The creamy goodness of mango & haupia pie

Haupia pudding is a traditional coconut milk-based Hawaiian dessert. Popular since the 1940s, it is most often chilled in a retangular pan and then cut into blocks and served. Here, we add it as a topping to a delicious fresh mango filling. 

This recipe utilizes a ‘soft set’ recipe for the haupia, keeping the haupia creamy without letting it harden too much, unlike the traditional ‘hard set’ recipes for haupia that result in a much more gelatine-like consistency.

Mango base

Cut mango into cubes (about 1 inch in size) until you have about 4 cups worth. If you’re using frozen mango, make sure you thaw prior to use. Place in a large bowl.

Mix together the corn starch, sugar and cinnamon. Add mixture to the chopped mango and stir.

Pour into the pie shell (you can use a frozen shell, or make your own).

Cover with aluminium foil and bake at 350F for about 35-40 minutes (until bubbling). Set aside.

Haupia topping

Add corn starch to 1/4 cup of the coconut milk. Stir until all dissolved.

Pour the remaining coconut milk into a saucepan. Add the sugar and the salt. On a medium heat, cook until all of the sugar has dissolved.

Then slowly add the corn starch mixture as you whisk. Keep stirring with the whisk until thickened (this should take about 2-3 minutes).

 

Pour thickened mixture over the mango pie. Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating for at least 1-2 hours.

Serve fresh from the refrigerator with a spoonful of whipped cream!

Traditional haupia pie includes a layer of chocolate or purple sweet potato. The old Hawaiian recipe for haupia actually specifies ground pia instead of the corn starch used today. Ground pia is also known as Polynesian arrowroot.

We hope you enjoyed our version of haupia pie. Have you created a haupia pie with a different filling? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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The cattle egret: Hawaii’s elegant predator

Late summer has brought with it the arrival of a flock of cattle egrets to Horizon Guest House. These brilliantly white birds have found a summer home in the monkey pod tree in the upper pasture. Here they roost at night while during the day they follow the animals, keeping flies and insects at bay.

Cattle egrets originated from Africa, arriving in South America in the late 19th century before spreading through most of the continental United States in the 1940s.

They were first introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in 1959 by the Board of Agriculture and Forestry, in conjunction with local cattle ranchers. The birds were an attempt to try and combat the plague of flies that were affecting cattle herds. The flies were responsible for causing lower than usual weight gain in cattle, as well as causing damage to their hides.[1]

In total, 105 birds were released across the islands. By the early 1980s their population had exploded to approximately 30,000 birds.

Cattle egrets typically grow to around 20 inches and are usually seen in large flocks, within close proximity to wetlands.

Our visiting cattle egrets have quickly found a home in the pasture with the horse, donkeys and goats. The birds are content to follow the herd as it migrates about the pasture during the course of the day. Typically, you’ll find the birds perched on the backs of Sunny (the horse) and Poncho and Lefty (the donkeys).

In this way they provide a useful service to the animals, feeding on the flies that might be bothering them, as well as any insects.

Nest predators

Their impact on other endangered birds though is significant. Cattle egrets are known nest predators. In particular, they prey on the nests of the Hawaiian duck (koloa), Hawaiian stilt (aeo), Hawaiian common moorhen (alae ula) and the Hawaiian coot (alae keokeo). There are even instances of cattle egrets taking prawns from aquaculture farms![2]

The original intention of introducing cattle egrets was to use them as ‘biological control agents’.[3] Instead, these birds have joined a long line of other introduced species that, having failed to solve their original objective, have become part of a bigger problem – causing disruption to indigenous fauna.

Control order

In 2017, a control order was introduced for migratory bird species in Hawaii.[4] This control order targeted cattle egrets and barn owls. It identified them as invasive and threatening to native species. It also concluded that these bird populations could not simply be keep under control by non-lethal means. The order sanctioned the culling of cattle egrets by state and federal employees of specified agencies, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Recognizing the fragile nature of Hawaii’s ecosystem is important to understanding why such action is necessary. Invading or introduced birds like the cattle egret have changed the habitat of some of our most precious and endangered species.[5] Controlled culling of cattle egrets may be the only way Hawaii can safeguard some of its most precious residents from the threat of extinction.

