Haupia (Coconut Jell-O)

Haupia

July 12: Eat Your Jell-O Day

Hawaiian keiki (kids) and keiki-at-heart love the cool and creamy blocks of a coconut-flavored gelatin known as haupia. Islander grew up eating Hawaii’s version of coconut Jell-O as a simple dessert at get-togethers with ‘ohana and friends. It is so popular that haupia is served even at the largest luaus so tourists can taste these tropical treats, too. With the summer season underway, have some Hawaiian haupia on “Eat Your Jell-O Day!”

Recipe

(Adapted from The Honolulu Star-Bulletin)

Ingredients

  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup milk

Directions

In a sauce pan, mix together the coconut milk and sugar over low heat. In a measuring cup, add the gelatin with water and dissolve for one minute. Stir the gelatin mixture into the sweetened coconut milk. Add milk and mix well.

Haupia

Pour the hot, white liquid into an ungreased 8-inch square pan. Let cool to room temperature. Cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares and serve.

Haupia

Notes

  • The traditional haupia recipe is simpler with fewer ingredients. We used the above recipe because it is a sturdier version to transport to a kanikapila or luau. The former recipe uses cornstarch as a thickening agent, whereas the latter uses unflavored gelatin to firm up the dessert. To make traditional haupia, check out our recipe post for Mini Haupia Pies (eliminate the pie crust and whipped cream topping).
  • Prepare this easy dessert ahead of time but be patient as the gelatin solidifies.

Mini Haupia Pies

Mini Haupia Pies

May 8: National Coconut Cream Pie Day

Haupia (pronounced “how-pee-yah”) is Hawaii’s version of a coconut cream dessert.  It is traditionally served at luaus and local gatherings as cute cubes of gelatin (think coconut cream Jell-o) and at special occasions as a pudding-like topping for white or coconut cakes (we had one of these Dee Lite-ful desserts at our engagement party). It is also a flavorful filling in malasadas (Portuguese donuts) and even in McDonald’s snack pies (see Notes below)! For a tropical take on National Coconut Cream Pie Day, we present an easy blog recipe post for mini haupia pies.

Recipe

(Adapted from The Honolulu Star-Bulletin)

Ingredients

  • 1 package of 8 frozen mini pie/tart shells
  • 1 can (13.5 ounces) of coconut milk
  • ¾ cup water, divided (½ cup and ¼ cup)
  • 5 tablespoons sugar (we used C&H brand, granulated white)
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tub of Cool Whip or whipped cream

Directions

Defrost the mini pie/tart shells according to the package instructions.  Poke holes using the tines of a fork in each shell. Place them on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Mini Haupia Pies

Prepare the haupia filling.  In a saucepan, stir the coconut milk, ½ cup of water and sugar over low heat.  In a small bowl, make a paste with the cornstarch and ¼ cup water. Pour into the saucepan with the coconut milk mixture.  Stir constantly until thickened.  Remove from heat and allow the haupia to cool.

Mini Haupia Pies

Scoop the haupia into the shells.  Refrigerate until the haupia becomes firm. Fill a pastry bag with Cool Whip or whipped cream and decorate the top of the mini haupia pies.

Mini Haupia Pies

Notes

  • Here is another haupia recipe. Cut into cubes and enjoy like coconut cream gelatin!
  • We can’t resist stopping by a Malasada-mobile whenever it parks at a neighborhood street corner. These wagons have a rotating schedule of when and where they travel around Oahu. Malasadas can be filled with haupia, custard, Dobash or special tropical fruit fillings.
  • McDonald’s tries to cater to local tastes by occasionally featuring haupia and taro snack pies alongside their apple snack pies in their value menus—only in Hawaii! They are cheap and ono (delicious)!

McDonald's Haupie Pie