This simple breadfruit pie recipe is an adaptation of a vegetarian potato pie. It has a similar texture and taste and oh-so-good cheesiness too.
What is Breadfruit?
Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is a large, smooth-skinned, starchy fruit that can be found throughout the tropics and especially in the Caribbean.
It is a seedless descendent of breadnut (Artocarpus camansi) – we call it chataigne here in Trinidad and Tobago. And it is a close cousin of jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus).
The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked in a number of ways. It can be roasted whole on an open flame. Or peeled and boiled, fried, or grilled.
It is a great potato substitute and side dish when left alone but you can add seasonings for more flavor.
I may be biased but, to me, breadfruit tastes way better than potato!
How to Prepare Breadfruit?
Breadfruit has a very low shelf-life so you should cook it within a day or two of purchase.
The fruit also has a white sticky sap within its flesh. When you cut into the fruit, you’ll see it oozing out especially from the middle before oxidizing and turning reddish brown.
This sap can stain your knife, chopping board and even your hands so it’s important to prepare the breadfruit quickly.
If you have the time, twist off the stem and leave the fruit stem-down for a couple hours so the liquid can drain towards the twisted off part. Be sure to place a napkin below the fruit to prevent any staining.
If you don’t have the extra hours to leave the fruit, then wash it thoroughly with soapy water and cut the breadfruit in half and then into quarters.
You should keep a large bowl filled with water next to you and a large pot of boiling water on the stove.
Remove the center core and the peel. Cut into small pieces and place immediately into the bowl of water to prevent further oxidizing of the sticky liquid.
Rinse all the pieces a few times until the water runs clear and add to the pot with a little salt. Cover and allow the pieces to cook until they are tender – this can take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.
Wash up your knife and chopping board immediately – you may need to use a steel sponge and some elbow grease to get the sticky sap out.
Rub your hands with oil and wash them – that should get the sap off your hands too.
How to Make Vegetarian Breadfruit Pie
When the breadfruit pieces are soft and tender, remove them from the boiling water. You may want to rinse them off if you see any whitish or grayish residue (from the sap) but this isn’t necessary.
Mash the pieces as you would do for potatoes. Mix in your preferred ingredients like butter, cheese, salt and your favorite seasonings like garlic, chives, cilantro, culantro, basil, parlsey, oregano and more.
Anything that goes great with potatoes will go great with breadfruit.
Once everything is incorporated, place in a greased baking tray and layer the top with a generous amount of cheese.
Bake in a preheated oven at 375°F for 15 minutes or until the cheese has been properly melted.
Serve hot as a side dish alongside your favorite gravies, stews (like brown stewed chicken), and veggies.
Breadfruit Pie Recipe
Vegetarian Breadfruit Pie
- 1 breadfruit
- 3 tbsps butter
- 2 cups cheese
- ¼ cup fresh seasonings (chives, cilantro, basil, garlic, etc)
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Place a large pot of water on medium heat and bring to a boil.
- Wash the breadfruit and cut in half, then quarters.
- Remove core and peel the skin.
- Cut into small pieces.
- Place immediately into a bowl of water.
- Rinse the pieces until the water runs clear.
- Add to the pot.
- Cook until tender (approximately 15 to 30 minutes).
- Remove from heat and rinse to remove any sticky residue
- Mash and mix in other ingredients and 1 cup of cheese.
- Place in a greased baking tray and layer the top with the extra cheese.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 375°F for 15 minutes or until the cheese has been properly melted.
Remember I said breadfruit has a short-shelf life? The fruit can go bad pretty quickly so it’s important to cook it as soon as you can.
How can you tell if breadfruit has gone bad?
If parts of the raw breadfruit are soft even before peeling or if the flesh inside is grey in color, it has gone bad.
But, it’s not all lost. you can remove the soft areas (or grey spots) and cook the rest of the fruit that is still firm and white.
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