News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. July 8, 2016: As discussed in a previous article, the coconut is an essential super food in Caribbean cuisine. It is used both in savory and sweet dishes in addition to providing the precious delectable super nutrient – coconut oil.
In some of the sweet dishes prepared and served in the Caribbean region and Diaspora, the making of coconut snacks (candies, tarts, rolls and breads) is very popular; not only because they are sweet but also because they are delicious.
Some examples of these snacks are grated coconut cake or candy, coconut drops (which are made from cut up dry coconut cooked in sugar, and ginger until it’s is crystallized); Gizzada, coconut rolls, coconut turnover and coconut bread.
In addition to the above prepared snacks, coconut is also eaten in its natural form as a natural snack. For example, dried coconut is cut up and is eaten plain or mixed with brown sugar and eaten as a snack.
The same is done with the less mature coconut or jelly coconut where the jelly like meat of coconut is eaten plain or with mixed with sugar.
While I love all the different coconut snacks and desserts, my favorite is Gizzada. It is a delicious uncovered mini coconut pie made from short crust pastry with a coconut, sugar-mixed spice filling.
The following is the recipe for Gizzada.
Ingredients for the Crust
· 2 cups baking flour
· 1/4 tsp salt
· 2 oz. butter or margarine
· 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice cold water
Ingredients for the Filling
· 3 cups coconut, grated
· 3/4 cup brown sugar
· 1 tsp grated nutmeg
· 2 tsps vanilla
· 1 tbsp water
· 1tbsp butter
How to make the Crust
· Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
· Mix together flour and salt then cut in butter and shortening.
· Add ice water to form dough.
· Use fingers to blend mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
· Shape into a ball before wrapping in waxed paper and refrigerate for half an hour.
· Divide crust into 6-8 balls.
· Use a rolling pin, roll balls into 3″ circles of 1/4″ thickness.
· Pinch edges to form a ridge to hold in coconut and sugar mixture.
· Put on greased cookie sheets and bake crust for 10-15 minutes.
How To Make Filling For Gizzadas
- Combine all ingredients except butter and cook over a low flame for about 20 minutes.
- Add butter.
- Fill shells with coconut mixture and bake for a further 15-20 minutes.
Makes 6-8 Gizzadas.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Minna LaFortune is a trained Caribbean caterer and also president, Society for the Advancement of the Caribbean Diaspora (SACD). Check out her food group on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/bestfoodscaribbean/