Hopefully, my family doesn’t disown me for letting out such a big family secret as this recipe. My grandmother – the matriarch of our family – is the queen of the sweet potato pudding. I know many Jamaicans will tell you that but in my case, it’s true.
Community tourism is a program run by the Jamaican Ministry of Tourism that allows visitors to the island an experience of Jamaica that’s somewhat “off the beaten path”. You’ll stay in the homes of vetted families and have the privilege of enjoying some of the best of Jamaican living in a safe, fun, warm environment! My grandmother has participated in community tourism for years. People come and watch her make this sweet potato pudding over and over and over again. They watch closely, take their notes and leave. They fly home, then she gets the call – they can’t replicate it.
It has taken me a long time to refine the recipe and fashion it into something consistent – ironing out the hit and miss. This is mainly because my grandmother taught me to bake. You’d think that makes it easier, right? WRONG! Firstly, I never saw the recipe on paper. The only place it was written down was in her brain. Secondly, ol’ time people – an elite class to which my grandmother belongs – do not believe in measuring instruments. She never used measuring spoons, cups or anything the like. Hence, everything is weighed and measured by hand and perfectly so every single time. I suppose if I’d been doing that for the better part of seven decades I’d be good at it too. I hope to be. Until then, I’ve designed a recipe with actual measurements to guide the rest of us to perfection. I hope you enjoy!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
3 lbs of the Jamaican Sweet Potato
1 lb of flour (I now prefer a mix of almond meal and tapioca flour)
2 cups of coconut milk
1 cup of brown sugar (Note: you can use honey or agave instead)
1 tbsp of coconut oil
1 tspn of powdered nutmeg
1 tspn of molasses
1 tspn of vanilla
A pinch of salt
Optional: 1 cup of raisins
NOTE: If you’re planning on adding the slushy effect to your sweet potato pudding, you’ll need to procure a few additional ingredients.
1 cup of coconut milk
1 egg yolk
½ cup of sugar
HOW TO PREPARE
Wash your sweet potatoes and peel them. Rinse again and grate your sweet potatoes into a bowl. Add coconut milk, coconut oil and wet spices to your sweet potato bowl. (You can add your raisins as well if you’ve chosen to include them in your pudding.)
In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. After you’ve done this, you can mix your dry ingredients into the rest of your sweet potato cauldron. Ensure they are thoroughly and evenly combined before pouring your mixture into 2 greased medium baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour.
ABOUT THAT SWEET SLUSHY
If you’re going for the traditional pudding with the sweet slushy on the top you’ll need to remove your pudding from the oven ten minutes earlier. Toss all three ingredients into a blender and blend thoroughly. Apply the slushy mixture all over the top of your pudding. Place the pan back into the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Allow your pudding to cool before cutting.
You can serve warm or cool. I’m sure you’ll figure out your preferences immediately. You can serve small cubes with ice-cream. Our children always enjoy having a slice with milk. We wouldn’t dare overshadow the traditional Christmas cake with pudding at Christmastime but sweet potato pudding is a welcome addition to our thanksgiving table. We hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do.