Ube (pronounced ooh-beh) is a purple yam from the Philippines with a mild, sweet flavor. The taste has been described as slightly nutty, or as a cross between vanilla and pistachio. It is frequently incorporated into desserts in Filipino cuisine with ube ice cream being one of the most popular preparations.
Purple yams and taro look similar from the outside, so they can certainly be confused. However, when the skin is peeled back, the difference in color is clear. Taro root grows from the taro plant, and unlike purple yams, they are not a species of yam. Purple yams are nutritious root vegetables filled with antioxidants that may help reduce your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
The vibrant purple yam is typically boiled and mashed before being incorporated into jams, puddings, sweet breads, and other desserts. If you can't find fresh ube in your local grocery store, it is also available grated and frozen, dried into a powder form, or as ube extract.
Ube has been incorporated into everything from brownies, macarons, cupcakes, and donuts to waffles and pancakes, even lattes and milkshakes. The eye-catching purple color is natural, which can be seen as soon as you slice into one of the raw yams. Depending on the brand of powdered ube and ube extract used in this recipe, the color of the ice cream may vary slightly. If desired, you can augment the color with purple or violet food coloring.
- 2 tablespoons powdered ube (purple yam)
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ube extract (purple yam)
Place the bowl of an ice cream maker in the freezer overnight.
Gather the ingredients.
Powdered ube needs to be rehydrated before use in recipes. In a medium saucepan, combine the powdered ube and water.
Heat to a simmer and stir until the mixture becomes thick. Remove from the heat and cool completely before using incorporating into the ice cream.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and granulated sugar until the sugar has dissolved.
Stir in the heavy cream and ube extract.
Note: If you choose, purple or violet food coloring can be added to achieve the desired hue. The color of the ice cream can vary depending on the brand of powdered ube and ube extract used in the recipe.
Mix in the cooled rehydrated ube and stir until completely combined.
Churn according to manufacturer's directions, about 25 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture.
If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in the freezer for about 2 hours.
When ready to enjoy the ice cream, just scoop and serve!