Coconut Pudding

Coconut pudding. Photo by Keri White

I adore coconut and am forever looking for ways to use it in recipes both sweet and savory.

This recipe was a bit of a revelation — it came together in about 10 minutes, has a velvety texture, a delicious sweetness and plenty of decadence without a lot of effort. It is different from coconut custard, which is fairly common — that oh-so-rich baked egg custard laced with coconut that can stand on its own and fill a pie.

This pudding beats custard, especially these days, because there’s no oven to heat up the kitchen and the immediate gratification of this recipe is quite appealing. Serve this pudding in a parfait glass or a pretty china teacup for a fancy dessert or a cereal bowl or mug for a casual presentation.

This version uses both dairy milk and coconut milk and melts a hunk of butter in at the end for some added richness, but you can easily make this pareve by using all coconut milk or another nondairy milk. You can also sub coconut oil for the butter at the finish or simply skip that step.

For a vegan version, just omit the egg — the result will be a bit less rich, but delicious nonetheless. The toasted coconut gives the pudding a lovely texture and crunch, but that, too, can be omitted if you prefer.

Coconut Pudding

Serves 2-4, depending on gluttony

1 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoons corn starch
⅔ cup sugar
Pinch salt
1 egg
½ teaspoon coconut extract or vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil

For topping: ½ cup sweetened shredded coconut

In a medium saucepan, whisk the cornstarch, salt and sugar.

In a small bowl, beat the egg and add both milks; whisk until blended. Heat a saucepan over medium and whisk the liquid into the sugar mixture. Continue cooking over medium to medium low, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 6 minutes. The mixture will begin to bubble near end of cooking; continue stirring and let it bubble for about another minute; this will achieve desired thickness.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the extract and butter or coconut oil. Stir to incorporate. Set aside.

Toast the coconut: In a small skillet, place the coconut in a single layer and toast over medium heat, watching carefully and shaking the skillet for about 5 minutes until the coconut is golden brown.

The pudding can be served warm, at room temperature or chilled. Top with toasted coconut and enjoy!


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