Ube Halaya/Sweet Creamy Purple Yam
Ube also known as Yam in English is a root crop that is used in a number of recipes in the Philippines. But the one dish that it’s really famous for is the Ube Halaya. A dessert that has a rich creamy and sweet, almost like a mix between a jam and ice cream. Ube however is a seasonal root crop that is harvested between the months of October ‘til December, which is why most Filipinos make this recipe in time for Noche Buena (Christmas Midnight Dinner) and New Year’s Eve dinner.
It’s one of my favorite dessert growing up, and this recipe is so close to my heart as it reminds me of my lola (grandmother) where she would plant ube at the back of our ancestral home in the province.
For this recipe it serves about 20 to 25 people. I actually did this recipe as a Christmas gift for friends and families, and I placed them in a cute mason jar with a little ribbon. So if the proportion is too much, just cut the measurements of the ingredients in half.
2 ½ kilo of fresh ube/yam (purple Ube/yam is best)
½ kilo of white sugar (powder sugar is best)
500ml. all-purpose cream
½ liter of full cream milk
4 teaspoon of Ube/violet food coloring (again if you are using purple yam then there’s no need)
1 ½ liter of water
1. Soak the ube/yam overnight in water. This removes that itchy sting that you will get from peeling the skin later on.
2. Peel using a knife and slice to 3 inches in thickness so it’s easier to cook.
3. Using a huge pot, boil the ube/yam with the water until soft (approx. 10 to 15 minutes).
4. Once you have a soft texture ube/yam, drain then set aside the ube broth for later.
5. Place the sugar in a blender, and set to high for 30 seconds until you get a powder like finish. Set aside.
(Note: If you have a food processor, skip steps 6 to 10 and just mix all the ingredients into your food processor)
6. Using a huge bowl, mash the ube/yams.
7. Divide the mashed ube/yams in 3 and do the next steps in batches.
8. Using a blender, add a portion of the all-purpose cream, ube/yam, sugar, ube broth (leftover water from boiling the ube/yam), food coloring (optional: if you have white ube/yam), and milk. Mix ingredients in the blender, then put your blender to high until you have a smooth sticky consistency.
9. Once all your ingredients are done in the blender, section it by 3 portions and place it in a mixer.
10. Place your ube mixture and the additional all-purpose cream. Put your mixer to high for 3 minutes until you have a smooth and creamy texture.
11. Once all the sectioned ingredients are processed in your mixer, prep your pan. Make sure to use a pan with a thick bottom to avoid the ingredients from easily burning.
12. Put your pan to medium heat and add your ube mixture. Stir for about 5 to 8 minutes until you have a thick consistency.
13. Allow to cool at a room temperature.
14. Store in a container and place in the fridge. Once chilled, serve and enjoy your Ube Halaya!