My mom is not one of those moms that slaved over the stove when we were growing up. That was my grandma… my grandma would offer you food from the moment you stepped into her house, until the moment you left. My mom would take home bowls of food my grandma had made and served it to us after we had returned from ballet classes and done our homework.
She taught us how to cook a few survival dishes so we would not “starve to death” when we went to live by ourselves when we left for school. She did many dips and salads for parties… hey, she even once made a Friendship Cake where she had to macerate fruit for almost a month. But in general, desserts were not her thing. That’s why it surprised me when for Three Kings Day (Día de Reyes) she made Tembleque.
I asked my aunt to come to my grandma’s house to have lunch for Día de Reyes… I wanted to eat her Arroz con Maíz and Ensalada de Papas. But my mom surprised me the most when she said she had made a tembleque from scratch and even more so that my dad had found her the recipe in the Internet!!! My dad – the least online-friendly person I know!!! This will be a 2009 full of surprises if this is the way the year is starting…
Like me, my mom almost follows recipes… so even though she got a recipe off the Internet , that was not what she did…
1 can cream of coconut – Coco Lopez or any other brand, this is what you use to make Piña Coladas 1 can coconut milk Water 2 cinnamon sticks A pinch of salt ½ cup + 1/3 cup cornstarch Ground Cinnamon to taste
- Take the 2 cans of cream of coconut and coconut milk and add enough water to make 5 cups of liquid all together. Reserve 1 cup of liquid and pour the rest in a large pot to cook over medium-high heat. Add the salt and cinnamon sticks to the pot.
- Mix the cornstarch to the liquid you reserved. Mix well and add to the pot when the mixture starts to simmer. The coconut mixture will start to thicken a bit as it simmers/boils.
- Take it off the heat and pour into the container you want to serve it in. You can do it in a square pyrex dish or even individual demit asses or ramekins. Place it in the refrigerator to set. It will set just like gelatin does.
- Sprinkle the top with ground cinnamon just before serving.