(The classroom chimes, “Hiii Lucumaaaa”.)
Lucuma is also dubbed “eggfruit”, but lucuma just sounds prettier. Peruvian in origin, it is a highly nutritious fruit. The deep yellow flesh is dry, unlike other fruits, and according to the all-knowing Wikipedia, has a similar texture to a hard-boiled egg. Hence the nickname, “eggfruit”. The flavor will remind one of maple and sweet potato. Like sweet potato and other deep orange and yellow produce, lucuma is abundant in beta-carotene, as well as B vitamins, niacin and iron. I’ve yet to taste one, but hopefully I will soon, due to special connections ;)
I do, however, have lucuma powder, which I found at a not-so-nearby health food store. When I first tried it blended with soymilk, it definitely had that mapley-starchy thing going on. Reminded me of another fruit called mamey, which is native to Mexico. A lot of raw food recipes use lucuma powder because it sweetens things up naturally. In Peru, the fruit is used to make ice cream and other custard-like desserts. It occurred to me that lucuma might make a nice cupcake. So here we are.
1 and 1/3 cup flour (all-purpose, whole wheat pastry, or soft white whole wheat will do)
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup lucuma powder
1 and 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup vegan faux butter (like Earth Balance)
1 cup sugar
1) Preheat your oven to 375°F. Bust out the muffin/cupcake pan and line it with cupcake papers.
2) In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3) In another small bowl, gradually whisk the milk into the lucuma powder. Make sure to smooth it out as much as possible before each addition of milk. Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts. Set aside.
4) In a medium bowl, beat the faux butter with an electric mixer until it’s soft and whippy. (Yeah, I said “whippy”). Then beat in the sugar. (Beating fat and sugar together is also known as “creaming” to all the baking novices out there.)
5) Beginning with the lucuma mixture and ending with the flour mixture, gradually alternate adding them to the butter and sugar. Beat after each addition and scrape the bowl down with a rubber spatula. When it’s all combined, beat for an extra minute to make sure everything is good and mixed.
6) Once your batter is ready, divide it among the cupcake liners. Fill each one two-thirds of the way up. Don’t go over or you’ll be sorry! My cupcake pan only had twelve spaces, so I had leftover batter, probably enough for four more cupcakes. If you have the same issue, wait til the first batch comes out and bake the rest, or store the batter in the fridge. The batter tastes great, by the way… Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the cake.
And of course, once they’re fully cooled. You can frost them! Whatever you want! I made a coconut frosting. I didn’t take measurements though. Sad. However, if you find yourself a basic vanilla frosting recipe, you can just add creamed coconut. I also used almond extract, which I think complements coconut. And then top with shredded coconut! But like I said– whatever you want!
And that, my friends, is lucuma.