Recipe: Breadfruit Pie with Tuna

A couple of weeks ago, I got talking to Mrs. Jones (Wanda’s lovely 87 year old grandma). Mrs. Jones has lived in Brooklyn, NY for many years and only returned to Barbados about 10 years ago. She has such a spark about her and has decided that as long as she can do something, she will. She’s not ready to give up and die.

Anyway, I mentioned that I had another breadfruit and so I asked her how she would prepare it. “Breadfruit pie!” she said instantly. “You boil the breadfruit, mash it, and layer it in your baking dish with salt fish, onions and sweet peppers.” Of course, I didn’t have any salt fish at the time, so I decided to change it a bit and use canned tuna instead. This is my homage to Mrs. Jones’ Breadfruit Pie.

Mrs. Jones’ Bajan Breadfruit Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium breadfruit, cored and cut in small chunks
  • milk
  • butter
  • cheese, grated
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 or 2 sweet peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 can tuna (I used the kind in water, but flavoured with vegetable broth)
  • tomato ketchup
  • prepared mustard
  • water
  • oil

Directions

  1. Peel, core and dice your breadfruit. Put it into a pot of salted water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes, or until tender and mashes easily with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, finely chop your onion, sweet peppers, garlic. In a saute pan, heat some oil. When hot, cook your onion, peppers, and garlic until slightly soft.
  3. When your veggies are soft, add in the can of tuna (drained), a couple good squirts of ketchup and mustard. Add enough water to make a sauce like consistency and allow to simmer so the flavours come together. At this point, you can add some salt and pepper, a bit of hot sauce, or some complete seasoning (all to your taste and all optional).
  4. Once your breadfruit is cooked, drain it, and put it into a bowl. Add some milk and butter and get mashing. You want your breadfruit to be nice a smooth.
  5. To assemble: spread a layer of breadfruit in the bottom of your lightly greased baking dish. Sprinkle a bit of grated cheese on the breadfruit. Pour your tuna sauce over the cheese and then add a bit more cheese. Spread the rest of the breadfruit over the tuna and sprinkle the whole thing with a final topping of cheese.
  6. Bake in a 350 F oven for about 30 minutes, or until everything is bubbling and the cheese is golden brown.
Breadfruit Pie with a tuna layer in the middle

Breadfruit Pie with a tuna layer in the middle

I went back and told Mrs. Jones how my breadfruit had turned out. She was so excited she hugged me! I have since made this recipe for Shawn. And he declared it the best breadfruit he’s ever eaten! He even had seconds!

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