Many Filipino families have their own way of making halaya. If it’s particularly good, then the recipe would be a closely guarded secret. Your token halayang ube recipe consists of boiling the yam, finely grating or milling it, mixing it with milk and sugar (ditching the sugar, if you’re using condensed milk), etc. However, masters of this dessert may have some extra ingredient or a unique technique involving one of the steps in the process, hence the creation of a superior version of halaya.
One of the best halayang ube recipes in existence is that of Good Shepherd Convent’s Mountain Maid. Perfected by the late great Sister Mary Assumption Ocampo, their halaya or ube jam recipe literally has people descending (or ascending as the convent is located in the Cordillera mountains) to the convent in droves.
Many swear that the Mountain Maid ube jam is the best there is. There was probably an extra trick to the process, but it could be that Baguio yams are just better. Root crops generally thrive and grow really well on mountain slopes, so perhaps the edge has a more radical source. You might want to get a Boholano recipe as well, being that Bohol is distinctly ube country and its residents have long enjoyed the fruits of their land.
In general culture, halaya is usually added to ice cream, halo-halo, milk, coffee, bread, etc. Of course, it can be eaten straight as well. Halaya is definitely one versatile dessert.
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