Make delicious haupia pudding even better with a garnish of fresh fruit and a bottom layer of smashed raspberries. Fruit-layered haupia pudding is easy, refreshing, gluten-and-dairy-free.
I love haupia, that simple concoction of only four ingredients: coconut milk, a sweetener, water and a thickener. I most often pour the haupia into a baking pan, let it cool and cut it into squares. But it’s delicious with fruit and I love this presentation of it.
For a little extra flavor you can add vanilla, but it’s optional, especially if you sweeten yours with coconut sugar, which already has a caramel flavor. With coconut sugar, this is a Paleo recipe.
What is the best coconut milk to use?
Whereas I long thought that you could only make haupia from frozen coconut milk, I have learned that canned coconut milk will do just fine. You can replicate the taste and texture of frozen coconut milk by freezing your canned coconut milk (put it into another container first) and then allowing it to thaw before you cook with it.
I look for organic coconut milk and find that full-fat coconut milk from Natural Grocers, Trader Joes,
Sprouts and Aroy all work well. I no longer buy Chaokoh coconut milk because of reports that they force chained monkeys to harvest the coconuts to cut down on costs.
How do you sweeten haupia?
The sweetener you choose depends on how you want your haupia to look and taste. White sugar will not change the white color of the coconut milk. Coconut sugar, honey or maple syrup will change it a little. Organic sugar is a good in-between, plus the fact that it’s organic. But with coconut sugar, this recipe is Paleo.
In any case, the amount of sweetener in this recipe is about half the typical amount, and you need less since you are garnishing the pudding with fruit. If your fruit is very sour, you may increase it a bit.
How do you thicken the haupia?
When first I learned to make haupia the recommended thickener was corn starch. Corn starch is inexpensive and a common pantry staple. If you prefer a grain-free version, tapioca starch works just as well and gives an equally smooth texture.
You can also use arrowroot, which is grain-free (it is made from the roots of arrowroot plants). But be aware that arrowroot, according to Bob’s Red Mill, “is best used at the end of your cooking just before boiling, as continued heating will cause it to lose its thickening ability”.
The most important step in this recipe is adding the starch to cold water to make a slurry before stirring that into the coconut milk-sugar mixture. If you add the starch to a hot solution it will thicken unevenly and give you lumps of starch paste.
What fruits are good with haupia?
Use the fruits that you enjoy! I chose what looked good and what my grandson likes, which is raspberries and strawberries. Blueberries are also delicious. For a tropical flavor, pineapple, mango and papaya would be great. The mint is optional but refreshing and aromatic.
We haven’t found that apples or large oranges are so good – the firmer texture doesn’t suit our taste – but if you have good fruit, that’s what’s important. Small, sweeter mandarins or Cuties are good with the other fruit.
What can I serve this fruit-layered haupia pudding in?
Small mason jars are heat-proof if you are concerned about pouring hot liquid into them. Also, they are easy to cover. But you can use beverage glasses as long as the glass isn’t cold when you pour the haupia into it, and the haupia has cooled for a few minutes after the heating step.
Here I’ve used small drinking glasses that showed off the bottom raspberry layer. At other times I’ve served it in small ceramic ramekins, and then the raspberries at the bottom are a surprise.
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Fruit-Layered Haupia Pudding
- Serving glasses or jars
- A good, sharp knife
- 1 13.5 oz can full-fat Coconut Milk about 1⅔ cup
- 1½ tablespoons Organic Sugar see note, but coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey will also work
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch for grain-free, or corn starch
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract optional
- pinch of salt optional
- fresh chopped fruit of choice
- mint leaves to garnish
Fruit Topping and Bottom Layer
- ½ cup raspberries mashed to a jam, for bottoms of glasses
- 4-5 strawberries hulled and chopped
- ⅓ cup raspberries
- 1-2 mandarin oranges peeled and chopped
- Other fruit to taste: kiwis blueberries, etc.
- 3-4 mint leaves plus more for garnish
- Place the ½ cup of raspberries into a shallow bowl. Mash them coarsely with a fork. Use a spoon to press one-fourth of the mashed berries into the bottom and partway up one side of each of four, 4-ounce serving glasses.
- Place coconut milk and sweetener into a medium saucepan. Mix together 2 tablespoons of water with 2 tablespoons of tapioca or cornstarch and add that to the saucepan. Add the optional vanilla and salt to the saucepan and stir to combine.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture begins to thicken. When ready, it should be the consistency of a thick gravy (thick but pourable).
- Let the pudding cool for about 5 minutes.
- Then, pour the pudding slowly into your berry-coated serving glasses.
- Cover and refrigerate for a few hours until chilled.
- Combine chopped fruit in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Do this just before serving so that the berries don’t get mushy.
- To serve, top pudding with several spoonfuls of mixed fruit, and garnish with mint leaves.
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