I remember always bracing for the tummy ache my Mom would always warn me about if I eat too much jackfruit. There was always a little fear behind every bite I make. I never really had the dreaded tummy ache nor did I ever try to find out if her warnings were true. I had a feeling that those warnings were pointed at me because once I sit down with a bowl of cleaned jackfruit pods, I wouldn't stop eating until they're all gone and I'm completely full. It was a reason I used to avoid having dinner.
These large fruit grow in a tropical climate so they are indigenous to the Southeast Asian countries and some parts of Africa and the Caribbean. They are big, green, oval shaped and thorny outside and can easily be mistaken as durian, the stinky fruit. When the jackfruit is cracked open, you will see a yellow pulp of two shades. The oval shaped ones that sport a more prominent shade are the pulp to be eaten. They serve as pods because the seeds are inside them. The seeds are also edible after boiling. I used to eat them but don't ask me how they taste like because the last time I had them was seriously a long time ago.
In our family, my Mom and I are the only ones who are crazy about this fruit. I can still picture ourselves in the dining room sharing a big bowl of this sweet, fragrant and sticky fruit. When my mother-in-law got to try this in the Philippines, she too, joined our little club of jackfruit afternoons. It's not as popular as the other tropical fruits but they are equally or even more delicious.
I never gave the preserved jackfruit a chance to grace my kitchen until the other day when I went for a full Asian shopping spree at the Asian market. Preserved fruits are always too sweet and they can never match their fresh counterparts. But I gave up on any hope of having them fresh in Rome so I got a bottled one to try.
Tapioca. Along with my Asian goodies, one was a package of tapioca pearls from Thailand. I was aghast at the quality of the ones I got. After soaking in water for not more than 10 minutes, the pearls disintegrated and made a pulpy mixture. I threw it away. Then I gave it another chance. Perhaps it doesn't need to be soaked? I boiled some water and dumped the tapioca in it when it reached the boiling point. Five minutes later, I was looking at another disaster.
Running along to the bio supermarket, I got a new pack of tapioca. The one I am familiar with. It is imported but repacked and checked in Italy. I guess you will have to choose well the quality of the products that you get. Put a bit more money in your purchase and you will get something better.
Here is the final product of my little experiment in the kitchen. With this delectable concoction, my husband joined me in my passion for this fruit. Keep it in the fridge for about an hour and enjoy this delectable dessert chilled. The quantities of all the ingredients can be adjusted according to your taste.
Jackfruit Tapioca Trifle with Muscovado & Coconut
- 300 g. jackfruit, fresh or preserved jackfruit (Jackfruit preserved in sugar syrup available commercially. I used the bottled one.)
- 100 g. tapioca
- 1 liter water
- 60 g. white sugar
- 2 cups almond milk + more for adjustment if needed
- 4 teaspoons muscovado sugar
- 4 teaspoons coconut flour
- Soak tapioca in water for an hour. Drain and discard water.
- Boil 1 liter water. When it boils, add drained tapioca and white sugar. Cook for about 10 minutes or until they become transparent. Add more water if it becomes too thick. Let cool.
- In the meantime, put preserved jackfruit in a blender and blend until creamy. Set aside.
- Mix cooled tapioca and almond milk. Add more almond milk if you find the tapioca too sticky.
- Spoon some tapioca in a glass. Next, layer some jackfruit, then tapioca again.
- Refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Before serving, top with a teaspoon of muscovado sugar and a teaspoon of coconut flour.