I am convinced that coconut is the cure for all evils. I am fanatical about them. It is my main topic of conversation with my friends and family. Coconut has something called caprylic acid which has healing properties. Because of this I drink gallons of coconut water, coconut smoothies and coconut milk, I spread it on toast, bathe in coconut oil, smear it all over my hair, eat it raw on a teaspoon and make copious coconut based curries.If someone has a rash – I tell them to put coconut on it. If they are depressed, I tell them to have a coconut smoothie. If they are feeling bloated, I say to try some raw coconut. I’ve become like the dad out of “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” that puts Windolene on everything.
I grew up hearing stories of my mum eating green coconuts in Montego Bay and scooping out the jelly from the inside before drinking the water inside. When in Jamaica a few years ago, I got to experience this first hand – but did not like it one bit. It tasted like warm jellyfish. White coconut flesh I’m quite happy with, but green ones are quite revolting.
The reason for the coconut post is twofold.
2. I re-watched Practical Magic which features the totally bonkers “Put the lime in the coconut” song by Harry Nilson. In the movie, Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman play two witches who are cursed to be unlucky in love. This is such a lovely movie and filled with food – like cactus shaped pancakes, margaritas, tequila, syrup and thick cut brownies. The best scene is where they are dancing around their enormous country kitchen while singing “put the lime in the coconut” while mixing up midnight margaritas.
“Brother bought a coconut, he bought it for a dime. His sister had another one, she paid it for a lime. She put the lime in the coconut, she drank them both up.”
Once you’ve finished singing – here are a few recipe ideas for your limes and coconuts that may be lounging about your kitchen cupboards.
Coconut & Lime Tart Recipe
225g (8oz) plain flour
125g (4oz) butter – make sure this is straight from the fridge
125g (4oz) sugar
120ml (4flo oz) cold water
Lime zest of half a lime
A trick to making great short crust pastry it to keep everything as cool as possible. Throw in the flour and sugar, lime zest and then the cubes of butter into a bowl. Now, I like to chill my hands under the sink for a while before touching the mixture. Lightly rub the mixture between your fingers until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then drizzle in the water bit by bit – be careful not to let the pastry get too sticky. Use a knife to mix the ingredients together and not your hands. This helps to keep the mixture cool. When it has bound together put some cling film over the bowl and put into the fridge to cool for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, carefully roll out the pastry to cover a pie dish. Fill with baking beans (or dried beans) and bake in the oven (220C/425/Gas Mark 7) for about 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 180C/350F/Gas 4).
4 egg yolks
1 can of condensed milk
1 sachet of creamed coconut
1 cup of desiccated coconut
3 tablespoons of coconut rum (Malibu)
Juice of 4 limes
Whip all the ingredients together until you have a sticky cream like consistency. Pour into your pastry case and bake in the oven again for around 20-25 minutes. When its cooked leave to cool before adding a topping. You have a choice of toppings, an egg white meringue whip, thick cream and coconut or my new discovery – marshmallow whip (new in the UK).
Lime & Coconut Cupcakes
4 oz (125g) butter
4 oz (125g) sugar
8 oz (2-225g) plain flour)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 shot of Malibu (coconut rum)
1/4 cup of coconut milk
Grated zest of half a lime
1/4 cup of desiccated coconut
Cream the butter and sugar together and add in the eggs one by one. If it looks as if it is starting to curdle add in a teaspoon of the flour and continue to whisk. Add in the rest of the flour and baking powder, then fold in the Malibu, coconut milk, coconut and lime zest. Drop the mixture into your cupcake containers and bake for around 15 minutes 180C/350F/Gas 4. Then move on to making the frosting.
2 1/4 cups of powdered sugar (icing sugar)
2 capfulls of Malibu (coconut rum)
1 tsp vanilla essence
Desiccated coconut and lime peel to decorate
Beat the butter for 30 seconds before adding in the powdered sugar. It’s best to do this in a covered blender otherwise you get covered. Gradually add in the rum and vanilla essence into the frosting until it comes together. Use to decorate your cupcakes once they are cool.
Midnight Margerita Recipe
“Eye of newt and toe of frog, wool of bat and tongue of dog.
Adder’s fork and blindworm’s sting,
Barbados lime is just the thing.
Cragged salt like a sailor’s stubble!
Flip the switch and let the cauldron bubble!”
Witches and Cooking
It’s not just all cauldrons and newts, there are quite a few witches who are also great cooks Samantha (Bewitched), Granny (Spirited Away), The Owens Sisters (Practical Magic) and Kiki (Kiki’s Delivery Service).
Check out this great book…How to Cook Children: A Grisly Recipe Book by Martin Howard & Colin Stimpson. It has incredible illustrations with modern recipes to deal with the likes of Hansel & Gretel.