coconut pudding with berry & brown butter coconut topping
i like a challenge in the kitchen. i also think it’s very important to respect special diets as much as possible. so, with many of my friends eating gluten and/or dairy free, i like thinking of new ways to feed them!
this recipe emerged from previous success based on the kitchn’s diy pudding recipe, plus a gluten free friend coming over for tea, plus a can each of coconut cream and milk hanging out in my pantry. this was beyond delicious and i can’t wait to make it again. it’s classy enough to entertain with and simple enough to eat the leftovers for breakfast. it is delicious served hot, warm, or cold. the pudding also stores well as long as you press plastic wrap onto the surface so it doesn’t develop a skin.
coconut pudding with blueberry sauce and brown butter toasted coconut
(about 6 cups)
1 can coconut milk
1 can coconut cream (or, all coconut milk to make it lighter)
a bit more milk (coconut or dairy)
3/4 cup sugar
3/8 cup cornstarch (that’s 1/4 cup plus another half of the fourth)
2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
blueberries (or whatever is in season and/or on sale)
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 stick of butter
coconut pudding (rich. creamy. sweet.)
1. mix together the coconut cream, milk, and a bit more milk to create 6 cups of liquid.
2. pour into a saucepan and mix in the sugar over low/medium heat. i actually used vanilla sugar (easy! cut open a vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds into a pot of sugar. store it this way for vanilla-scented sweetness).
3. whisk the sweet coconut milk mixture over the heat until it’s quite warm and seems to all come together, but not so long that it is starting to simmer.
4. put the cornstarch into a separate bowl. pull out a cup and a half of the hot milk and slowly whisk it into the cornstarch. mix as thoroughly as possible so there are no lumps. pour the thickened milk back into the pot through a sieve so you reduce the possibility of cornstarch lumps. if you want the pudding very thick, feel free to repeat this process with any cornstarch that gets caught in the sieve. (in retrospect, i think i could’ve mixed this into cold milk and poured that into the final mixture).
5. cook the mixture again until it gets thick (stick a spoon in it – if it coats the spoon, it’s ready!).
6. turn the heat to low, cover the pot (crack the lid a bit), and let it sit there for 10 minutes. it will develop a bit of a skin, but whisk in the vanilla and it’ll look fresh again!
blueberry topping (this is ridiculously easy)
1. wash the blueberries. drain, but don’t pat dry.
2. heat a small saucepan to high. pour in the blueberries and stir, then turn the heat to low and simmer until the berries release juices, about 5 min. you can squish it around but i like the berries to be more whole.
3. stir in a couple pinches of cinnamon. this really doesn’t need sugar since the pudding is very sweet.
brown butter coconut (try not to eat all this with a spoon before you serve the pudding)
1. i use a stainless steel pan to brown butter, since you can’t see the color of the butter in a black teflon-coated pan. in this, use more butter than you think you’ll need because the coconut absorbs the butter. [if you’re doing dairy free, use olive or coconut oil and i think it’ll still be delicious!]
2. slice the butter into pats. turn the pan on low heat (or higher if you promise to be vigilant). watch it, stirring gently, until it turns pale blond and starts to smell nutty. you don’t want it to get as dark as you usually would for a brown butter sauce because it will keep cooking when you….
3. pour in the coconut and stir to combine. toast the coconut, still over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent it from burning and to let it toast evenly.
4. once the coconut is as dark as you want it to be, spread onto some parchment paper and let it cool (this helps the coconut dry out and separate again so it won’t stay in a lump).