Po'e (POH-eh) is a popular fruit pudding found at all traditional Tahitian tamara'a barbeques. Originally the pudding was wrapped in banana leaves and baked in the fire pit. This simple baked version is easier in the modern kitchen.
- Ripe bananas, peeled and cut into chunks -- 6-8
- Brown sugar -- 1/2 cup
- Arrowroot or cornstarch -- 1 cup
- Vanilla -- 2 teaspoons
- Coconut cream -- 1 cup
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Puree the bananas in a blender or food processor. There should be enough puree to make 4 cups.
- Mix together the brown sugar and arrowroot or cornstarch. Add this mixture and the vanilla to the bananas and process well. There should not be any lumps of starch. Adjust sugar to taste.
- Butter a 2-quart baking dish and pour in the puree. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the pudding is firm and bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled.
- Cut into cubes and place into a large serving bowl or in individual bowls. Top with a dollop of coconut cream, a little more brown sugar and serve.
- Try substituting papaya, mango, pineapple or other tropical fruits for some of the bananas. Just make sure there is a total of 4 cups of fruit puree. Ripe plantains can also be substituted for the bananas.
- Try wrapping the pudding in buttered banana leaves and baking it for a more original presentation.
- Coconut cream is the thick coconut milk that rises to the top of a can of coconut milk. Don't shake the can before you open it and you can skim it right off the top.