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How to Crack a Coconut

by Jennifer Armentrout

fromFine Cooking
Issue 98

If you can't find the unsweetened shredded coconut called for in the Coconut Brigadeiros recipe, consider starting with a fresh coconut from the produce section. It does take more effort to crack and grate a coconut yourself, but you will be rewarded with great flavor. To get cracking, follow the steps below.

How to Crack a Coconut How to Crack a Coconut How to Crack a Coconut How to Crack a Coconut
With a Phillips screwdriver, probe the eyes until you find the one that yields easily. Push the screwdriver into this eye until you reach the liquid. Then pull it out and shake the coconut juice into a cup. You can drink the juice or discard it. Wrap the coconut in a kitchen towel, set it on a sturdy surface, and bash it with a hammer until it cracks into several pieces. With a regular screwdriver or an oyster knife, pry the coconut meat from the shells. If any pieces resist, bake them at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes; they should then separate easily. With a vegetable peeler, remove the brown skin from each piece of coconut. Now you’re ready to grate the coconut. Use a box grater if you’re up for a little arm workout, or a food processor if not.

Photos: Scott Phillips

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