Traditional ingredients for the Filipino dessert maja blanca are coconut milk, fresh sweet corn and agar-agar. Variant recipes could include milk, sugar, cornstarch or gelatin, and coconut flakes. Others might exclude fresh corn.Continue Reading
Maja blanca is a chilled coconut pudding from the Philippines and is often molded like panna cotta and other gelatin-based desserts. The thick, milky texture is traditionally derived from the natural thickener agar-agar, which home cooks in the United States can obtain from natural grocers and Asian food markets. Cornstarch and gelatin can be used as substitute thickeners.
A food writer for website Driftless Appetite reports growing up in the Philippines, where a great uncle would prepare maja blanca with fresh coconut and fresh corn, a laborious process that involved grating the coconut meat and squeezing the coconut milk through cheesecloth.
A recipe adapted from this process and available on Driftless Appetite includes the following ingredients: 2 cups fresh sweet corn (about four ears), 1 cup milk, 1 cup water, 1/4 cup canned coconut milk, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup agar-agar. The corn is pureed in a blender, and then strained and the pulp discarded. The corn liquid is simmered with the sugar and other liquid ingredients for five minutes, and then an additional two minutes once the agar-agar has been added. The heated mixture is poured into a mold and chilled in the refrigerator. Once the mixture has thickened, the maja blanca is finished.Learn more about Desserts