I came up with this recipe in 2008 or 2009 when I made coconut cream puffs (which is to-die-for too). If you love latiya and you love coconut, you'll totally love fresh coconut and coconut milk in this dessert.
Baked pound cake – a 9 inch loaf
2 – 13.5 oz. cans of coconut milk
½ stick butter
¾ c. sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 c. + 1 T. cornstarch
1/3 c. water
1 1/2 c. freshly grated coconut
Cinnamon for dusting
Tools: large pot, whisk, medium bowl, small bowl, 9 x 13 baking dish or container w/ 2-inch lip
1. Slice pound cake into ½ inch thickness. (I prefer to bake the boxed, Betty Crocker pound cake. You may also use Sara Lee’s frozen pound cake in the freezer section.)
2. Line the entire bottom of your 9 x 13 dish with cake. You will have to cut the pound cake slices into smaller pieces to fit around the corners or between the larger slices.
3. Pour the coconut milk into the pot over medium high heat. Add the butter and sugar. Stir occasionally and bring to a gentle boil. Lower heat slightly if necessary.
4. While waiting for the milk to heat up, beat the eggs and vanilla in the medium bowl. Set aside. Mix the cornstarch and water in the small bowl. Set aside.
5. When the milk comes to a boil, pour the egg mixture a little bit at a time into the milk, whisking quickly. Ignore the shreds of eggs as it will not be apparent in the final dessert. You may also temper the eggs, but it does change the texture of the custard. I have tried both ways and prefer the untempered version.
6. Stir constantly. Let the egg and milk mixture come to a gentle boil. Stir the cornstarch and water then pour into the gently boiling custard.
7. Add the coconut and BE CAREFUL as the custard will splatter. Stir vigorously and cook for two minutes.
8. Pour custard over cake and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cool uncovered at room temperature for 30 minutes, then continue cooling it uncovered in the fridge.
9. This coconut latiya is exceptional after two days!