4 cups milk
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 coconut, peeled and grated (do not use packaged grated coconut)
6 egg yolks, beaten
Preheat the oven to 350. Boil the milk and sugar until it thickens. Stir in the grated coconut. Turn down the heat and simmer the mixture for thirty minutes. Remove from heat, and slowly whisk in the beaten egg yolks.
The mixture should be the consistency of pudding. Pour into an ovenproof glass or ceramic dish, and bake until the top is pale gold. Choosing and cracking a fresh coconut: Fresh coconuts should give a satisfying slosh when shaken–this means they are full of coconut water (not the same thing as coconut milk!).
At home, use an ice pick or screwdriver to poke out two of the coconut’s eyes. Strain the coconut water through a sieve and into a container. Save it in the refrigerator for another recipe. Bake the coconut in a 400 oven for ten to fifteen minutes. Wrap the baked coconut in a towel, and tap it with a hammer all over. This loosens the meat from the shell. Use a vegetable peeler to scrape off the brown skin before grating the meat.