Friday, September 16, 2005

SHF # 12 - Custard: Halo Halo for the Rainy Day

[Crepe Halo-halo with Hot Custard Sauce]

The rains have been pouring for days, and nights, that temperatures have gone down significantly. The whipping rain, from a low pressure area aggravated by a typhoon brushing past on its way to the northeast, drenches, and reaching home I crave for something hot and comforting, even for dessert.

And this came to mind, exactly in time for the custard theme of the 12th installment of the monthly Sugar High Friday, hosted by Elise.

The crepe is my version of halo-halo, the perennial Filipino snack to combat the almost year-round hot weather. Halo-halo is putting together sweetened beans (like lima beans, red mung beans, kidney beans), rootcrops (camote or sweet potatoes), saba bananas, gulaman (gelatin), sago (palm pith pearls) in a tall glass, packing them in with sugar and shaved ice, pouring milk on the ice then topping everything off with ube haleya (jam of purple yam), ripe langka (jackfruit), leche flan (lemon-custard flan with caramel sauce), and toasted pinipig (popped rice). It is a bombshell of a snack, sweet, cold, filling, full of wonderful goodies that are actually healthy.

There are similar versions of this snack in the Philipines' neighboring countries, particularly Thailand and Malaysia, whose climates approximate our own.

Halo-halo is loosely translated as "many things mixed together," which is really what the snack is all about. To eat, you must break the packed ice with a spoon to bring it down to the glass, then mixing everything with a few swirls so each and every component gets a fair share of space. Each spoonful that you dip into the glass then contains all the ingredients, providing an assortment of tastes amd textures - from firm to crunchy, to chewy, to soft, to melt-in-your-mouth. The beans and thin round bananas contrast nicely with the small sago balls. And after everything have been chewed and slurrped and swallowed, the milk, having been infused with all the flavors of the ingredients, proves as an excellent recap.

But this is best for a hot, sweltering day. In the midst of raging rains, a hot crepe with all the halo-halo ingredients, topped with a scoop of thick, viscous Good Shepherd Mountain Maid ube jam, langka slivers and leche flan and sprinkled with pinipig, to be drenched in steaming custard in place of the milk, is by no means better. And heavenly. And can be shared in large portions, unlike the halo-halo in glass. Makes for a cozy, even when wet, afternoon.

*All the ingredients are readily available either sweetened (in the Philippines, at least) or to be boiled (in most parts of the globe, too!) in sugar at home. I like them homemade, so I sweetened everything and assembled them together, in a crepe made from pancake mix. No sweat. And I have enough left for a true halo-halo when the rains stop!

And here's the round-up at Elise's Simply Recipes, with a total of 70 entries from 18 countries. A sweet read!

- Thanks to my friend Miguel for the inspiration to this creation.

Related Posts
Halo-Halo for the Summer
Halo-Halong Kapampangan at Kabitenyo


Anonymous said...

A halo halo crepe! That's the first time I've seen that! Cool creation :) And yes, the rains have been pouring...oh boy, here we go...

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, after bibingcrepe it's now a halo-halo crepe! Wonderful (and sinful)! You can't put a good concept down.

I'm glad you finally defined halo-halo as "many things mixed together". Not to be overscrupulous but "mix-mix" just grates on the ears at times. It makes us seem unable to construct comprehensible phrases.

Oh, I should brace myself to be flamed now. :-P

Nupur said...

This is such an interesting creation! Looks a little bit like the Indian dessert "Falooda". That purple jam is seriously purple :)

ting-aling said...

I like mine homemade! bago 'to. Halu-halo crepe!

Lori said...

What an innovative twist to our old fave, halo-halo! Good job!

celia kusinera said...

Very good idea, Kai! And so very pleasing visually. I bet it's every bit as delicious. :)