Sunday, September 27, 2015

Baked Coconut Custard with Passion Fruit Topping

My friend Jeanne gave me a big bag of ripe Passion Fruit from her yard in San Diego to take back to Seattle in my suitcase, which smelled quite wonderful afterwards. I love Passion Fruit - it is called Lilikoi in Hawaii and Maracuja in Brazil. These are very healthy little fruits and contain lots of fiber and Vitamins A and C and lots of Minerals too. In Europe, it is considered a good medicine for nervous unrest and is used to calm the nervous system, which I frequently need. However, I think it is a delicious fruit that has such a unique tropical flavor.

So, I promptly cut them all in half, scooped our the wonderful flesh and added a bit of sugar to preserve it in the refrigerator. Some people strain out the seeds but I love their little crunch. At first, I couldn't think of what to make with them and finally decided to make Coconut Custards and spoon the delicious Passion Fruit on top. I've never actually made Coconut Custards before, but I know that there is a ratio of 1/2 cup of milk to 1 egg for a regular baked Custard, so I figured Coconut Pudding wouldn't be much different. I used an entire can of Coconut Milk from Trader Joe's, which is 14 oz and quite thick. I then whisked in some sugar and a pinch of salt and Vanilla and added some eggs and baked it the traditional way - in a water bath.  When done and cooled, I spooned the Passion Fruit on top and I was in dessert heaven!  You could use fresh Strawberries, lightly sweetened with sugar, or Peaches, or Raspberries if you like. Any way you serve it, it's a delightful non-dairy alternative Baked Pudding and the Passion Fruit was so delicious that this dessert was a joy to eat! 

Baked Coconut Custard with Passion Fruit Topping

1 can Coconut Milk - 14 oz.
1/2 cup Sugar or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
4 eggs

Heat oven to 325 degrees and boil a tea kettle full of water.  Have ready a large 11 x 17 glass baking pan and 6 ramekins set inside the baking pan.

In a bowl, combine the Coconut Milk and Sugar and whisk lightly. Taste and add more sugar if desired.  Add in the 4 eggs and mix until combined.  Pour equal amounts of the Custard Mixture into the 6 ramekins. Carefully pour the boiling water around the ramekins to a height of 1 inch.  Then careful place the baking pan into the oven. Bake for 60 minutes.  Take out of the water and let cool, then cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve. The custards can also be served warm. Top with Passion Fruit or another Fruit Topping to serve.

Passion Fruit Topping

1 cup Passion Fruit Pulp (preferably fresh, but could also use frozen)
2 Tablespoons Sugar

Five Element Analysis

As a dessert, this is clearly an Earthy food and the Coconut Milk makes it even Earthier. The Eggs bring in the Water Element and the Passion Fruit combines both the Wood Element as it is a tart fruit and also the Fire Element for it's beautiful red color outside and the fiery orange red pulp inside. The Vanilla Extract contributes the Metal Element so this then becomes a balanced little dessert, which is hard to achieve!

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