As much as I love a big bowl of creamy mac and cheese, it will never replace my love for Caribbean macaroni pie.
Every Caribbean household seems to have their own macaroni pie recipe. This cheesy baked dish is a comfort food staple in the West Indies, and it’s fairly easy to make. This recipe is a variation of the sweet macaroni pie recipe that my mom makes. It pairs really well with stewed or barbecued chicken, although I prefer stewed chicken because it has sauce.
Sweet macaroni pies aren’t for everyone though, especially if you’re used to eating savoury cheese pasta dishes. To make this into a more savoury pie, omit the sugar and try adding a bit of mustard and grated onion to the mix.
There are many ways you can make this dish your own. You can try using a different type of cheese, top it with fresh herbs and breadcrumbs or play around with the seasonings. My aunt makes a delicious sweet macaroni pie with powdered ginger in it! Once you make the dish a few times, you’ll figure out what flavours you enjoy best.
I like the combination of regular yellow cheddar, white pepper and brown sugar, because those are the flavours that I grew up with. This is the mac and cheese of my childhood, and I’m not about to mess around with it 🙂
- 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1½ tsp salt (for cooking water)
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups evaporated milk (you'll need two cans if using Carnation milk)
- 3½ cups grated cheddar or marble cheese (reserve ½ cup for topping)
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- 2 tbsp granulated or brown sugar
- a pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Boil macaroni in salted water approximately 8 minutes, until almost cooked through.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs until fluffy.
- Add milk, pepper, sugar and salt and stir until combined.
- Stir in 3 cups of cheese, and the cooked macaroni.
- Pour into a greased, 9x11 baking dish and top with reserved ½ cup of cheese.
- Bake until firm, 30-40 minutes.
- Allow pie to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving, so it can set.
- Cold cheese is easier to grate
- Aged cheddar will taste more "cheesy" than a mild cheddar
- If the cheese on top begins to brown too quickly, cover it with tin foil for the remaining baking time