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Spiced Pineapple-Agave Tepache

Tepache is a mildly alcoholic probiotic beverage that is fermented but not distilled. This version draws upon the inulins of two CAM succulents—rather than cane or beet sugar—for its mild sweetness. After two-four days, removed agave pencas and pineapple skins.

 

INGREDIENTS

2 quarts of spring water or distilled water

2/3 cup of roasted agave penca (leaf) fibers or agave hearts (or 2/3 cup of Agave Syrup del Ricon, or 1/3 cup agave inulin powder mixed into 2/3 cup of water—do not use “Agave Nectar”)

1 small pineapple, cut to obtain skin and ½ inch of attached flesh of the fruit

1 sprig of fresh Mexican oregano, basil, or mint

1 stick of cinnamon bark for each bottle

1 ½ teaspoon of freshly ground allspice powder or cardamom

 

DIRECTIONS

Bring one cup of water to boil in a saucepan.

Place agave pulp, syrup or hydrated inulin powder in 2-quart jar or clay pitcher.

Pour boiling water over agave sugars and stir vigorously with wooden spoon.

Add more water until jar is 2/4 full and let cool.

Wash pineapple and slice skin (with ½ inch of flesh attached) off each side and bottom of the fruit.

Add pineapple skin slice to jar of agave and water and stir with wooden spoon. [Add spices at this stage or in final bottling For second fermentation].

Complete filling jar with water to its brim, and place cheesecloth over jar mouth.

Secure cheesecloth over mouth or jar with string and place in direct sunlight.

Let sit two to four days in sun, stirring daily, staying alert to fermentation bubbles.

If pineapple skins float to top, submerge them after each stirring.

Sample with wooden spoon, alert to a shift from sweet to a spicy fragrance and buttery texture. Scent should have a slight hint of vinegar, and more bubbles should accumulate on side of jar, rising from the bottom. Sometimes you can see or hear the fizziness of fermentation.

At this point, the first fermentation phase is done. Lift out with knife or fork the soggy pineapple skins and discard. Pour ferment through funnel in two single quart jars, add one cinnamon stick, one fresh sprig of herbs, and a half teaspoon of allspice, seal flip-top rubber stopper to keep fizz activate in each bottle.

For the first few days, unplug stopper and shake mildly each day, then re-seal. Build up more carbonation for 3 days, the store, sealed in refrigerator until use.

Can be refrigerated up to 6-8 weeks. Sieve out any sediment and skim off any foam at top. Pour into glasses, add ice and/or carbonated water.

Serve very cold.