In our ilé we celebrate two anniversaries in the month of December. Mine is on December 12th and my husband’s is on the 13th. As you can imagine, there are tons of offerings set on the altar, particularly lots of fresh fruit. It is tradition in my ilé to share fruit with guests as they leave to go home, but having a double anniversary and a double shrine we had so much fruit that I had to find a way to use it creatively. Of course, some people pick pieces and use them for cleansings, but there are so many cleansings one can do. So I decided to create a few sweet treats for the Orisha and some to share with my family with the remaining fruit.
Since my father in Osha is Aganjú I always have plenty of pineapples and they usually take a bit to ripen, so I had 3 delicious pineapples in my hands today and inspiration to cook and offer a nice dish to my orisha and to make enough for my family to share. One of them, BBQ Pineapple Hot and Sweet Chicken, was only for the dinner table. The other one, Hawaiian Bread Coconut and Pineapple Pudding was a dessert and a sweet offering to the orisha. Pineapples are a favorite of to both Aganjú and Oggún, so you can certainly say that you can have One Bread Pudding and two happy Orisha.
By the way, it is good to mention that bread pudding is also a favorite of Obatalá. You can adapt a basic bread pudding to please most any orisha, substitute the fruit with mashed fruit bread for Obatalá. If you want to please Oshun, try using freshly roasted pieces of butternut squash and for Yemayá try substituting the coconut milk with fresh watermelon juice and serving it with watermelon simple syrup.
Hawaiian Bread Coconut and Pineapple Pudding
1 Package of Pineapple bread (12 pack dinner rolls)*
1 cup of coconut milk
2/3 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of rum flavoring
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
½ teaspoon of lime zest
3 teaspoons of melted butter
1 cup of chopped pineapple
* You can substitute this kind of bread by any sweet bread rolls. I used King’s Hawaiian Bread Rolls.
Peel, core and mince the fresh pineapple. You will only need one cup of it. Place it in a large bowl along with the sugar, rum flavoring, cinnamon, nutmeg, melted butter, coconut milk and eggs. Break rolls into pieces and add to the ingredients. Mix with your hands, do not over mix. Pour batter into a greased soufflé mold (I used an additional 2 tsps. of butter for greasing the mold). Use the zest to top the mixture and then bake on a pre-heated oven for 50 to 60 minutes at 350°F oven.
This recipe is fairly simple and the results are quite delicious. You can add some chopped macadamia nuts to top the pudding for additional texture. If you want to make the offering extra special, try doing simple syrup (equal amount of sugar and water cooked together) spiked with rum and serve poured over the warm pudding.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I did working in the kitchen with my family and children, after all there are some offerings that are extra special when they carry the combined ashé of several santeros, and more so, when a family of santeros come together to work and thanks the orisha for the many blessings received over the last year.
Oní Yemayá Achagbá