Most langka ripens between May and August. There is an abundance of it in the markets right about now. It spoils quickly so prices drop dramatically when there is a lot on offer. I donâ€™t like to buy just a portion of a fruit (actually it is called a syncarp) because I am worried about freshness, hygiene, etc. So I look for small ripe langka instead. Even the modest sized specimens yield a ton of fruit so you have to be prepared to use it in many different ways. To preserve fruit at its peak for future use, I just remove the seeds, place the fruit in a large sterilized jam or preserves jar and pour boiling hot sugar water (2 parts sugar for every part water) into the jar until the fruit is fully covered. Allow this to cool and then refrigerate. It should last several weeks and after soaking for a few days it has a nice fresh texture to it, sweet and flavorful. Others stew the langka in the sugar water to soften it but I like the freshness of uncooked langka more.
What to do with this sugared langka? The best use is in a home made halo-halo (or use together with other store bought ingredients). It also is terrific with saba bananas in turon. I imagine it would be good with almond jelly (in lieu of lychees) if taken in small doses. If you like langka a lot, I find that it makes good snacking straight out of the bottle. The â€œragsâ€ you get when you peel the syncarp and remove the pulp surrounding the seeds is apparently rich in pectin, the stuff that makes jelly when paired with sugars and fruit. The seeds themselves are rich in starch and can be made into flour. Unripe langka is often cooked with coconut milk and served as a vegetableâ€¦ but I like my langka ripe and pungent!