Ponche Fruit Atole Recipe

This ponche fruit atole is sweet, creamy, and features a comforting fruit and spice flavor. It’s perfect for using up the leftover fruit from our Mexican Christmas punch. Enjoy the recipe.

Mexican ceramic cup with atole on top of a fabric napkin. A cinnamon stick next to it.

I have sweet memories of gathering with friends and family during the holidays while drinking ponche and scooping up the yummy fruit deposited at the bottom of my cup. 

Inevitably, once all the ponche has been served, we end up with a bunch of extra fruit at the bottom of the pot. Am I right?

So this recipe is designed to enjoy all that leftover fruit. Once you try it, you’ll want to make this Ponche Fruit Atole Recipe again next year and every year.

What is Ponche?

Ponche, or Mexican Christmas punch, is a very popular beverage in Mexico during the winter, especially at Las Posadas and Christmas celebrations. It’s a hot drink made with fruit and spices. Some of its typical ingredients are tejocotes (hawthorn apples), guavas, apples, sugar cane, hibiscus flowers (the edible kind, not the ornamental kind), cinnamon, tamarind, raisins, and piloncillo.

mexican ponche with fruit on a Christmas table

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What is Atole?

Atole is a comforting Mexican drink that includes milk or water, corn starch or corn flour, and fruit and/or spices. Using the leftover cooked fruit from the ponche for making an atole just makes sense. Let’s make it.

Basic Ingredients

  • The leftover cooked fruit from the Mexican Christmas punch or ponche.
  • Sugar – it will be adjusted depending on the sweetness of the fruit.
  • Milk – my recommendation is to use full fat or 2% for a creamy atole.
  • Corn starch or maicena – this is the thickening agent in the atole.
A glass bowl with Mexican Ponche fruit and a couple of cinnamon sticks on top of a wooden table.

Tips and Substitutions

  • Store the leftover fruit from the ponche in an airtight container or mason jar until the moment you need it.
  • Instead of sugar, you can use piloncillo, brown sugar, or agave nectar. Of course, you can also use sugar substitutes if you prefer.
  • Instead of corn starch, you can use masa harina (corn flour), which we use to make corn tortillas.
  • For vegan atole, replace the cow’s milk with your favorite plant base milk. I recommend oat or flax for a creamy consistency, but almond or soy can work too. Just adjust the sugar level.
Tejocotes, guavas and a cinnamon stick inside a mason jar on top of a wooden table.

How to Store and Reheat it

This atole stays fresh in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Store it in a container with a lid. If you store it in the same saucepan where you prepared it, put a lid on it.

As the atole cools down it will thicken more and more and it is important to consider this when reheating it.

I don’t recommend adding any liquid before reheating, you will notice that as it warms up the consistency changes. If, after a few minutes, it’s still too thick for your liking, add a little milk or water.

You can reheat it either in the same saucepan where you prepared it (if you kept it in the refrigerator that way), or you can fill a mug and heat it in the microwave.

A Mexican ceramic cup with cobalt blue details with atole next to a plate with tamales on top of a wooden table.

How to Make Ponche Fruit Atole

Prep time 10 minutes – Total time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups leftover cooked fruit from Mexican ponche
  • 1 cup water (or ponche if you have some)
  • 1/4 cup sugar + 1/4 (if needed)
  • 2 1/4 cups milk of your choice, divided
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch (or maicena)
  • Ground cinnamon for garnish, optional

Utensils

Process

Before measuring the two cups of fruit punch, discard the cinnamon sticks, the sugar canes (if used), and as much of the hibiscus flowers as possible (if used). 

Cooked hibiscus flowers and two cinnamon sticks on a white plate next to a glass bowl with more cooked fruit.

Separate the tejocotes (apple hawthorn), tamarind and any other fruit that has large seeds. Open these fruit and discard the seeds or pits.

If the guavas are whole, cut them in half and remove the seeds. But don’t worry if they are not whole and you see a lot of loose seeds as they will be blended.

A bunch of cooked tejocotes, one of them open in half. There are two tejocotes seeds on the left side.

Place the fruit into a blender, add ½ cup of water or ponche and blend until you see that most of the fruit has been integrated with the liquid, but not to the degree that the seeds of the guavas disintegrate.

