Enfield Shaker Coconut Pudding with Floating Islands Recipe

Enfield Shaker Coconut Pudding
Enfield Shaker Coconut Pudding


Cocoanut Cornstarch. Three quarts of milk, bring to a boil. Yolks of six eggs, three cups sugar, eight tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in a very little cold water. Cook five minutes stirring all the time. Remove from fire, add three small cups of cocoanut and a pinch of salt, and one tablespoon of butter. Whip the whites of the egg stiff and put on top. (Would be fine served cold.)

Enfield Shaker Coconut Pudding with Floating Islands Recipe



Coconut Pudding
4 cups (690 grams) whole milk
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks (reserve whites for meringue “islands”)
1 cup (200 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup (95 grams) unsweetened, dry, shredded coconut


In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and salt with 1/4 cup of the milk.

Add and beat in 2 egg yolks. Reserve egg whites for merengue “islands”.

Pour the remaining milk into a heavy bottomed saucepan.

Whisk in sugar, cornstarch mixture, and butter.

Cook over medium low heat until thickened, stirring constantly (about 15 minutes).

Remove pan from the heat.

Floating Islands
2 egg whites (reserved from the eggs above)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)

In a small bowl beat the two egg whites into a stiff meringue, slowly adding the sugar.

Return the pudding to a very low heat.

With two soup spoons, shape the “islands” by scooping the meringue into one spoon and use the second spoon to slide the meringue onto the top of the barely simmering pudding, three or four at a time. Poach them 1 or 2 minutes each side, just until they feel firm to the touch.

Remove them to a plate to drain. Repeat with the rest of the meringue.

Stir the shredded coconut into the pudding and transfer the mixture to a serving bowl.

Top with the “islands”. Serve cold.


Kitchen-Tester’s Note: This basic cornstarch pudding, sometimes known as “Blancmange”, was very popular in the 19th century. Martha Wetherell took it to a new level by adding coconut and creating islands floating atop. Although this looks complicated, it is not difficult and tastes delicious!

This recipe first appeared in Shaker Recipes for Cooks and Homemakers, by William Lassiter (New York: Greenwich Book Publishers, 1959, p. 161) and is attributed to Sister Martha Wetherhill. Shaker Recipes for Cooks and Homemakers was reprinted by Bonanza Books in 1978 under the title Shaker Recipes and Formulas for Cooks and Homemakers. Both editions are out of print, but are available at reasonable cost at www.abebooks.com or www.eBay.com.