This is maja cooked the easy way. Not the traditional maja blanca where the corn is grated, the mixture steamed, then served with oil made from fresh coconut cream. I’m just not into those too-difficult-things-to-make that the cook feels too tired when the dish is finally ready to serve. Perhaps, if I had half a dozen househelp. But that’s not my style either. I have one and she assists me in the kitchen but I still do the cooking.
To make this dessert, you may use either fresh coconut milk, canned coconut milk or even powdered coconut milk dissolved in water. The aroma will vary. Powdered coconut milk is much much more aromatic. Fresh coconut milk does not smell as sweet. I guess it’s really a matter of preference–fresh over preserved or less over more work.
If you opt to use fresh coconut milk, you’ll have to start with freshly grated mature coconut. In the Philippines, we call it niyog. Place the niyog in a glass bowl and add a cup of lukewarm water. Use as much or as little water, depending on how rich you want your coconut milk. Some people have low tolerance for it. With your hands, squeeze the niyog tightly to get the milk. Or, you can put the niyog in a piece of cheesecloth (katsa) then wring the cheesecloth to get the milk.
If you prefer powdered coconut milk, check the package for the correct proportions. Remember that you want coconut milk, not coconut cream.
1 c. of cornstarch
1 250 ml. brick of sweetened condensed milk
1 c. of coconut milk
1 c. of water
a pinch of salt
1 425 g. can of cream-style corn
1/2 tsp. of butter, softened
How to :
Grease the bottom and sides of a 6″ x 10″ ceramic baking dish with the softened butter.
Disperse the cornstarch in the water until completely dissolved. Add the coconut milk, salt and cream-style corn. Set over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until thick and no longer cloudy. Remove from the heat and add the sweetened condensed milk. Return to the stove top and cook over low heat, stirring until the milk is fully incorporated into the cornstarch mixture. Pour into the buttered dish and leave to cool for about 30 minutes before cutting and serving.
Easy, ‘di ba?
Tip: For an even richer maja, double the amount of coconut milk and omit the water. Warning: not for those with ultra-sensitive digestive systems.