Making cassava pie is a Bermudian Christmas tradition. For the uninitiated, it’s a cholesterol-laden savoury-sweet dish made from grated cassava root with a cake-like texture and chicken or pork in the middle, and served as a sidedish with Christmas dinner.
Bermudians take their cassava pies as seriously as kite flying, fishcakes and black rum, and every family and restaurant has its own recipe. There’s even a Bermuda Cassava Pie Club on Facebook.
I’ve been refining my version down the years from a variety of sources and after I posted a photo of this year’s effort on Facebook, several people asked for my recipe, so here it is.
I like my cassava moist and less “cakey” with chicken, not pork, so feel free to tweak to your taste! This recipe will easily feed 12 people.
Cedar House Cassava Pie
- 6lbs grated Bermuda cassava
- ½ lb unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 8 large eggs
- ½ lb light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp each vanilla, cinnamon
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2.5 lbs skinned, cooked chicken thighs (cut into small chunks, not shredded)
- 2 pinches of thyme
- ½ cup milk or soy milk
- Boil chicken pieces until just cooked in lightly salted water with thyme. Strain liquid and retain for stock. Cut chicken into small chunks.
- Heat oven to 325°.
- Drain cassava, squeeze out extra liquid by wrapping in cheesecloth or tea towel. Cassava should crumble in your fingers but still be moist.
- Cream sugar and butter together.
- Place cassava in large bowl and add sugar/butter mixture, eggs, milk, salt and spices. Mix thoroughly with wooden spoon to make dough.
- Place about a third of dough on bottom of well-greased deep 9×13 foil pan (use Crisco or Pam Baking spray).
- Spread chicken pieces evenly over dough (leave about a thumb-sized gap around edges). Pour one cup of stock over chicken. Cover with remaining dough.
- Brush with some melted butter and throw in the oven for 3 hours. Best eaten warm from the oven but can be made a few days in advance, cut up and frozen until needed. [Lightly fry leftovers with some back bacon for Boxing Day breakfast. Make appointment to get cholesterol checked.]
Fat: off the chart
Calories: don’t ask!