Coconut is one of my favorite foods. In India we drink the water from the young/tender coconuts. We are also quite used to drinking them at their temperature. I was with a couple of friends from London recently who remarked that this would be so much better if it was chilled. The thought had never even crossed my mind. Mind you, I normally like room temperature water so its not like that spark would ever had made it in my mind.
I was in Jamaica and we had just finished breakfast and were sitting down watching the ocean and the guard comes up to us and asks us if we would like to have a coconut. We all said yes really quickly. Well he proceeded to get a ladder that he then put up against the coconut tree. The ladder reached less than half way up the tree. He then removed his boots and climbed up this 12 step bamboo ladder. His implement to get at these coconuts was a really long pole with a blade attached at the end. He used this to attempt to saw the coconuts from the tree. We were a on pins and needles that something bad was going to happen. Luckily one of the kitchen lads came out and made him get down. The lad then shimmied (for lack of a better term) up the tree and proceeded to hack at the coconuts. These were some huge coconuts and we had fun drinking the juice and then eating the tender coconut flesh. The guard then challenged us to fling the coconuts as far as we could and bet that he could do better than any of us. Unfortunately for the guard, he did not know Brandon who did an amazing throw. (And no we did not bet with him).
This was one of my favorite sweets to eat at Christmas time. People would make them in all colors. We did make an amazing amount of sweets at Christmas and would take a plate of different sweets to everyone we went to visit. It was really a thrill to get sweets from people you knew were good sweet makers. Hope you enjoy this one and get a chance to eat a tender/young coconut at some point!
- 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
- 14oz (396gm) sweetened condensed milk
- 3.5 cups desiccated coconut
- food coloring (optional)
Butter and line an 8 inch square pan. I cut two rectangular strips that lay over each other and extend over the sides. This makes it easier to lift the coconut ice out of the pan.
Combine sugar and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl. Then add the condensed milk and desiccated coconut and stir till combined. Use a sturdy spoon as the mixture does become thick. There is also no issue with over stirring. Once you have everything mixed well you can do two things just leave the color as is or divide the mixture into two equal parts, coloring one part.
If you have not colored the mixture just put it in your pan and level with the back of a spoon. If you did color half the mixture, put the first part into the pan, level it, then add the next portion making sure to level again.
Refrigerate until set about 2 hours. Remove from the refrigerator. Use a serrated (bread) knife to cut into squares. Wipe the knife clean between cuts to get neat cuts and prevent the knife from sticking.