In Puerto Rico, fresh coconut adds magic to sensual holiday treats.
The holidays are fast approaching and there is one thing on everyone’s mind – tasty holiday treats. Puerto Rico has a lot of special traditions over the holidays, including an extended holiday season, which makes it the perfect travel destination during this time of year. However, you can also bring a little bit of the Puerto Rican spirit into your home with these traditional holiday recipes.
Coquito— The Puerto Rican eggnog: A Puerto Rican beverage made with coconut, cinnamon and rum. Traditionally, it’s prepared by locals who sell it themselves, but can sometimes be found in local grocery stores.
Tembleque— A coconut dessert pudding made with coconut milk, milk, salt, cornstarch, cinnamon, and sugar.
Coquito – The Puerto Rican eggnog
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (14 ounce) can cream of coconut
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup white rum
½ cup water
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In the top of a double boiler, combine egg yolks and evaporated milk. Stirring constantly, cook over lightly simmering water until mixture reaches a temperature of 160 degrees F (71 degrees C). The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Transfer mixture to a blender, and add cream of coconut, sweetened condensed milk, rum, water, cloves, cinnamon, and vanilla. Blend for about 30 seconds. Pour into glass bottles and chill overnight.
2 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup cornstarch
1 pinch ground cinnamon
Stir coconut milk, sugar, and salt together in a saucepan. Spoon a few tablespoons of the coconut milk mixture into a small bowl and stir cornstarch into the mixture to dissolve; pour into the mixture in the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring constantly; cook until smooth and thick, about 5 minutes.
Pour the coconut milk mixture into molds, cover each with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold and firm, 3 hours to 2 days.
Run a thin knife around the edges of the mold and invert onto a plate to remove putting. Garnish tops with cinnamon.
Adam Waxman is an award winning travel journalist focusing on food, wine and well being. As well as an actor in film, television and formerly, the Stratford Festival, he is the Publisher of DINE and Destinations magazine.