Purple yam is a type of yam that has a very distinct violet color and is popular in the Philippines. We call it ube in the Philippines. It is cooked with milk and sugar and is eaten as a sweetened dessert called haleyang ube which has a bright violet color. It is an ingredient for halo-halo, a favorite Filipino dessert during the summer. While the tuber is seasonal, Filipinos get to enjoy ube-flavored ice cream all year round. When in the Philippines, you might come across a purple-colored ice cream, that’s it! That’s ube ice cream.
Ube is not often sold in the market so haleyang ube is usually served on special occasions. This Christmas, my sister receive ube powder developed by the University of the Philippines at Los Baños (UPLB), my alma mater. So I wasted no time in making haleyang ube for the holiday cooking. Typically, haleyang ube is made from mashed ube, so you have to boil the ube tuber till soft then mash it which could take some time and is really tiring. You mix the mashed ube with milk, sugar and a bit of butter and cook slowly till the mixture is thickened. That’s why I was happy to receive the ube powder – no more boiling and mashing ube till my arms ache!
With the ube powder, think of all the possibilities! Not just the haleya, but I have some rice desserts I would like to try out with ube flavor. Or perhaps homemade ice cream! Yummy!
50 grams ube powder
3/4 cup milk
condense milk (add according to your preferred sweetness)
2 tbsp butter
Here’s how to it:
1. Mix ube powder and milk. Add condense milk according to your preferred sweetness. Let stand for at least 10 minutes.
2. Melt butter in a pan. Add the ube-milk mixture and stir constantly. Use low heat. Continue stirring until mixture has thickened.