Last week I had a somewhat strange experience at the Korean grocery store. I just picked up a large portion of winter melon (KUNDOL in the Philippines) which I was going to candy for Italian and Spanish nougat. Whenever I plan to make the kundol sweets, candied breadfruit, RIMAS in Tagalog, always comes to mind. I was silently wishing I would also find fresh breadfruit, and then to my utter surprise, right in front of me was a large bin full of breadfruit. I've never seen a fresh breadfruit before in my life and the only reason I knew was because there was a large sign that said BREADFRUIT. I've only known it in its candied triangular shape glazed with dried sugar syrup similar to marrons glacés. I remember its flavor and texture also somewhat resemble the candied chestnuts.
1 tablespoon sea salt
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cut breadfruit into quarters lengthwise. Remove rind, core, and cut into 1/3-inch thick slices. In a large bowl, dissolve salt in 5 cups water. Soak sliced breadfruit, weighing down with a plate, for 2 hours. Drain and rinse several times.
- Place breadfruit in a large saucepan. Add water to cover, and boil for 2 minutes. Drain and repeat boiling in fresh water 2 more times. Drain and over medium heat, boil in fresh water, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. Add 2 cups fresh water, 2 cups sugar, and vanilla extract in the saucepan. Let come to a rapid boil until sugar is dissolved. Add the breadfruit and cook over medium-low heat, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Turn off heat and leave to soak overnight.
- Drain, set the breadfruit aside, and put back the syrup in the saucepan and half cup of sugar. Let boil until sugar dissolves, then add the breadfruit and cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Leave overnight.
- Drain, set aside breadfruit, add the remaining half cup of sugar. Boil until sugar dissolves. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until syrup has thickened. Drain slices and place on a metal rack over a baking pan. Keep syrup for another use or add to beverage. When slices are slightly dry but still sticky, transfer onto a parchment lined pan and let dry completely, turning several times.