Poached Papaya

(Dulce de Papaya)

One large or two small papayas (about 2 ½ pounds)
6 cups water
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cinnamon stick
One ½-inch slice peeled fresh ginger

Cut the papaya in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Peel the halves with a vegetable peeler, then cut the halves lengthwise into wedges about 1 ½ inches wide. Stir the water and sugar together in a large saucepan. Slip in the papaya, cinnamon, and ginger and bring to a boil over medium heat. Adjust the heat so the liquid is boiling gently and cook until the papaya is tender, but not mushy—a knife should slip easily into a piece—10 minutes or more, if your papaya is a little green.

Lift the papaya with a slotted spoon to a bowl and let it stand until cooled to room temperature. You have two options: chill the papaya and serve as is, saving the syrup to poach another batch of fruit. Or cool the papaya and syrup separately to room temperature, then put the papaya in a jar, pour enough syrup over it to cover and chill thoroughly. In either case, serve it right from the fridge.


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