Nance is a fruit Â you can usually find fresh for months thanks to its long season, or you can easily find bottles filled with Nance around any market, any time of the year. Â My grandparents have a huge tree on their patio (backyard), and most of the time when I visit them, I’d find my grandpa picking up nance; Â filling up bottles with it, for my grandma to make juice or to make pesada.
Nance tastes very tartÂ and has a mushy texture. Â I’ve found it around the US, frozen and in bottles, called ‘Yellow Cherries’ (spoiler alert: they do not taste anything like cherries, I don’t even like them that much by themselves). Â I prefer making a nance juice, pesada, or to use it on dessert recipes.
Pesada is a cooked smoothÂ cream,Â preparedÂ withÂ the fruit ‘nance’, with water, sugar, and cornstarch. Â Those are the main components as far as I know, but when the nance is not tart enough, my mom likes to add pineapples or passion fruit juice. Â It is served warm or cold with crumbled salty queso fresco on top.
2 bottles of Nance (approximately 6-8Â cups)
3 l of Water
1 cup of Cornstarch
3/4 cup of Sugar
Optional: pineapple chunks/juice, lime or passion fruit juice
(Follow the Photo-StepsÂ ^_^)
1. Add Nance with enough water to cover a little bit aboveÂ the surface.
2. Blend for a few secs, 5-10, quick to avoid blendingÃ§/breaking the seeds.
3. Use a colander to make sure you don’t get those seeds in your pot!
4. Â Press the nance through the colander with your hands. That way it will be gentle and you will avoid getting seeds in your pesada.
5. Add a little extra water or juice and squeeze as much fruitÂ as you can out of that Nance!
6. Taste the nance mixture, and if it’s too bland, blend a some mixtureÂ with a little bit of a sour fruit such as: pineapple, passion fruit or lime juice. Â Blend the fruit and make sure you pass through a sieve to make sure your pesada stays smooth.
7. Â Set the pot in medium high heat, add the sugar and cornstarch and keep stirring for 7-12 minutes, until the pesada thickens up. Â If you’d like a thicker pesada, mix more cornstarch with a citrus juice, add to mixture and cook for a few more minutes.
8. Serve the Pesada de Nance with a lot of ‘Queso BlancoÂ – Molido’Â you could try with several types of cheeses, even cottage or feta, but traditionally queso blanco does it for us Panamanians!