Cooking with Sapodilla Manikara zapota

The sapodilla has been a staple in Latin and Asian cuisine for hundreds of years, but is not yet as popular here in the United States. Its sweet taste and pear like texture offer a unique treat for you to try as a fruit to eat out of hand, or to use in dessert dishes. You can find sapodillas mostly in Latin and Asian markets today, but some U.S. retail grocers are beginning to recognize this delicious fruit and are stocking it in their produce department.  To be sure of the freshest sapodillas, order your sapodillas from our Florida farms by contacting one of our tropical fruit growers here on our website.

 

Below are some tips to help you enjoy your sapodillas at their best!

 

Selecting Fruit

At the market, look for sapodillas that are free of soft spots. Next, check that the fruit is mature. To do this, lightly scrape the brown skin with your fingernail, noting the color of the flesh underneath. If that flesh is a deep green, then that fruit is NOT mature and will not ripen into a sweet fruit no matter how long you keep it on the counter. If the flesh color has a hint of yellow – even with some green, then that fruit is mature and will be able to ripen at home on the counter.

Ripening

When properly harvested, sapodillas are picked from the trees when they are mature, but not ripe. This means that the fruit has reached its full size and shape, but the starches inside the fruit have not yet converted to sugar. When those starches have changed into sugars, the firm fruit will soften and be ready to eat.

 

When you have selected a mature sapodilla from the market, or received mature sapodillas from our growers, place the fruit on the counter to ripen in the warmth of the kitchen. You can also place it in a paper bag to ripen the fruit a bit earlier. It will usually take a few days for the fruit to ripen. Sapodillas are ripe when they are soft, like a peach.

 

Handling

To eat sapodillas, cut through the fruit, remove the seeds, and spoon out the flesh, or using a sharp knife or potato peeler, remove the skin. The seeds of the sapodilla are not edible.

 

 

Storage

A ripe sapodilla will keep in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or container for about a week. It is possible to delay the ripening of sapodillas by placing the unripe but mature fruit in a plastic container in the refrigerator, and then take it out to ripen on the counter, but you may lose some quality in the fruit.

You can also freeze sapodillas, but the consistency will change a bit and will be best suited for use in ice creams, breads, pudding, and sauces.

 

Recipes

Sapodillas have been described as tasting like a pear covered in brown sugar! These sweet fruits go great in fruit salads, flans, sweet breads, ice creams and puddings.

Below are several recipes for you to enjoy.

Sapodilla Brandy Smoothie

Recipe from Fairchild Tropical Gardens

One Serving

INGREDIENTS

½ cup milk

1 T. honey

1 t. brandy

½ c. sapodilla pulp

4 c. ice

DIRECTIONS

Place the ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth.

Sapodilla Pie

Recipe from Fairchild Tropical Gardens

INGREDIENTS

1 c. sugar

½ t. salt

1 t. ground cloves

3 eggs

1½ c. mashed ripe sapodilla

1 c. milk

1 c. yogurt

3 T. honey

1 t. vanilla

1 unbaked 9″ deep-dish pie shell

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix sugar, salt and cloves in small dish. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in sapodilla  and sugar/clove mixture. Gradually stir in milk, yogurt, honey and vanilla. Pour into pie shell. Bake 15 minutes; turn temperature down to 350°F and bake 20 to 30 minutes more or until firm. Serve with whipped cream.

“DILLY” RICE

Tropical Fruit Recipes, Miami Rare Fruit Council

INGREDIENTS

3 c. cooked rice

2 sapodillas

3 T. crystallized ginger peel

2 T crystallized ginger

1 T. water

 

DIRECTIONS

Cut sapodillas into ½ “ pieces. Cut ginger peel into bits. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat until steaming hot.

© 2020 by Tropical Fruit Growers of South Florida - Photo Credits: Ian Maguire & Shaun Wright