Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Haupia with Tropical Fruit Salad

This recipe for a coconut custard dessert is adapted from Chef Jean-Marie Josselin's A Taste of Hawaii: New Cooking from the Crossroads of the Pacific (Stewart, Tabori & Chang 1992).

Serves 6-8

1 medium mango

1/2 medium papaya

2 kiwi fruit

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup good honey

Juice of 1 lemon

6 mint leaves, julienned

3/4 cup coconut milk, canned or frozen if fresh is not available

3/4 cup water

2/3 cup cornstarch

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Peel and cut the fruit into 1-inch cubes and place in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the pineapple juice, honey, lemon juice and mint. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut milk and water and place over medium heat. Add a tablespoon or two of water to the cornstarch, stir to make a paste, and add the mixture to the coconut milk, stirring constantly.

Add the sugar and vanilla bean or vanilla extract to the mixture and continue to cook over medium heat until thickened. When the mixture coats the back of a spoon, reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for another 20 minutes, stirring often to avoid any lumps or scorching.

Pour the mixture into an 8-inch square pan and chill until set, at least 4 hours.

When ready to serve, cut the haupia into squares. Put each square on a plate, add a serving of tropical fruit salad, and pour the pineapple juice mixture on top.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit