If you are like me Christmas is your favorite holiday. I enjoy family, friends and food (Three Fs). I, especially, look forward to making Belizean black fruit cake. I love fruit cake so much that 6 to 8 weeks before Christmas I start to soak the dried fruits for the cake. Here’s how I do it:
- 1lb of dried raisins
- 1lb of dried cherries chopped
- 1/2lb of dried currants
- 1/2 lb dried pineapple chopped
- 1/2lb dried dates chopped
- 1/2lb dried apricots chopped
- 1/2lbs pecans chopped
- 1/2lbs of walnuts chopped
- 1 Orange or lemon/lime peel chopped
- 1 Ginger peel chopped
- 2 cinnamon sticks
2 – 3 cups dark rum
1/2 cup Water
1/2 cup of sugar
- Chop into small pieces the cherries, dates, pineapple, ginger, orange peel, pecan and walnut.
- Mix all the dried fruits and nuts together,
- Pour in rum and water.
- Add sugar and cinnamon sticks.
- Put this mixture into an airtight container and keep it on your kitchen counter (Don’t refrigerate)
- You need to mix it every other day or at least once a week.
- After six-eight weeks your fruits are ready.
Soursop or Guanabana is a green fruit grown primarily in Belize, Central America and the West Indies. Its green skin is prickly. Don’t eat the skin but do eat the creamy white inside core. You can find it online, at stores like Whole Foods, Latin and/or Caribbean markets. If you can find the actual fruit some places sell the core/pulp in frozen packets. Here’s a Soursop smoothie recipe:
1 cup Soursop pulp (Like Goya Guanabana pulp)
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut water or plain water
1 cup of ice
1/2 tsp cinnamon or nutmeg or both
1 tsp vanilla essence
3 tbsp of sugar (or more to your taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Using a blender or food processor blend all ingredients until creamy and smooth.
2. Add water as needed to keep the mixture circulating through the blender.
Note: you can put in ice-trays and freeze for later.
Heard the saying everything is better with butter? Well, to me, everything is better with rum. Rum raisin bread pudding is the ultimate Belizean comfort food. Of course, the rum makes this bread pudding, heavenly. In Belize, rum is used to make cocktails but it’s also used a lot in desserts.
Here’s a delicious Rum Raisin Bread Pudding recipe:
16 slices of stale white bread
3 tbsp butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup dark rum (Belize Traveller’s rum preferred)
1 14oz can of evaporated milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup coconut milk (1/2 a can)
1 pinch allspice (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Soak raisin with 1/4 cup rum prior for 2 hours until hydrated. In large bowl tear sliced bread, in separate bowl mix evaporated milk, water, brown sugar, eggs, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, salt, and coconut milk. Blend with mixer or blender until smooth. Combine with bread add raisin and butter let set for 2 hours.Place in greased oven proof casserole dish and into a pan of water.Bake at 350°F for 50 minutes until golden brown.While still warm, add remaining rum on top.
Serve hot or cold.
Great with whipped cream or ice-cream.
If you talk to any Belizean they will tell you that their best breakfast must consist of some Fry Jacks . A Fry Jack is a flour tortilla dough mixture that is deep fried. It’s perfect alongside refried beans and scramble eggs. Yum!
Here’s one of many recipes:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 pint of cooking or coconut oil
1. Combine flour, salt and baking powder.
2. Add coconut milk and mix.
3. Knead dough for 1 min until smooth. Cover and set aside for 15 mins
4. Separate into balls (about 8) and roll out thinly into a round tortilla shape. (The thinner you roll them, the puffier they will be.) Cut in slits.
5. Deep fry in hot cooking or coconut oil, turning once until golden brown on both sides.
Belize fudge is made with sweetened condensed milk. Condensed milk is used a lot in Belizean desserts perhaps because of Belize’s British influence.
Here’s my recipe:
1 can condensed milk (Carnation or Nestle)
1/3 cup white sugar or brown sugar
1/4 -1/2 tsp of butter or peanut butter
1tsp of evaporated milk or half and half
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp nutmeg (optional)
¼ tsp of cinnamon (optional)
½ cup chopped peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pecan or any nuts (optional)
½ cup raisins (optional)
½ cup grated coconut flakes (optional)
- Butter or grease a casserole or glass dish or baking dish
- Toast nuts in a skillet for 2-3 mins on low fire. Chop toasted nuts and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan add condensed milk, sugar, butter and evaporated milk to heat stirring continuously for 6-8 minutes until mixture is a pale peanut butter color.
- Add vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon.
- Add nuts, raisins or coconut (optional) continue stirring until dark peanut butter color.
- Remove from heat and spread in greased casserole dish. (Careful it’s very hot)
- Dip pastry knife or butter knife in warm water and cut fudge mixture into squares.
- Let it cool and harden before eating. ( Must cool before eating it.)
What’s better than just having a plain old banana? A Banana fritter! Here’s a way to jazz up a plain old banana:
juice of 2 lemons
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs beaten, separately,
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsps sugar
1. Slice bananas lengthwise and cut in half.
2. Squeeze the juice of lemon over bananas. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
3. Let stand for 1/2 hour, before dipping in batter.
1. Sift flour, measure, add powder, salt and sugar. Sift 3 times then add milk and well beaten eggs.
2. Dip fruit into batter and drop into deep hot fat. Fry until golden brown.
From: Hotel Mopan