There are several methods for making coconut milk, but I opt for the method calling for cow’s milk, because I use it most often in custards, and homemade coconut milk made with water tends to be a bit too thin for that purpose. The following results in a thick, reliable coconut milk that will behave much like whole cow’s milk.
Drain the coconut water, strain it through muslin or several thicknesses of cheesecloth, and reserve.
Crack open the coconut and grate all interior white flesh with a hand grater, with an Indian rotary grater, or in a food processor (follow the manufacturer’s instructions).
Add milk to the coconut water to make a pint of liquid. Bring this liquid to a boil and pour it over the grated coconut. Set aside to cool.
Strain the liquid from the coconut by twisting it tightly in a piece of muslin, squeezing all the liquid from the meat. Save the meat to use in recipes calling for shredded coconut.
Store the milk in the refrigerator and use within a week. The cream that rises to the surface can be scooped off and used to make coconut butter.
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