Cassava Pone, or ‘pone’, as many Caribbeans lovingly refer to it as, is one of the quintessential Caribbean treats that you’ll find being served all over the islands. This is Caribbean comfort food at its finest, and once you try it we know you’ll want to know how to make your own!
Read on to learn everything you need to know about cassava pone, from where it first originated to how you can make your own at home, using all the best traditional Caribbean methods. You’ll be cooking up a storm in no time!
Cassava Pone is a rich, dense pudding made with sweet cassava, pumpkin and coconut. If you’ve not come across cassava before, it’s a root vegetable that is popular throughout the tropics. It’s also often referred to as manioc or yuka, and it’s the main ingredient in tapioca.
The dessert first became popular in Trinidad and Tobago, but it’s now enjoyed all over the Caribbean, and you’ll find it in the US too. Cassava pone is a sweet, comforting dessert that packs a punch thanks to a healthy helping of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, which rank among some of the most-used herbs & spices in Caribbean cuisine.
Evaporated milk and coconut milk give the pudding its indulgent taste, and an extra sprinkling of raisins adds another element of sweetness to the dish. If you’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth, you’ll definitely want to try a slice of cassava pone.
The dish is thought to originate from Trinidad and Tobago, where local people made use of the cassava as a main ingredient in plenty of delicious Caribbean recipes.
The cassava pone recipe that we know and love today is actually an adaptation of a recipe which the people of Trinidad and Tobago learnt from a local Amerindian tribe. As well as cassava pone, Trinidadians regularly cook up cassava to serve with flour dumplings and root vegetables, or stir fry it with coconut milk, salt fish and smoked herring to make another popular dish called ‘oil-down’.
Now it’s time to learn how to make your own cassava pone, so you can recreate it in your own home. This dessert is a little labour-intensive to make, particularly if you choose to grate all your ingredients by hand, but believe us when we say that it’s well worth the effort.
Made freshly, by hand, using all the best ingredients, this is a taste sensation that you won’t forget in a hurry. Prepare to impress your friends and family with this fabulous taste of the Caribbean.
Oh and just one other thing: once you start cooking this Trinidad pone recipe, the intense smell of fresh baking will bring all the neighbors around to your house, so make sure you make enough for a few unexpected guests!
-3 cups grated sweet cassava
-1 cup grated coconut
-1 cup grated pumpkin
-1 cup brown sugar
-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-½ teaspoon nutmeg
-2 tablespoon melted butter
-1 cup evaporated milk
-½ cup coconut milk
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1 teaspoon vanilla essence
-1 teaspoon grated ginger
-½ cup raisins
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350F, ready for baking later.
Step 2: Peel your cassava and pumpkin. Wash the flesh of both and grate entirely. Be careful as you do so as this can be a little dangerous! To make this step a little more convenient, you might wish to opt for peeled and frozen cassava instead. This is available at most supermarkets in the US, in the frozen section.
Step 3: In a big bowl, combine coconut milk, sugar, spices, and your grated cassava and pumpkin. Whisk thoroughly to break down the sugar. Then, once this is well combined, add your remaining ingredients.
Step 4: Grease your chosen baking dish. A round, ceramic dish that you’d usually use for pies works well for this. You can grease with butter, or use cooking spray or any flavorless oil. Make sure you grease well as this will stop the dessert sticking to the dish later on.
Step 5: Pour your mixture into the greased dish and put in the middle of your preheated oven. Bake for approximately one hour, or until a fork comes out clean when dipped into the middle of the pudding. If your fork comes out with wet mixture on, the pone isn’t quite ready yet, so let it cook for a further 15 minutes and repeat the test.
Step 6: This will be difficult, but you must wait until the pone is totally cool before you try to slice it! Resist the temptation to tuck in straight away, as you could cause a pone collapse! Once cooled, your recipe is ready to serve. This pone recipe is great served up on its own, or you could add a garnish of mint and a scoop of fresh coconut ice cream if you prefer.
If you want to experience the authentic dessert in the Caribbean, consider booking a last-minute vacation to try it there.You’ll find it being served at many local cafes, and in the wonderful Caribbean bakeries that you’ll see on the islands. Tuck in and enjoy, because as we all know, there are no such thing as calories when you’re on vacation!
You can also try this dish alongside some other Caribbean recipes you can easily make at home.