Tembleque (Puerto-Rican Style Coconut Custard)

It took a lot of coaxing for me to get my mother-in-law to teach me how to make her coconut custard. I love it because not only does is use one of my favorite ingredients—coconut—but it is also gluten and casein free. I didn’t even have to modify the recipe. Well, except for the fact that we now use canned coconut milk instead of hunting down a coconut and cooking it down to make our own milk. Rebeca got this recipe from a cookbook she received as a wedding present almost 50 years ago. It’s not available in English, so I needed a bit of help with the translation.

1 can coconut milk, 13.5 oz. (do not use the ‘light’ variety)
Water, one can (use the empty can of coconut milk to measure it out)
½ cup cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar
½ tsp salt
1” piece of ginger, peeled and cut in half
1 cinnamon stick
Cinnamon, to garnish

Set aside a serving bowl or dish about 6” in diameter by 3” deep (you will need this to pour the custard into immediately after it is finished cooking). In a large saucepan combine the cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Add the coconut milk, water, ginger, and cinnamon stick. Whisk and heat mixture over medium heat until it begins to bubble, about 7-8 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 2-3 minutes. The mixture will start to appear thick. Remove from heat and remove the ginger and cinnamon stick. Immediately pour custard into your serving dish and refrigerate until cold. Dust with ground cinnamon before serving.

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