Haupia is a traditional coconut milk-based Hawaiian dessert often found at luaus and other local gatherings in Hawaiʻi. Since World War II, it has become popular as a topping for white cake, especially at weddings. Although technically considered a pudding, the consistency of haupia closely approximates gelatin dessert and is usually served in blocks like gelatine.
The traditional Hawaiian recipe for haupia calls for heated coconut milk to be mixed with ground pia (Polynesian Arrowroot, Tacca leontopetaloides) until the mixture thickens. Due to the lack of availability of arrowroot starch, some modern recipes for haupia substitute cornflour.
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4½ tablespoons sugar
- 3¾ tablespoons cornflour
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla (optional)
- Pour one cup of coconut milk into a saucepan. Combine sugar and cornflour stirring into coconut milk. (Add vanilla if using) Heat over low stirring consistently until thickened.
- Add remainder of coconut milk and whole milk and continue to heat until thickened. Pour into 20 cm square pan and chill until firm.