On the back steps of the kitchen, in the tropical paradise of an idyllic atoll off Dangriga, Belize; Phillip Matinez shares a family favorite, Sweet Potato Pudding Recipe (known in Belize as “Pone”).
This is a traditional Belizean recipe, passed down from Phillip’s mother and her mother before that; refined with a touch of nutmeg to make it spicier; it’s a rich, creamy smooth custard with a firm, sweet top. Good hot or cold. It became a favorite of those of us paddling for pleasure with Island Expeditionsin the turquoise waters of the Caribbean.
Made with sweet potatoes, which are loaded with nutrients and super high in potassium, I could make a case for Sweet Potato Pone being ‘good for you’.
The next day, out the back door of the kitchen I discovered that it is even better served cold. Firmer, richer. The spices set and steeped. The spicing is reminiscent of carrot cake or a Christmas pudding but the texture is creamy, more akin to a dense flan. To hungry travelers after a day of paddling and snorkeling it was pure sweet ambrosia.
A taste of Belize from an Island Expedition kitchen…
Thank you to… Amy Migel & Phillip Matinez from Island Expeditions for their hospitality in the kitchen.
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly oil an 8-inch-square baking dish, place on a baking sheet with a rim, and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine both milks and sugar; stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine. Pour into the prepared baking dish and carefully transfer on the baking sheet to the center of the oven. Bake 1 hour.
Reduce temperature to 250°F (120°C) and bake 1 more hour, or until a golden crust forms and a knife inserted halfway from the center comes out almost clean.
Let cool about 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature (the pudding will firm as it cools). Or cover and refrigerate completely cooled pudding up to 3 days and serve chilled.
Gypsy Note: 2 medium sized sweet potatoes = approximately 1 pound.
Fearlessly cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer, food marketing consultant, recipe developer and sustainability advocate. A Cordon Bleu trained chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn and now shares all things delicious - right here.