Sunday, March 26, 2006

Coconut Custard

Today was meant to be a busy cooking day. I was all set to be ambitious in attacking Lindy's Something out of Nothing challenge, and I had gotten so far, after having dropped A. off at church, as the supermarket, where I was determined to walk out with the ingredients for a main course, side dish, and dessert, all for less than ten dollars. Alas, I could not find a hamhock. Normally, the absence of hamhocks does not strike me as an insurmountable tragedy, but I was already in a poor mood because of the length and difficulty of the past week at work, and I had something of a headache, likely from the same cause, so I decided that the moment was not right for me to bring in a meal on a tight budget.

Anyway, when I got home, I still felt like cooking something, and I had been wanting to try to perfect my coconut custard, and I still had three jars of Failed Coconut Jam, so I got right to it. I was somewhat more careful this time around, and I used more coconut. It's really more like coconut bound with custard than a custard flavored with coconut, but I like it lots.

This is a somewhat difficult recipe for anyone else to replicate because it requires not only a jar of Failed Coconut Jam, but the coconut solids that are left over from making coconut milk/cream. I suspect that you could make something similar with toasted unsweetened coconut, coconut milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and rum, but I don't know for sure. Anyway, here's what I made.

Coconut Custard

1/2 pint coconut jam
2 cups dried coconut
3 eggs
1.5 cups milk
1 t. vanilla
1 T. rum

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter six custard cups.

Put the jam in the microwave on the defrost setting for about a minute to loosen it up. Dump it in a bowl, then stir in the coconut. Add the eggs and whisk until everything is well combined.

Scald the milk and beat it slowly into the coconut mixture. Add the vanilla and rum and stir well.

Fill the custard cups to about half an inch short of the top. Put them in a baking pan. Put them in the oven and carefully pour very hot water into the pan so that it reaches as high as the custard is in the cups.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until the custard is set around the edge but still slightly loose in the middle. Remove from the oven and let sit on the counter until the cups are cool enough to handle. Remove them from the water, cover, and refrigerate. Or eat warm.

I used 2% milk, but you could use whatever you had on hand if you had the other ingredients, which, of course, you don't. I scalded my milk by microwaving it for ninety seconds on high. You can use anywhere from one to two cups of coconut. I like mine with the larger amount, but if you like plain baked custard, you might like less.

I only have two more half-pint jars of the Failed Coconut Jam, so I suppose that I can only make this recipe two more times. After that, I'd have to go through the whole coconut jam process again just so I could make this custard, and I have to believe that there's an easier way. I might, though, go halfway through the process to wind up with coconut milk/cream and dried coconut and use the liquid for a curry or a soup or for an overly sweet tropical drink and then just find a way to make custard with the dried coconut and canned coconut milk. I like the dried coconut a lot, and it would be good to have a supply on hand to put into a cake.


Anonymous lindy said...

What if there is unfailed coconut jam in the offing? Then some could be kept, and some made into custard. I'm waiting for Kai to come up with the word on the jam.

But No Hamhocks! A Disgrace. A Disgrace and a Half. How is a person supposed to get by without hamhocks?

Sickening. Small wonder you have a headache.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous lindy said...

PS In Katiba update post, there is a comment with a recipe.

4:54 AM  

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