It’s tropical week here on Sunday Supper, which means I get to showcase my absolute favorite ingredient from my motherland. Big words, I know, but I truly think ube does not get enough credit for it’s awesomeness. Creamy flavor, gorgeous color – what’s not to love? Oh, you’ve never heard of it? Exactly.
Ube is a purple yam popular in the Philippines. I’d say it’s similar in starchiness to taro but sweeter – like a taro + Japanese purple sweet potato hybrid. It’s a mild, smooth flavor that lends itself well to creamy desserts like ice cream and cake. If I ever see anything with ube on a menu (this only happens at Filipino joints), I order it. It’s a given. If ube is there, I have to have it.
Which is why when my parents went to the Philippines I asked them to bring me back some ube. They came home with a jar of ube jam for me. As I excitedly clutched my jar of purple goodness, my brother asked me why I was so excited. “Can’t you get ube jam at the Asian market?”
Whatevs. I got my ube jam straight from the source…ish.
Since this jar of ube was sooo super special and hand carried thousands of miles just for me, I knew I had to do something more creative than stick it in a smoothie (which is delicious, by the way). Ube ice cream was my first thought, but it’s readily available in most Asian and Filipino markets. Then it hit me…panna cotta. Light and creamy, panna cotta would be the perfect way to highlight the mild sweetness of the ube. And IT IS. It so is.
The starchiness of the ube comes through in the texture of the panna cotta, making it a bit thicker and denser than the traditional. I love the subtle lavender color from the jam. You just know you’re about to dig into something special.
Ube Panna Cotta
Author: Joy @ The Joyful Foodie
Recipe type: dessert, gluten free
Cuisine: Filipino, Italian
Serves: 4-6 servings
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¾ cup ube jam
- 1 packet powdered gelatin
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbs cold water
- Whipped cream and fresh berries for garnish (optional)
- In a medium bowl, combine the ube jam and cold water and mix well.
- Sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the top and let sit for about 5 minutes.
- Place the cream and sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar is dissolved and the cream is starting to bubble at the sides.
- Remove the pot from the heat and add the vanilla extract.
- Whisk in the ube/gelatin mixture until completely dissolved.
- (Optional) For a smoother panna cotta, strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.
- Divide the cream between your prepared serving vessels and refrigerate overnight.
- Garnish with whipped cream and berries (if desired) before serving.
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Have you heard of ube? If not, what’s your favorite tropical ingredient?
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- Pumpkin-Coconut Biscotti by What Smells So Good?
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Tropical Foods and Drinks Sunday Supper
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