If the guava seeds are completely blended, they will give the atole a slightly sandy consistency, let’s avoid this.

Strain the mixture into the pot. Pour the other half cup of water (or ponche) into the blender to loosen the fruit puree that has stuck to the walls and pour it into the strainer as well.

Discard the guava seeds that were surely left in the strainer.

Add 1/4 cup of sugar to the puree and stir over medium high heat with a wooden spoon until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Pour in 2 cups of milk, stir, lower the heat to medium, and wait for it to boil, stirring from time to time.

Dissolve the cornstarch (maicena) in the remaining ¼ cup of milk.

When the mixture comes to a boil, pour out the cornstarch (stir a little beforehand because cornstarch tends to settle), and stir continuously, waiting for it to come to a boil again.

Taste for sugar. If needed, add more.

atole de frutas del ponche in a pot on top of a wooden table.

When it starts to boil, lower the heat to low and keep stirring until you reach the desired thickness. Turn off the heat, let cool for about 10 minutes, and serve.

Sprinkle some ground cinnamon over each cup if desired.

Two Mexican cups with cobalt blue rim with atole. Tejocotes and a cinnamon sticks in between the cups. All of this on top of a beige napkin.

What to Serve with this Ponche Fruit Atole

This atole is delicious on its own for breakfast, or for any time of the day when you crave a hot drink. However, it also goes very well with other foods such as:

Imprime la Receta

Mexican ceramic cup with atole on top of a fabric napkin. A cinnamon stick next to it.
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Ponche Fruit Atole

This ponche fruit atole is sweet, creamy, and features a comforting fruit and spice flavor. It’s perfect for using up the leftover fruit from our Mexican Christmas punch.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings: 4 cups
Calories: 178kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups leftover cooked fruit from Mexican ponche
  • 1 cup water or ponche if you have some
  • 1/4 cup sugar + 1/4 if needed
  • 2 1/4 cups milk of your choice divided
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch or maicena
  • Ground cinnamon for garnish optional

Utensilios

  • Medium pot minimum 1.5 quarts
  • Wooden spoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Mexican cups to serve the atole

Instructions

  • Separate the tejocotes (apple hawthorn), tamarind and any other fruit that has large seeds. Open these fruit and discard the seeds or pits.
  • If the guavas are whole, cut them in half and remove the seeds. But don’t worry if they are not whole and you see a lot of loose seeds as they will be blended.
  • Place the fruit into a blender, add ½ cup of water or ponche and blend until you see that most of the fruit has been integrated with the liquid, but not to the degree that the seeds of the guavas disintegrate.
  • If the guava seeds are completely blended, they will give the atole a slightly sandy consistency, let’s avoid this.
  • Strain the mixture into the pot. Pour the other half cup of water (or ponche) into the blender to loosen the fruit puree that has stuck to the walls and pour it into the strainer as well.
  • Discard the guava seeds that were surely left in the strainer.
  • Add 1/4 cup of sugar to the puree and stir over medium high heat with a wooden spoon until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  • Pour in 2 cups of milk, stir, lower the heat to medium, and wait for it to boil, stirring from time to time.
  • Dissolve the cornstarch (maicena) in the remaining ¼ cup of milk.
  • When the mixture comes to a boil, pour out the cornstarch (stir a little beforehand because cornstarch tends to settle), and stir continuously, waiting for it to come to a boil again.
  • Taste for sugar. If needed, add more.
  • When it starts to boil, lower the heat to low and keep stirring until you reach the desired thickness. Turn off the heat, let cool for about 10 minutes, and serve.
  • Sprinkle some ground cinnamon over each cup if desired.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Ponche Fruit Atole
Amount per Serving
Calories
178
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
5
g
8
%
Saturated Fat
 
3
g
19
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
0.2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
16
mg
5
%
Sodium
 
56
mg
2
%
Potassium
 
273
mg
8
%
Carbohydrates
 
31
g
10
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
26
g
29
%
Protein
 
5
g
10
%
Vitamin A
 
256
IU
5
%
Vitamin C
 
3
mg
4
%
Calcium
 
175
mg
18
%
Iron
 
0.1
mg
1
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Diet: Gluten Free
Keyword: How to make atole, how to make mexican atole
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