One of my favorite childhood desserts was Cape Malay Potato Pudding, served with stewed dried fruit. At family functions I always checked how many people brought a tray of potato pudding and tried to taste them all to see who made the smoothest silkiest baked dessert.
It is one of those dishes that seems to have originated with the Cape Malay community in Cape Town, as I have not seen any similar baked milky potato pudding recipes from anywhere else using white potatoes. Like many other dishes that came out of Cape Malay homes, it uses a simple everyday ingredient like potatoes, and transforms it into something delicious and decadent.
During my childhood the desserts served at family or social events in the community were often the traditional ones, like Cape Malay Potato Pudding or Sago pudding served with the most fragrant stewed dried fruit or the traditional baked Milk Tart.
When my cousin used my aunt’s recipe for potato pudding for an event at our home, she indicated that she had forgotten to add custard powder to it. She said at the time that the pudding had not set as a result, and I confirmed it the following day when I noticed that the texture was still quite loose.
For my Cape Malay Potato Pudding incarnation, I also used the basis of my Aunt Gadija’s recipe but adjusted the flavorings and added fresh cream as I like the richness and smooth texture it gives to baked desserts. I remembered the custard powder!
The stewed dried peaches are an optional extra, but I had never imagined how much I would enjoy the way these peaches turned out. The lengthy soaking ensures that it is well rehydrated and I was astounded at how much they looked like fresh peaches, all lush and soft, but so much sweeter.
Potatoes get a new lease on life in my Cape Malay Potato Pudding recipe with hints of almond extract, cardamom and cinnamon and is delicious with stewed dried peaches or without.
Top tips for making Cape Malay Potato pudding and stewed dried fruit
- Traditionally this pudding does not require a bain-marie (water bath) when baked. However, I find that it gives a much better result and would recommend it if you have steady hands and patience. The baking time stays unchanged.
- Almond extract can be very overpowering so do not add more than 1/2 teaspoon in total to the pudding, as it will leave a weird, almost bitter aftertaste.
- If you do not have custard powder, you can substitute the same amount cornflour.
- In summer the pudding can be made a day ahead and served cold with the stewed fruit.
- Soak the peaches at least 24 hours before the stewed peaches and potato pudding must be served.
- If you don’t want to serve the pudding with stewed fruit, add another 60-125 ml sugar to the potato pudding mixture when you add the condensed milk.
- Do not cook the peaches in the syrup for too long as they will be very delicate and will break to mush.
- The peaches can be served warm, cold or reheated as needed.
- The peaches can also be served for breakfast with greek yoghurt.
Cape Malay Potato pudding recipe
- 1 kg potatoes cubed and boiled until soft
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 65 grams butter approximately 1/2 a stick
- 25 grams soft butter to grease the baking dish
- 1 litre milk divided
- 30 ml custard powder approximately 20 grams or 2 tablespoons mixed in 125ml of the milk
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 tsp fine cardamom
- 1/4 tsp fine cinnamon for dusting
- 8 extra large eggs
- 385 grams condensed milk approximately 1 can
- 250 ml fresh cream
- 500 grams dried peaches soft eating peaches preferred
- water to cover
- 500 ml sugar fine granulated white
- 3 pieces stick cinnamon
Peel and cube the potatoes then cover with water, add the salt and boil until soft.
Drain the potatoes and return to pan and heat to remove any residual water then remove from the heat.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius or 160 fan / 350 F / Gas mark 4.
Grease an ovenproof baking dish of 3 litre capacity with the 30 grams soft butter. Use a square or rectangular dish to make it easier to cut into squares for serving.
Mash the potatoes while still warm, and ensure that it is completely smooth, then add the butter and mix through until the butter is completely melted.
Heat the milk and set aside 125 ml, then add the remainder to the mashed potato mixture.
Slake the custard powder with the 125 ml milk and add to the potato mixture.
Add the fine cardamom and almond extract and mix to combine.
Using a stand mixer or electric hand beater, whisk the eggs until light frothy and doubled in volume then add the condensed milk and whisk vigorously for approximately 3 minutes.
Add the fresh cream and whisk to combine.
Slowly add the potato mixture into the egg mixture and whisk to aerate, ensuring that the eggs and potato are thoroughly combined.
Beat for another minute until it is all incorporated then decant into the buttered oven proof dish.
Dust with fine cinnamon before baking. Alternately, dust with cinnamon before serving as the cinnamon may scorch in a hot oven.
Bake for 50 minutes or until set.
Cover the dried peaches with water and allow to soak for at least 24 hours.
The peaches will rehydrate beautifully and look like lush lobes, but have the sweetness of dried fruit.
Strain 250 ml of the soaking liquid from the peaches into a pot, straining out any grit.
Add the two cups of sugar and stick cinnamon then boil for 8-10 minutes until thick and sticky.
Add the rehydrated peaches to the sugar syrup and boil together for two minutes before removing from the heat and allowing to cool.
When cooled, decant into a glass dish that has a sealing lid, refrigerate and use when required.
Below are the original photos taken on an iPhone 6 Plus in 2015. This was first published on 31 July 2015 and was updated with new photos to celebrate it being the top post of 2017 .
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Please give some love to my fellow bloggers and hop over to enjoy their recipes:
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