This is a wonderful "last minute dessert" that uses every day pantry items and holds up very well in the fridge for a couple of days, if need be. The wonderfully sweet, rich (but mellow) coconut flavor comes from adding the coconut during the first stages of cooking this pudding.  Even Picky-picky hubby loves this dessert !!

4 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk ( 2% is ok)
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2 egg YOLKS (just the yolks)
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a heavy saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch, salt , coconut and milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture gets THICK and bubbly. Turn heat down a little (to medium simmer) and cook (and stir) for 2 minutes. In the meantime, put the 2 egg yolks (yolks only) in a small bowl and set aside.

Remove pan from heat  (but leave the burner on) and temper the egg yolks.  To do this, slowly dribble about a cup of the hot mixture (while you whisk like crazy) into 2 beaten egg yolks.  Once you've whisked in about a cup of the hot mixture, put it all back into the saucepan, stir well and put back on the heat and cook for one more minute.

Remove from heat, add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and stir well.

Pour into dessert dishes (or serve family style in a larger dessert bowl). Chill for a couple of hours, (I like to eat it warm).  Either way, top it with sweetened whipped cream and toasted coconut.

NOTE: Toast the coconut in a dry saute pan, over medium heat until it is golden brown (when it cools it will  be a little crunchy and almost taste like coconut candy). Watch it very carefully, the coconut burns easily!!

NOTE:  This recipe doubles well.

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