Last weekend, I picked up about 2 lbs of cassava (yuca) from H-Mart (Asian supermarket). My intentions were to make cassava ball and maybe try making some metemgee (I know, I know… the metemgee recipe is long overdue). I started peeling the cassava and started thinking about cassava pone. Once I mentioned it to my hubby and mother-in-law, I knew I would be making pone.
If I had to describe pone, I would say that it is like a crustless pie or a soft, flourless sweet bread. When I googled pone, I found out that it originally referred to a Native American dish of flat cornmeal cakes baked in ashes. I started to wonder if pone is an Amerindian (Indigenous Guyanese) dish and whether it originated from similar beginnings! Perhaps they substituted cornmeal for cassava because cassava grows in abundance in Guyana. I’ll keep digging. Someone, somewhere has to have a story to tell about how we started making pone (smile).
Now for this quick and easy pone recipe. I promise it’s really simple, but it takes about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours to bake so allow yourself time for that.
Cassava and Coconut Pone* (Makes 9 servings)
1 lb cassava (peeled and diced)
2 cups of shredded coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Add cassava to a food processor and process until it forms a fine paste-like consistency. Then, process coconut flakes in the food processor until fine. In a medium mixing bowl, combine cassava, coconut, brown sugar, butter, nutmeg, all spice and vanilla essence. Mix together, then add water. Continue to mix until a soft batter is formed. Place batter into a greased baking dish (batter should be no more that 1 inch thick) and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until pone is golden brown in color. Remove from oven and let cool. Once pone cools, cut into 9 squares. Enjoy with some mauby, sorrel or ginger beer.
*Recipe a modified version of the Cassava pone recipe found in Caribbean Cuisine by Dr. Betty “K.”
Tips and Ramblings:
1. If you don’t have a food processor feel free to grate your cassava. Just don’t cut it into cubes first.
2. I rarely get fresh coconuts where I live so I have to improvise.
3. Originally I thought the pan was too big for the pone I was making but the pone was about 1/2 inch in thickness and had the right about of crunch to it. Next time I will try putting it into a loaf pan.
4. These were devoured the minute I was done taking the pictures and they were so delicious.
If you try a recipe, leave and message and let me know how it came out. Also let me know if you added or took away anything, maybe I can try it your way! Follow me on instagram @metemgeeblog or check out my youtube metemgeeblog.
And as always,