Special thanks for to my mama and papa for sharing this recipe, including photographs. Also thanks to incoming fiesta. They would never do such a hard to cook dish if not for the occasion.
Ube halaya is a popular fiesta dessert. Before, menu was never complete without it. However, nowadays, ube rarity and people intuitiveness often replace it with easier to prepare desserts. The likes of fruit salat, gelatin and lechetin.
Halaya is often serve as halo-halo toppings. Going to your favorite restaurant or halo-halo stand gives you a chance tasting it.
If ever you have ube at hand or has means to get it, here is how to prepare ube halaya. Prepare your strong hands for a continuous stir.
1) Gather some ube root crop – purple yam. Wash under running water to remove adhering soils and dirt. It has a lot if you get it yourself underground.
2) Peel of the skin then rinse with water.
3) Boil until tender. Check by piercing gently with a knife or fork.
4) Grind through electric grinder. Manual grinding could be done but it would be a long and hard process. It is gonna be pushing down the ube down to the hopper while cranking the shaft.
5) Mix all the ingredients in a large cooking vessel – tulyasi. For every ten kilograms of mashed ube, add six large cans condense milk, six large cans evaporated milk and five kilograms of sugar. Mix well and make taste adjustment. It cannot be made during the later part of the process. Note that it will become sweeter due to water evaporation.
6) Place the cooking vessel over the flame and stir continuously – about three to four hours stirring. Lesser amount of ingredients means shorter cooking time. You are not allowed to rest, else, the part in direct contact to metal be burnt in on time. Better get a substitute before commencing.
7) The ube halaya is ready when the mixture is tacky – no falling mixture when the stirring ladle is lifted.
8) Immediately place lumps on plate and form it to a half circle. Use banana leaf with little margarine or olive oil to smoothen the surface. It should be done promptly while still hot. It is getting harder to manage as it get cold.
The ube used for this recipe was ubeng kalabaw. Purple dye was added to achieve similar color.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.