Traditional Christmas Recipes in Mexico

Recipes For 

Two Traditional Treats
Made in Mexcio at
Christmas Time

Mexican Hot Christmas Punch
“Ponche”

Try out this wonderful traditional Christmas recipe from Mexico once you are finally living or retire in Mexico.

When Christmas time rolls around, in the biggest pot you can get your hands on—like the one grandma used to seal her canning jars in, boil the following items:

½ kilo of peeled sugar cane, cut into 3 inch lengths then split lengthwise into string-cheeze sized sticks.

½ kilo cored, and very coarsely sliced apple.

½ kilo quartered guavas

photo of a tejocote ½ kilo tejocote (tey-ho-co-tey) (You have to be in Mexico to add this. I have no idea what it would be called in English. The picture at right shows two tejocotes.)

½ kilo tamarindo (ta-ma-reen-do) (This is a seed pod with a sour flavor that is common in Mexico.)

1/4 kilo prunes or raisins

1/8 kilo cinnamon sticks broken into large pieces

½ kilo piloncillo (pee-lone-see-yo) (This is a delicious form of brown sugar traditional in Mexico.)

Sugar to taste (If you can’t get piloncillo, I recommend that you use 100% brown sugar for your punch)

Boil until all of the fruit is very soft.

Serve hot with brandy or tequila on the side for those who like a little nip.

Makes 5 gallons of punch

Note: a kilo is 2.2 pounds. If you want to make this recipe in the US, multiply everything by two. The amounts are approximations and you can feel free to change the proportions in any way you would like.

Don’t worry if you can’t get the Mexican ingredients; it’ll still taste delicious!

Leave the skins on all of the fruit, it makes for better flavor and texture. Serve the punch with chunks of fruit. Part of the punch experience is getting at the fruit once you’ve enjoyed the liquid.

Buñuelos
(Boon-you-eh-los)

Another traditional treat made at Christmas and other times during cooler weather in Mexico are buñuelos. They are delicious — something like our elephant ears or “Indian” fry bread. As with all traditional recipes there are as many ways to make them as there are mothers and grandmothers in Mexico. Here is one recipe given to me by someone in my neighborhood. When you are finally living or retired in Mexico, try it out — or ask your neighbors for their version.

½ kilo of flour

8 egg yolks

1 teaspoon lard (I’ve seen it done with vegetable oil)

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ kilo sugar

1 liter of cooking oil

Powdered cinnamon

Make a crater in the flour, add the eight egg yolks, the lard, and baking powder. Add a little water (the water can be sweetened with a little sugar if you so desire) and knead with hands until a soft past is formed. Keep kneading until it doesn’t stick to your hands. Let it rest a half hour and then roll out into large, thin circles. (Try to get the circles thinner than you would for a pie crust. The dimensions should be approximately 8 inches in diameter and 1/8 th of an inch thick.) Have a wide, flat pan ready with the hot oil about an inch deep. Fry the rounds in the oil until they are as evenly golden as possible (you may have to press down on bubbles as they form to make sure that they cook evenly.) Drain and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Eat while hot and crunchy!

In this recipe, the buñuelos remain crunchy and are covered by cinnamon and sugar. Other people dip them in a hot syrup made of piloncillo (a traditional brown sugar) and cloves (and other ingredients?), still others cut them up and leave them in the hot syrup until they are mushy.

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8 comments

  1. allison Nov 24

    hey whats up i love this website it gives me lots of facts for my project

  2. Larry Dec 14

    Tejocote are known as Hawthorne Apples in USA.

  3. Julia Taylor Dec 14

    Larry,

    Thank you! I wish I could see the trees, but I purchase the fruit in the market and of course it’s already been picked.

    The color of the fruit looks different in the pictures on the internet, but that can easily be explained by a different variety.

    Regards,
    Julia C Taylor

  4. s.ohdz Dec 29

    LOVE YOUR RECIPY JUST WHAT WE WERE LOOKING FOR. ALSO THE ENGLISH NAME FOR TEJOCOTES, FOR FUTURE REFERRENCE, IS (CRABAPPLES 0,

  5. Julia Taylor Dec 30

    S.ohdz,

    I’m so glad you made some punch. I have my Mexican neighbors to thank for this recipe, which I just wrote down.

    Crabapples sounds about right!

    Regards,
    Julia

  6. Mohamed Rainwaters Jun 20

    I would like to say, nice webpage. Im not sure if it has been addressed, however when using Firefox I can never get the entire page to load without refreshing alot of times. Could just be my modem.

  7. Julia Taylor Jun 21

    Mohamed,

    Thank you. I think it’s your modem. I use Firefox and it’s always fine when I check.

    Julia

  8. Sandra Higareda Dec 1

    Thanks to this website now I know what this mexican fruit Tejocote” is called in english. I have been selling this fruit for many years in this time of season at my market. I have about 40% of customers who are from middle east or americans and when they would ask me what this fruit was called in english I did not know what to tell them. I would only tell them about this mexican hot punch. Now I know the name. Thanks

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