The Adaptation of a Recipe
09 May 2006 | The Boat
Upper 80's Sunny
In thinking of ways to remember and honor Mary during this month of May, we knew we'd like to do something with food. For the Assumption we'd made cream cheese Lily cookies and might again this month if we have access to an oven. But with no oven available at this time and the muggy heat that has descended on the Keys this month, a cool refreshing dessert was in order. First thoughts ran toward Key Lime Pie, our favorite is light and frozen, not cloying and heavy. But we wanted to make, not buy, our special dessert. A second favorite local dessert is a towering Coconut Cake. The homemade cake part is out, but coconut is white, a symbol of purity and used in Crème Pies, which bear resemblance to fluffy clouds, a classical reminder of heaven. A visit to the store was in order now that we had our inspiration.
Standing in the pudding section I was hoping to find an instant coconut pudding but the only coconut flavored pudding was a stovetop version that I knew I would lumpify. So I picked up a box of cheesecake flavored instant pudding and cute little graham cracker tart shells.
Back at the boat I felt that we'd need more flavor to follow through with the coconut inspiration behind this dessert and briefly considered sending Marianna out for a fresh coconut and either mixing the water in the pudding or grating it over the top of the finished tarts. Anyone who has ever dealt with fresh coconuts from a tree knows this is not a decision to be made lightly as big heavy tools and an audience will be acquired.
Instead, I reached for our bottle of Pina Colada Mix and added ¾ cup Mix and 1 cup of milk to the box of pudding. I set Marianna to swirling it together and began setting out the tart shells and some leftover sliced almonds for decorations. Marianna called me back as she said it looked funny and boy, did it! Lumps everywhere! A new discovery, forks do not always work as well as a whisk. So, if there is no whisk available, pull out the blender! If it can make coladas out of ice, pineapple or mango and mix, it can surely take out pudding lumps, right? Not only did it take out the lumps, but it aerated the pudding much more than a simple fork, nearly doubling the volume. After pouring the pudding into the tart shells and adding a few almonds, we chilled them in the fridge.
Later that evening we pulled out our new favorite dessert, cool and creamy and refreshing. Deliciously delicate, piled cloud-like around a brilliant blue daisy, a towering triumph, reminding us of Mary's quiet accomplishments.