By Margarita Persico
This recipe is very simple, just four ingredients are needed—the other two are optional. My mother made often tembleque de coco, coconut pudding. She loved sweets and had a repertoire of tropical desserts. They were all natural, made with fruits or grains and some with spices. My cousin Carmen Ana Sierra gave me this recipe. I have modified it a little from her original version, which was a hand-downed recipe she has been using for a long time. My cousin lives on a mountaintop home in Puerto Rico with lots of acreage and plenty of room outdoors to grow her fruits, vegetables and palms. She uses a machete to crack coconuts. I don’t. It is difficult for me to crack a coconut in my apartment. The original recipe calls for fresh coconut. My mother used a hammer in her home in New York to open a coconut. Sometimes I go for canned coconut milk instead. I have a preference for natural canned coconut milk with no preservatives: just coconut and water. Some canning companies add to their coconut milk a binder or thickener such as guar gum, a seed powdered (a polysaccharides). Below is the recipe.
Tembleque de coco (Coconut Pudding)
How to make Coconut Pudding (Tembleque de coco)
• 1 or 2 dry coconuts (to make 4 cups coconut milk)
or instead use three (3) cans of natural coconut milk
• 1/2 cup sugar (more or less according to taste)
• ¼ teaspoon sea salt (or less)
• ½ cup cornstarch
• 1 teaspoon food grade Orange Blossom Water (Agua Azahar) optional
• cinnamon (to taste) optional
• Fork, spoon or Wisk
- If using fresh coconut, grate the coconut.
- In a blender grind with water.
- Use a collander to strain. This will separate pulp from milk
- Continue this process (repeating steps 2 + 3) until you have 4 cups of coconut milk (or instead of fresh coconut, use three cans of natural coconut milk)
After having all the ingredients, put them all in a pot, except for the cinnamon. Cookover high heat first, and after 2 minutes, reduce heat. But always stirring constantly with a large spoon or a “wisk”.
- Moving the whole time until it has a creamy consistency like a porridge. Reduce heat and cook some more, and continuously, stirring so it will not get lumpy.
- Pour into a custard dish or individual cups sprinkle cinnamon.
- Let cool and refrigerate.
Orange Blossom Water — Agua Azahar is an Arabic word meaning “white flower”. زهر البرتقال
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