Fresh coconut is always a treat, but you can use frozen or packaged unsweetened coconut instead.  This very simple recipe came about when my husband bought a coconut so that he could drink the coconut water.  I didn’t want to waste the tasty coconut meat so I used what I had in the house to make this custard.  I like to garnish mine with whipped cream, lemon verbena and berries, but you can use whatever appeals to you. 

1 cup fresh coconut (or frozen or unsweetened packaged coconut)
1 Tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) melted butter, plus more for the baking dish
3 eggs
2 Tablespoons plain flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

For the topping:
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Berries, mint, lemon verbena, etc., for garnish, if desired. 

You will also need:
Cutting board
Food processor or mixer
Measuring cups and spoons
Round 8″ baking dish (or individual ramekins)
Immersible blender or mixer (for whipped topping)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. 

If using fresh coconut, crack open the shell and use a dull knife to run under the edges of the coconut meat to extract it from the shell. 

Place the fresh coconut into the bowl of a food processor and blend it until it is finely chopped.   (If using frozen or packaged coconut, just add it to the food processor or to a mixing bowl, if using a mixer instead.)

Run a zester along the skin of a Meyer lemon to yield a Tablespoon of zest. 

Add that to the food processor, along with the sugar, butter, eggs, flour and vanilla.  Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. 

Meanwhile, butter an 8″ baking dish (or individual ramekins). 

Pour the custard into the baking dish.  

Bake for 45-50 minutes until the middle is set and the edges are lightly browned. 

Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before slicing. 

Make the topping by whipping together the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. 

To serve, cut the custard into 6 pieces.  Top each piece with whipped cream and garnish as desired.  Serves 6.

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