3 pounds papaya

4½ cups sugar

¼ cup white brandy or aguardente


Peel the papayas; slice in half and cut the pulp into cubes. Place the pulp in a medium-size pot and add ½ cup water. Cook the papaya over medium heat until it is soft. Meanwhile, place the sugar in another pot, cover with 1 ½ cups water and cook over medium heat until it reaches the fine thread stage (230°F on a candy thermometer or when a few drops spooned into cold water immediately form coarse threads). At this point, add the papaya to the sugar mixture and continue stirring until the mixture reaches the transparent stage (245 to 250°F or when a wooden spoon is scraped along the bottom of the pan and forms a path along the bottom that can be seen).

Store in bowls or trays and cover with a piece of parchment paper soaked in brandy or aguardente.

Cook’s Note: In Mozambique it is sometimes customary to let te papaya dry out. The puree is placed, by spoonfuls, on a baking sheet with a space between them and set out in the sun to dry. This takes about 6 hours. You can create the same effect by drying the dessert in a very slow (150°F) oven.


Makes about 4 cups.


country : Mozambique

course : dessert


source : Cuisines of Portuguese Encounters : Recipes from Portugal, Madeira/Azores, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Angola, Mozambique, Goa, Brazil, Malacca, East Timor, and Macao / Cherie Y. Hamilton