Maja Blanca: Corn & Coconut Pudding for the Soul

Maja Blanca is a coconut and corn pudding that’s easy to make if you have the time. “Blanca” means white in Spanish but Filipinos integrated food coloring to the dish to make it look more yellow instead of white. Either version is fine. “Maja” or “Majo” means nice or attractive.

Authentic maja blanca calls for banana leaves to give that rich flavor and aroma. You may also add latik on top to make it even more flavorful. I consider Maja Blanca comfort food whether as snack or desert.

For our house warming party, I cooked the night before. The pudding needs at least two hours to solidify and preparing ahead of time is the key.

The “day” arrived and chaos ensued in the kitchen. Alas, I forgot to take a photo of my maja blanca creation! The guests feasted on it before I could reach for a camera. But hey, I’m not complaining =)  I am certainly pleased our guests enjoyed themselves.

I got the recipe and photo here but did some minor tweaks under the instruction of my auntie and uncle who are well versed and skilled in Filipino cooking.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 1 1/2 cups cornstarch
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 1/2 cup fresh sweet corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 pack banana leaves (available at most Asian stores)
  • Yellow food coloring (optional)

Directions

  1. Place banana leaves on an 8-inch baking dish or pie pan, butter them up and set aside (I used Nucoa Butter). Mix 1/2 cup of water with the cornstarch in a bowl, and stir until smooth.
  2. Combine the coconut milk, 3/4 cup of water, and sugar in a saucepan over low heat, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil, add the corn kernels, and then stir in the cornstarch mixture, stirring quickly to avoid lumps as it becomes very thick. Bring the mixture back to a boil, and simmer until fully thickened and smooth, stirring constantly, about 2 5-7 minutes. If the mixture is not thick enough to be a pudding, in a bowl, mix 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 cup corn starch, mix until fully dissolved. Pour it to the saucepan and continue mixing until thick, smooth and creamy. Pour the maja blanca into the prepared dish, and set aside to cool until firm, about 2 hours.
  3. Place the coconut flakes in a dry skillet over medium low heat, and stir to toast. Watch them carefully so they don’t burn and stir them occasionally with a stick (a chopstick or bbq stick will do). Remove the toasted coconut flakes to a bowl, let cool, and sprinkle over the pudding before serving

Funny thing is, my mother and everyone who tried my dish would boast to other guests “Uy, this is vegan!”, showing it off like it was a novelty. But maja blanca has always been dairy free, I simply followed the original recipe =)

 

 

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