The cattle egret is an elegant bird and provides a service to cattle and other animals, but it’s relationship with endemic species remains problematic.

References

Cattle egret. (n.d). [1] Kaelepulu Wetland. https://kaelepuluwetland.com/birds/cattle-egret/

Cattle egret: Bubulcus ibis. (2012, August 13). [2] Hawaii Forest & Trail. https://www.hawaii-forest.com/cattle-egret-bubulcus-ibis/

Fish and Wildlife Service Interior. (2017, August 24).[4]Migratory bird permits: control order for introduced migratory bird species in Hawaii. Federal register: the daily journal for the United States government. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/07/25/2017-15471/migratory-bird-permits-control-order-for-introduced-migratory-bird-species-in-hawaii

Gosser, R. (2017).[5] From solution to problem: the irony of invasive species. Ke Kalahea, (4). https://hilo.hawaii.edu/news/kekalahea/the-irony-of-invasive-species-2017

Paton, P.W.C., Fellows, D.P. & Tomich, P.Q. (1986). [3] Distribution of cattle egret roosts in Hawaii with notes on the problems egrets pose to airports. ‘Elepaio, 46(13), 143-147. https://www.fs.fed.us/psw/publications/paton/paton6.pdf

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Easy peasy fettuccine: making pasta from scratch

Homemade Pasta cover image Horizon Guest House Hawaii

Making homemade fettuccine may seem like a daunting task but with a simple recipe, a steady hand, and a bit of patience, you’ll be twirling freshly cooked, homemade fettuccine around your fork in no time!

*(Note: for best results we recommend using a machine but you can hand roll it).

Homemade pasta Horizon GH Hawaii 1

The three key ingredients to fresh, homemade pasta are simple. Flour, eggs, olive oil, a pinch of salt and a dash of water.

Beat flour, eggs, olive oil, and salt together in a bowl. Add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to the flour mixture until a smooth and very thick dough forms.

Either let a dough hook on your stand mixer do the kneading or turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead for 10 minutes. Let the dough rest for around 5 to 10 minutes.

Why is it important to let it rest? Resting the dough gives the gluten in the dough the opportunity to relax. This makes it easier to roll out, either by hand or by using a machine.

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Divide dough into 4 balls and use a pasta machine to roll and then cut dough into desired pasta shape.

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You can make pasta without a machine, it just requires a little more effort. Roll out the dough until paper thin.

Using a rolling pin will get the dough rolled out as thin as a machine will – it’ll just take a little more time to get there.

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Take each of the balls and flatten it with your hands. Next, guide it through the machine, turning the handle at a steady rate.

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Run the pasta through twice and then fold the piece in from either side on the long edges, as below. 

Homemade pasta folded Horizon Guest House

Then run the dough through again, or as many times as necessary until you achieve your desired thickness. Then dust with flour and fold in half to rest.  

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The more you roll out the dough the longer the sheet and the longer your fettuccine will be. After you’ve let the dough rest (for at least 15 minutes) use the pasta machine to cut the dough into the desired shape, or if you don’t have a machine use a knife to cut the dough into noodles.

Homemade pasta Horizon GH Hawaii 13

If you find the noodles are sticking together you may need to add more flour. 

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Let your pasta rest again to dry, for between 15 to 30 minutes. There are lots of way to dry fettuccine.  You can use a baking tray lined with baking paper and dusted with flour, or hang over the back of a chair.

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When you just can’t wait any longer it’s time to cook! Cooking time is 4 to 6 minutes in boiling water.

Homemade pasta is best cooked straight away, or within 24 hours. You can freeze it too. It’s good for up to a month in the freezer. Just make sure to use the frozen noodles straight from the freezer without thawing them out first. Thawing allows condensation to form and any dampness will cause the noodles to stick together. 

 

How did your pasta turn out? Did you use a machine or hand roll? Let us know in the comments.

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