No one seems to know exactly how and why Mexican Ponche materialized. In general, historians seem to agree that the punch concept originated in India where English sailors took a liking to it and brought it to Europe. The Spaniards (or the French?) must have carried the tradition to Mexico.
Ponche _ Mexican Hot Fruit Punch
4 pounds Tejocotes
3 pounds Guayabas (guavas), not very ripe
8 cinnamon sticks about 6 inches long
3 apples, sliced into rings so that the star in the middle shows
2 pounds of Cana (sugar cane) - you can get it frozen in Mexican specialty stores if you can't find it fresh. If fresh, chop into 2-inch sections and peel. If frozen you can add it right in, its already sectioned and peeled.
4 Fuyu Persimmons
4 pieces (depending on size) of piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar cone) or add amount to taste
1 handful of flor de Jamaica (hibiscus flowers, dried)
3 sliced oranges
8 dried piece of tamarindo (tamarind), peeled, (optional)
Tequila or liquor of choice, put in cup at time of serving
Wash all the fruit, peel the sugar cane and slice the apples.
Put a big pot on the stove with 2.5 to 3 gallons cold water (purified or filtered water works best) add the tejocotes and cinnamon sticks. Let come to a boil, then add all the fruit and piloncillo.
Cook on medium heat, covered until all the fruit is soft.
Serve hot with some of the cooked fruit in the cup, add a dash of tequila or liquor of choice if desired.
This recipe makes approx 5 gallons of Ponche
To cut piloncillo: Grab the thick end of the cone and slice with a knife. It'll require some force on your end, but it should work. (The piloncillo should not be so hard that you can't cut it.) You could also try scraping it along a box grater. Do Not put the cone in your food processor, it might break your machine.