This dessert is as light as it is colorful: bright fruit purees, served with clusters of fresh fruit and anise-flavored biscochitos. While John Sedlar has cookie cutters in the shape of cacti, you could use stars or any other attractive shape. Note that the biscochitos served as part of this dessert come straight from his grandmother’s recipe. The cookies and purees can be prepared up to 2 days in advance.
- Papaya - 2 ripe, peeled and seeded
- Strawberries - 4 cups fresh, hulled
- Raspberries - 4 cups fresh
- Lemon Juice - 3 tablespoons fresh
- Sugar - 3 tablespoons
- Banana - 1
- Pineapple - 1, peeled and cored
- Kiwi - 6 ripe, peeled and sliced
Neon Tumbleweed John Sedlar
In a blender or food processor, separately puree one papaya, then 2 cups each of the strawberries and raspberries, adding 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the sugar to each near the end of the puree process. If you begin with the papaya, move to the strawberries, and finish with the raspberries, you will merely have to scrape the bowl rather than wash it out between batches. Strain the purees and put each in a separate squeeze bottle. Chill at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Cut the remaining papaya into long thin slices. Cut the banana into thin discs, and the pineapple into small chunks.
To serve: Squeeze purees onto chilled serving plates in free-form designs. Divide the fruit among the plates and place in random small groupings on the purees. Place two biscochitos on each plate.
Biscochitos Eloisa Martinez Rivera
In the bowl of an electric mixer or a food processor, cream the sugar and lard together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the anise seed and vanilla.
Sift the flour with the baking powder and add to the mixture, mixing with your hands until the dough is smooth. If it too thick, add a few teaspoons of water or milk, a little at a time, until the dough is pliable; if too thin, add a little flour until stiff enough to form. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for several hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Divide the dough into 3 or 4 parts and roll out each to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into decorative shapes with cookie cutters and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and back 7 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned.