Sep 10, 2007

Sweet potato haupia squares

I've had this recipe for a sweet potato haupia squares for a long time, but didn't get a chance to make it till today. This recipe uses Okinawan sweet potato, which has a tan color skin and a beautiful purple color on the inside. The Okinawan sweet potato is not as sweet as the regular orange ones, but has a great taste. Haupia is a Hawaiian dessert made with coconut milk. The traditional haupia is like a coconut pudding but has a firmer texture than pudding.

The haupia part of this pie is actually very creamy, more like a coconut whipped cream. This recipe is relatively simple, although it does take a lot of time to make because you have to wait for the layers to set. I didn't make the coconut crust that the recipe calls for, as I didn't have coconut flakes. I made a walnut crust instead. A more appropriate crust for this pie would probably be a macadamia nut shortbread type crust.

This is the original recipe, which I got from my friend, not sure where she got it from.

Sweet potato haupia squares

Coconut Crust:
2 cups sifted flour
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. Chinese 5 spice
¼ tsp. ground ginger
½ cup unsalted butter
½ tsp. salt
½ cup toasted coconut flakes,
plus another ¼ cup to sprinkle on top of finished pie.

Note: to toast the coconut flakes, spread them on a sheet pan and put them in a 325° oven. Bake for about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until light brown.

Preheat oven to 350°. Using a food processor with a blade attachment, combine all the ingredients (except the extra ¼ cup of toasted coconut flakes - put those aside for later) until just blended and dough forms a rough ball. A fork or pastry blender may be used instead of a food processor. Press pie dough into a 9” X 13” pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes until set.

Sweet Potato Filling:
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
2 cups purple sweet potato, cooked and mashed

(Note: to prep the sweet potatoes, I boiled them until tender and then peel the skin off after they’ve cooled a bit. While they’re still warm, I beat them with a hand mixer until fluffy. You can play around with the texture of the potatoes to see what you like. I just like the lighter texture that you get when you beat them with a hand mixer.)

Cream butter and sugar until light. Add eggs and evaporated milk; mix well. Add the beaten sweet potato, vanilla, salt and cinnamon; mix well. Pour into baked crust and bake for 40 minutes. Cool completely before adding haupia topping.

½ cup sugar
6 Tbsp. cornstarch
¾ cup water
1-13.5 oz. can coconut milk
1 cup whipping cream

Combine sugar, cornstarch and water. In a saucepan, bring coconut milk to a slow simmer. Stir in cornstarch/sugar mixture. Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and cool. Beat the haupia with an electric mixer until smooth. Whip the cream separately until stiff (you can use the mixer again – no need to clean off the beaters) and fold into whipped haupia. Frost the top of the cooled pie with the haupia. Sprinkle the reserved ¼ cup toasted coconut flakes on top.


  • I used a 9x9 square pan instead of a 9x13 pan.



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