Hello Everyone! We’re on our second last day of Festive Filipino Foods! If you have been living under a rock and basically haven’t been following my blog for the past week and a half, I have been posting a recipe every single day for the past 10 days now (tonight will be the 11th of 12 posts) cooking up recipes leading up to Christmas Day. Tonight, I will be sharing one final dessert recipe before I close this series for the month of December. I have saved the best savoury dish for last tomorrow, and if you’d like to take a stab at what I’ll be making, here are some clues: Spanish-inspired with lots and lots of seafood including prawns, clams, mussels, and calamari.
But enough of the seafood talk, that will be for tomorrow – tonight I will be sharing with you a recipe for a dessert that is a classic Filipino favourite known as Buko Pandan, that originated from the island province of Bohol in the Central Visayas region. It is a dessert dish found on the tables at every fiesta and family gatherings. The two main ingredients for this dessert are buko, which is a young coconut, and screwpine leaves which are locally known as pandan leaves. You can find these leaves in most Asian grocery stores, but if you’re a lucky duck like me, you might have a neighbour that grows these leaves and you have full access to it for free. However, you can use bottled pandan extract if this is more convenient for you.
At first glance, this sumptuous dessert can be mistaken for Buko Salad because of the similarity in texture and dairy ingredients used. However, the green gelatin which contains the aroma and flavor of the Pandan gives the distinction. — Vanjo Merano from Panlasang Pinoy
The dessert is usually topped with pinipig (immature grains of glutinous rice pounded until flat before being toasted), but I just went for what I had in the pantry, which is cornflakes and it’s just as good because you get that crunch in the dish anyway from it too. Rice Krispies may be used as well. I don’t think it is really added, but I like my Buko Pandan Dessert with large sago pearls, which is why I have added it to the dish. I’ve read that you can also add palm seeds or nata de coco in your dessert too if you like.
ps: before I move on to the recipe, I’d like to first apologise once again for a later than usual post. We’ve had a busy morning/afternoon cooking up a storm in the kitchen for our Noche Buena, and I only had time to write this post in between cooking/waiting times, and after all the cleaning up after our dinner.
PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 90 MINS | SERVES 10-12
- 3 young coconuts, flesh removed and cut into strips
- 1L water
- 1 packet (200ml) crème fraîche
- 1/2 can (190g) condensed milk
- 1 packet (10g) unflavoured green agar-agar powder, or simply just gelatine powder
- 1 cup large sago balls
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 tsp pandan extract*
- Handful of cornflakes
*You can extract your own from pandan leaves, and here’s how you can do it: Place the pandan leaves and water into a blender (1 bunch (12 leaves) to about a half cup of water). Blend until the leaves are chopped very finely. Pour contents through a fine sieve and press against it using a spoon to draw out any extra juice. Discard the leaves. Tip: if you keep the extract in a sealed bottle, you can keep it for up to one week in the fridge. Do not freeze though.
- Dissolve the agar-agar powder in 1L of water. Add the sugar, stir, and bring to a boil over low heat for about 10-15 minutes. Once done, pour into a large square mould (about 10″ in size) and leave it aside to cool down before placing it in the fridge to completely set.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, about 2L. Once boiling, add the large sago balls in and cook until tender – mine took more than an hour to cook through, about an hour and 20 minutes to be exact.
- While the sago is cooking away, mix all the ingredients together (except for the cornflakes) in a large bowl. Check to see if your gelatine has set, and once it has, cut it into small chunks and mix in the bowl together with all the other ingredients.
- Once the sago is done, drain and add it to the mixture. Give it once good final mix and then place in the fridge for about 3-4 hours before serving.
- Serve chilled, topped with cornflakes, or anything crunchy, and enjoy!
– Ally xx