Ube Desserts traditionally use Ube Halaya Jam as an ingredient.

Hi Bold Bakers!

Ube halaya jam, purple yam jam, halayang ube, or simply ube jam — whatever you choose to call it, it’s absolutely delicious and the key ingredient in many Asian desserts! 

The wonderfully colored yam, a relative to our more familiar sweet potatoes, is a popular ingredient in the Philippines. The texture is even similar to sweet potatoes, but while sweet potatoes have a nutty, vanilla taste, purple yams are even sweeter and a bit more mellow. 

You can use this ube halaya jam in baked enriched doughs, ube pastries, halo-halo (a great Filipino dessert made of crushed ice, evaporated milk, and other ingredients like coconut strips and sweetened beans), and even my 3 Ingredient Ube Ice Cream

What Is Ube?

Pronounced OO-BEY, is a popular crop grown in South Asia that is becoming more and more popular in other parts of the world. The taste is somewhat hard to describe to a person who has never had it, and the beautiful purple color may raise a few eyebrows. To me, it is a wonderful, lightly-sweet that reminds me of a vanilla-y pistachio. 

Fresh ube may be hard to find at your local grocery, but frozen works well with this recipe as well.

Ube jam is simply a jam made from the boiled and mashed purple yam and a few other ingredients, like full-fat coconut milk and condensed milk. 

Ube Jam in a glass jar with a wooden spoon.

What You Need To Make Ube Halaya

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • A large pot with a heavy bottom
  • Immersion blender, liquidizer, food processer, or hand masher
  • Jars for storage

How To Make Ube Halaya (Ube Jam)

Making ube halaya is a super simple process, and the result is a beautiful purple and delicious ingredient for a lot of incredible desserts. I won’t judge if you eat a spoonful or use it on top of milk bread either. Here’s how you make it (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

  1. Prep the ube by washing them. Leaving the skins on, boil, or steam them whole until they are tender in the middle. This will take about 30-40 minutes depending on the size. 
  2. Once they are cooked through, let me cool down and then peel off the skin. Roughly chop into cubes and set aside. (Once the ube is cooked, you can store it in the freezer in an airtight container for months, until you are ready to make your jam.)
  3. Add the cooked ube, evaporated milk, coconut milk, condensed milk, and sugar into a heavy bottom, large pot. 
  4. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture to make the ube as smooth as possible. You can also do this using a liquidizer, food processor, or even a hand masher.
  5. Once the ube is smooth, put on a lid and move the pot to the stove. Heat it over medium/low heat until it comes to a simmer.
  6. Simmer the ube mixture for roughly 40-45 minutes. You’ll want to stir the mixture frequently to prevent the jam from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning. Be careful when you remove the lid because the jam mix will spit.
  7. Once the jam has thickened, whisk in your butter, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt. The ube halaya will thicken significantly as it cools.
  8. Spoon the mixture into jars while it is still hot and then close the lids. Allow the jam to cool down to room temperature. 

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Ube Halaya

  • Don’t have condensed milk? Make your own condensed milk.
  • Don’t have evaporated milk? Make your own evaporated milk.
  • Use ube jam to make my No Machine Ube ice-cream.
  • You can use either fresh or frozen ube for this jam.
  • Use a heavy-bottomed saucepan, so your jam doesn’t burn on the bottom, stirring every few minutes, so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Also, be sure to cover the pot with a lid while cooking because the jam will spit. 

Ube Halaya Jam is sweet and gorgeously purple.

How To Store Ube Halaya

You can keep ube halaya in your refrigerator, after bringing it to room temperature after cooking, for up to 5 days. Alternativly, you can place in small airtight containers and freeze for 2 months.

Make More Recipes!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Watch The Recipe Video!

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