Chef Alicia’s Christmas Treats


Chef Alicia’s Christmas treats are boat tarts. She learned to cook these mouth-watering treats from a family friend and neighbor in Passaic, New Jersey – the late Ima Alfonso who’s originally from Pampanga, Philippines.

Pampanga after all is widely considered to be the Culinary Capital of the Philippines. Ima’s two daughters who are also Chef Alicia’s friends still live in New Jersey and they too, cook boat tarts.

Boat tarts are Chef Alicia’s most awaited treats because she only prepares them during Christmas season. She used to sell them to friends when her family lived in New Jersey.

The fillings are usually made of cheese, condensed milk, eggs, and nuts. Chef Alicia uses almonds, cashew nuts and walnuts; she personally prefers the latter. Some people even use purple yam and macapuno or young coconut slivers. She tries macapuno sometimes. Chef Pedro likes them.

She only bakes her boat tarts on this special season because it is time-consuming. Very few Filipino-Americans make them because of the scarcity of boat-shaped tin molds in the U.S. Goldilocks, a prominent Filipino bake shop with branches in Canada and the US, sells them here in the US for $12.31/doz.


Boat tarts require one to bake the dough separately from the fillings. Chef Alicia makes sure she lines tin with the right amount of dough. She learned that if the dough is too thick, the boat tart become less delicious. If it is too thin, then it easily breaks, unable to support the fillings.

The Christmas season has began. Christmas is just around the corner. We’ll soon find out if Chef Alicia will make at least one of her family and friends’ dreams come true.

Should you need a recipe for Chef Alicia’s boat tarts, please check back on our website in the near future as we shall be adding the recipe for every dish we feature.

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