The Happy Home Cook: Buko Fruit Salad

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 Buko Fruit Salad  (Source: Kulinarya: A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine, Expanded Second Edition (Anvil Publishing Inc., 2013))

Buko Fruit Salad  (Source: Kulinarya: A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine, Expanded Second Edition (Anvil Publishing Inc., 2013))

There are many Filipino words relating to coconut, each describing a particular variety or stage of development. Buko is the generic term, and refers to the nut when it is young but ready to eat. The young coconut needed for the salad should be thick but still tender, or malakanin (six- to seven-month green coconut).

Canned fruit cocktail or canned peaches invariably feature in fruit salad recipes. In the 1950s, having imported canned goods was a status symbol of sorts, so having fruit salad was always a special event.

Serves 6

Ingredients

1/2 cup (125 g) cheddar cheese

1 can (850 g) fruit cocktail

1/2 cup (125 ml) all-purpose cream

2 eggs

Meat from 1 young coconut (buko)

1/2 cup (120 ml) fresh milk

1 tablespoon (12 g) white sugar

1 cup (250 g) raisins

Preparation

Two hours before serving:

1. Grate the cheddar cheese.

2. Drain the can of fruit cocktail.

3. Whip the all-purpose cream.

4. Separate the eggs, and discard the whites.

5. With a fruit scraper, scrape the meat from the young coconut into long thin strips.

Cooking

1. In a preheated double boiler, place the egg yolks, fresh milk, and sugar and mix thoroughly. Whisk continuously for 10 minutes, or until a creamy custard is formed. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.

2. In a large mixing bowl, put all the drained fruit cocktail, raisins, coconut strips, and whipped cream. Add the custard and mix well. Add the cheddar cheese.

3. Transfer the fruit salad to a covered container and chill for 2 hours before serving.

Tips

Chilling cheese in the freezer for 30 minutes will make it easier to grate.

Traditionally, only thick, whipped all-purpose cream is used. This may be enriched with a custard, as in this recipe.

Set aside some sliced peaches and cherries to decorate the salad for serving. 

From Kulinarya: A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine, Expanded Second Edition

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