This widely popular, ultra sweet and refreshing Filipino dessert is typically made with shaved ice, evaporated milk and a host of other ingredients depending on your taste. This one includes macapuno preserve which is made from a variety of coconut that contains only flesh and no water.
- 10 cups ice cubes
- ½ cup macapuno preserve (see Note)
- 2 x 375 ml cans evaporated milk
- 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
- 6 eggs
- 375 ml can evaporated milk
- 395 g can condensed milk
- 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 250 ml (1 cup) water
- 4 lady finger bananas, cut into cubes
- 110 g (½ cup) brown sugar
- 125 ml (½ cup) water
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 2 hours
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
To make the leche flan, cook the sugar in a saucepan over medium–high heat, swirling pan occasionally but not stirring, for 3–4 minutes, or until a deep amber caramel forms. Pour into a loaf tin (see note).
Beat the eggs, evaporated milk and condensed milk in a bowl until well combined. Strain through a fine sieve into the caramel-lined tin and cover tightly with foil.
Place the tin in a deep roasting pan and add enough boiling water to pan to come halfway up sides of tin. Cook for 1 hour, or until firm. Remove from oven. Cool, then refrigerate until chilled.
Meanwhile, to make the sweetened bananas, place the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Add the banana, bring to the boil, and cook for 8–10 minutes, or until banana is just cooked. Transfer to a bowl, cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
To make the caramel syrup, place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and simmer over medium–high heat for 8 minutes, or until a light syrup forms. Remove from the heat and stand until cool.
To assemble the halo-halo, run a knife around the flan, then invert onto a platter. Cut into 1 cm-thick slices, then cut each slice into 4 pieces.
Using an ice-shaver or blender, process the ice until finely shaved. In each glass, place 2 tbsp of macapuno, 2 tsp of caramel syrup and 2 tbsp sweetened banana, then fill with shaved ice. Pour over the evaporated milk, then top with a few slices of leche flan. Serve immediately.
• Also known as coconut sport, macapuno preserve is a sweet condiment made from the macapuno coconut.
You can also cook the flan in ramekins or a llanera, which is an oval–shaped metal pan traditionally used to cook this dish. You will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.