step 2 Alternative: De-stem all fruits, rinse. Throw whole fruit in pot and cover with water. I found a pressure cooker was way faster since it can reach higher temps. If you just have a pot though be patient. you want it all to cook down till you can easily mash the fruit.

Step 3 Alternative: Crush the fruit as best you can. The pits make a total crushing motion stop at some point.

Ok all back together now for Step 4.

Step 4: Strain the liquid out, best to do this with a colander and a large bowl to compress the fruit for any last liquid they hold.

Step 5: I like to go one step further and really get all the fibers of the fruit out. A strainer does real well with this.

At this point you can freeze it, or keep it in the fridge for a few days. I'll be making jelly with mine the next time I get a free day. Wine is also supposed to be a great option for this.