Jackfruit… have you heard of it? It happens to be the largest fruit that comes off a tree. It wouldn’t surprise me if not many folks even knew this fruit existed, as it’s mainly common in Southeast Asia. Growing up, my grandpa had a few large jackfruit trees. It was such a great treat for him to have one to cut up and eat fresh! Sadly, it’s been several years since I’ve enjoyed fresh jackfruit. Nowadays I can get my fix through canned or jarred jackfruit. When my parents recently visited from the Philippines, they brought home some jackfruit pulp which found it’s way into my kitchen. There are so many things I could make with it but the first that came to mind were these Jackfruit Cupcakes…
When my grandpa would have a ripe jackfruit ready, it was quite a big production. Cutting into jackfruit is not like cutting into a watermelon. When cut, the fruit gives off a very sticky substance and it’s really messy to deal with (which is why I enjoyed it so much when I was kid!) As it’s cut open, little yellow knobs of fruit come bursting out and each knob has a large seed. The seeds are removed and each knob can be enjoyed as is. It’s actually best to eat a knob slowly by picking smaller pieces of it off because it has a slight stringy consistency. As for the flavor, it reminds me a little of mango, apricot and pineapple, all rolled together. Jackfruit is sweet and is used to flavor lots of baked goods in the Philippines.
The jackfruit pulp my parents gave me was a very thick consistency, similar to jam. I used a little of this pulp with a yellow cake recipe to create my Jackfruit Cupcakes. It has a very light, sweet and subtle flavor and adds a nice color to the cupcake. To decorate, I frosted the cupcakes with a classic cream cheese buttercream frosting and garnished with a sliver of jackfruit on the top.
cake recipe adapted from the New School in NYC
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla
3 cups sifted self rising flour
1 pint heavy cream
1/4 cup pureed jackfruit
1/4 jarred jackfruit (whole); drained from syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
In a large bowl beat eggs til foamy, then add sugar to eggs and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla ,beat until blended.
Alternately add sifted flour and cream. Beat until well blended. Stir in jackfruit puree until well blended.
Pour batter into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for about 12-15 min. Cake should spring back when touched.
Allow to cool completely before frosting with cream cheese frosting. Garnish with pieces of jackfruit.
original Joelen recipe
1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
4-6 cups confectioners or powdered sugar
1-2 tablespoons half & half
dried mango for garnish (optional)
In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened butter and cream cheese together until fluffy; and beat until fully incorporated.
Slowly add confectioners or powdered sugar into the bowl, 1/2 cup at a time and beating after each addition. Continue adding the sugar until you have a thick frosting of your preferred consistency.