Ube Halaya is a well-known Filipino jam that’s made with ube (purple yam). It’s a creamy, sweet, and delicious dessert and filling. This versatile delicacy is used as the main base in ube/purple yam flavored bread and pastries, and desserts such as halo-halo, ice cream, and more.
Ube Halaya is getting more and more popular because of its exceptional and unique taste. You can’t compare it to anything. It is a favorite dessert of most Filipino around the world.
Living in the United States, I make this dessert a lot and bring it to Filipino friends and neighbors. They keep requesting more and wanted to know my recipe. They can’t stop eating just one serving and ask for more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ube Halaya or ube jam in English is a popular Filipino dessert made with boiled and mashed purple yam as the main ingredient for most ube flavored bread, pastries, and desserts.
It is used to add flavors and is mainly used in a lot of desserts, bread, and pastries. I love adding ube halaya as filling for bread or just a spread like a jam.
Its taste is a balance of sweet and creamy. This is the type of dessert I can eat every day and never get tired of eating it.
You can easily find frozen ube in the Asian grocery stores in their frozen section. Sometimes there are fresh ones in the produce sections but I aim for frozen that is already boiled and mashed for convenience.
It is doable to cook Ube Halaya without milk. Just substitute coconut milk with evaporated milk or heavy whipping cream.
If stored properly, Ube Halaya will last a very long time. Store in an air-tight glass container after cooling. It’s good in the fridge for 2-3 weeks and it will last in the freezer for up to 3 months.
ingredients for homemade ube halaya
We will need only 5 ingredients to make the best ube jam and only a few steps.
- Butter – Butter makes everything taste better in my opinion! Substitute with equal amount of olive oil or avocado oil.
- Condensed milk – Its thick and sweet milk to add flavor and cinsistency.
- Coconut milk – I use full fat coconut milk (not light coconut milk). The increased fat will make the ube jam taste richer, and the coconut flavor will be more prominent as well. Substitute with heavy whipping cream or evaporated milk.
- Ube – Fresh or frozen is great option. I use grated and frozen ube for convineince. If you live in the United States, it is available in Asian Supermarket in the freezer sections.
- Ube extract – Adds flavor, aroma, and vibrant purple color. Optional but it will make a big difference if you ask me.
- Cheese – Sherreded cheese is optional but highly recommended as toppings.
How to cook the best ube halaya
Using frozen pre-cooked purple yam we will just need a few steps to achieve the best homemade ube halaya. It is better than a store brought with a perfectly balanced flavor.
- In medium heat, melt your butter in a large skillet or dutch overn and add all the ingredients except ube extract. Mix everything well until everything is well combined.
- Stir ocassinally. It will take a while to thicken and achive the right consistency so be patient and enjoy the process.
- Once it thickens, add a few drops of ube extract to add aroma, flavors and deep purple color. It is optional but it will make a big difference.
- To avoid burning the buttom and sides, I recommend to check and stir every 5-10 minutes until it is thick enough to mold into shape. The heat should also be in low-medium heat to just to simmer the mixture and prevent quick boil. Turn off heat. It will continue to thicken until it cool down.
- Cool down completely. Serve and enjoy with friends and family.
Refrigerator – For leftover ube halaya, transfer in a mason jar after cooling. Ube halaya last in the fridge for up to 3 weeks when stored properly.
Freezer – Ube jam lasts a very long time in the freezer when stored properly. Transfer this dessert to a freezer-friendly container such as a wide-mouth mason jar. It will last up to 3 months in the freezer.
Ube Jam (Ube Halaya) Recipe
- 1 Large Skillet
- 1 pound frozen purple yam
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 can (13.5 ounces) full fat coconut milk or coconut cream
- 1 can (14 ounces) condensed milk
- 10 ml ube extract
- 1/4 cup shredded cheese (optional)
- Melt butter in a large skillet. Pour coconut milk, condenesed milk and purple yam and mix well until combined in low to medium heat.
- Stir ocassionally every 10 minutes to prevent from burning the mixture. It may take from 50-60 minutes to get the right consistency. Once its thick enough, add a ube extract. Turn off heat and let it cool completely. Enjoy!
- You can double the ingredients for more dessert and store them properly in an air-tight glass container and place them in the refrigerator or freezer.
- You can make ube halaya without coconut milk by replacing it with evaporated milk or heavy whipping cream with the same measurement.