My husband is lactose intolerant yet wants to enjoy the fruits of the season presented in a cold and creamy context. With some apprehension, we tried coconut cream and discovered a new family favorite. Basically, you refrigerate two or three cans of coconut cream (Thai Kitchen or Trader Joe’s are the ones we like best)over night.
There are all sorts of ways to prepare the fruit for the dessert. Sometimes, I saute some some peeled and diced apples with cinnamon and a bit of sugar until softened. Strawberries, fresh or cooked down with some sugar and orange juice works wells, too. Blueberries, pineapples … The nice thing about coconut cream is that it won’t curdle like milk so fruits with acidity won’t change the texture. In a hurry, use a favorite fruit preserve or jam.
For the recipe pictured, I pureed fresh strawberries with some coconut palm sugar (lower glycemic reaction) and a touch of nutmeg and some finely grated orange zest.
For preparing the coconut cream, drain the clean liquid from the can and place the thick, white coconut cream in a mixing bowl. Add a teaspoon or two of coconut palm sugar or go whole hog and use granulated sugar to taste along with a bit of nutmeg, teaspoon of vanilla extract, and dash of nutmeg. Whip up to smooth and fluff it up. Now, you can either alternate layers of fruit and coconut cream or fold in pureed strawberries into the coconut cream, top with a nicely-slice strawberry, refrigerate a couple of hours and serve.
This is very much a ‘to taste’ sort of recipe. We don’t use granulated sugar so enjoy a less sweet result. No problem, however, using regular sugar.
I made a dozen of these desserts for Thanksgiving and found the best and most fun way to store them in the refrigerator was to put the dessert in 8-ounce Mason jars complete with the lid.