Atol de Piña is one of the most popular sweet atoles in El Salvador, is comfort food at its best.
For thousands of years, from the Aztecs to the Incas, people have enjoyed atoles. They are sweet or savory. The atol’s consistency is similar to a cream soup. Freshly ground corn was originally used to thicken the atoles. Today, is also common to add wheat flour, cornstarch or rice flour as thickening agents.
Most Salvadorans buy their atol from their local Mercado or from the neighbor who sets up a booth in front of their house. Is not difficult to make this delicious recipe at home. You can prepare it for special holidays like Christmas or anytime you want to. The other day my friend had a potluck party, I brought it for dessert, is the dessert that you can drink. It was a hit, everyone loved it.
Many traditional Salvadoran recipes are innately gluten free, this is one of them. Rice flour or corn starch is typically added to thicken this atol. If you live in the U.S., try to get the panela or the dulce de atado from a Latin market. In El Salvador, panela or piloncillo is called dulce de atado because of the way is wrapped and tied with dried corn husks.
Canela from Melissa’s Produce http://www.melissas.com/Canela-p/135.htm
This recipe is a wonderful combination of aromas, textures and flavors. The pineapple’s fresh taste is enhanced by the cinnamon, cloves, allspice and the panela. I like to use Melissa’s Produce Don Enrique cinnamon sticks. Is simply the best. My friends say that when I make it my house smells like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Is a nice recipe that transcends frontiers.
1 large fresh pineapple peeled, core removed and finely chopped
1 1/2 lbs panela (atado de dulce) or 2 1/1 cups dark brown sugar
10 allspice kernels
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of salt
1/2 cup rice flour, or corn starch dissolved in 1 cup of water
6 cups of water
In large pot, combine the pineapple, panela, allspice kernels, cloves, cinnamon and salt. Cook over medium fire, stir often. When the panela has completely dissolved, reduce the fire to low and continue cooking uncovered for another 20 minutes.
Add the rice flour, or corn starch and mix well. Stir in the water, increase the heat to medium high. Continue stirring. It will get thicker and when it comes to a full boil reduce the fire to low. Cook for another 15 minutes, stir often. Serve hot. Enjoy.