In the Philippines, ube halaya, or purple potato cream, is a very popular spoon dessert, also used as the base for many other recipes
L'ube or purple yam it is a tuber with a delicately sweet flavor reminiscent of coconut and pistachio and with a pleasantly intense violet color, very common in various Asian countries, not to be confused with similar tubers such as taro and sweet potatoes. Although it is still little known and used by us, but still available in various forms at some stores specializing in ethnic and oriental foods, in the last few years of rediscovery of healthy and colorful foods, the UBE has gained popularity and media visibility, gaining the title of Fpurple trend ood. The Philippines they are the country where this ingredient has always been considered a local culinary excellence and where it is used for the preparation of numerous traditional dishes, both sweet and savory. One of the most popular ube-based recipes is the ube halaya, a sweet cream that deserves to be known and that is the basis of some typical Filipino desserts, including the famous halo halo.
A purple jam beautiful to look at and good to eat
The ube halaya is one cream based on ube with a similar appearance to a very thick jam or a polenta and a sweet and vanilla flavor, which can be eaten alone, for example spread on bread, added to other ingredients or used as a filling for cakes and pies. To prepare this Filipino dessert it is sufficient to boil the ube potatoes, peel them, grate them, mash them and finally let them cool; after melting the butter or margarine in a saucepan, pour the purple puree obtained and are then added, mixing, sweetened and condensed coconut milk and other optional ingredients such as coconut milk, vanilla extract, sugar and evaporated milk. After about 30 minutes, when the mixture is sufficiently dense to adhere to the spoon, the fire can be turned off and, once cooled, it can be poured into a plate, in buttered containers of various shapes or in jars for preserves. The ube halaya generally comes served cold or at room temperature, sometimes garnished with other typical local pastry ingredients, including grated and toasted coconut flakes and the latik, or a caramelized coconut cream.
Uses and variations of the ube halaya in Filipino cuisine
As we have seen, one of the most popular and popular ways to taste this delicious and exotic jam is to add it as a garnish to a mix of crushed ice and condensed milk. What results is thehalo halo, a hugely popular Filipino summer dessert characterized by a riot of sweet condiments including ube jam, various syrups, milk flan (or the Philippine version of the French creme caramel), sweetened red beans (munggo), macapuno (an anomaly of the coconut which consists of a gelatinous pulp), fresh or canned fruit (e.g. saba bananas, lychees and jackfruit).
The ube halaya recipe, one of the many pounded coconut creams called nilupak and typical of the Philippines, can also be prepared with alternative ingredients to Uube including taro puree, sweet potatoes, pumpkin or cassava, giving life to a great variety of different sweets and with different names.