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meagan's avatar

Can I substitute coconut milk with evaporated milk?

Asked by meagan (4640 points ) January 4th, 2011

Hi everyone.

I’m about to start making a coconut cream pie today.
Link can be found here :
http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/coconut-cream-pie

I tried finding three cups of unsweetened coconut milk, but when I went to the grocery I found only 12oz of Coconut milk. My recipe calls for 24.

After searching the store, no more coconut milk could be found.. so I picked up a 12oz can of evaporated milk.

Will I be able to substitute those extra 12oz with evap. milk? Or should I go ahead and spend today looking for more coconut milk at another store?

Just thought I’d ask. If I can substitute, that’d be amazing. But I’m pretty new with baking and am interested in what everyone thinks.

Thanks!

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9 Answers

Pandora's avatar

Evaporated milk will not work. You want the flavor of coconut in your recipe and the less coconut you have the less it will taste like it. Coconut is already a pretty mild flavor. That is probably why the recipe calls for 24 oz. I would just try another store. I’m also not sure what the evaporated milk will do to the consistancy but evaporated milk has a more sour taste.

jlelandg's avatar

do you have a specs in your town? strangely enough they have coconut milk. You might need to go to your closest Asian super market, or another grocery that has a large foreign food aisle.

actspirit4u's avatar

For me cookery is all about experimentation – adding ingredients that you like together to turn them into something worthwhile to eat. So I would say use what you have available now – you can always try the recipe again later using all coconut milk. You will then be able to compare the taste of the two different recipes.

wilma's avatar

I’ve made a lot of Coconut cream pies and my recipe doesn’t call for coconut milk. I would use the evaporated milk along with the coconut milk that you have. It might not turn out exactly the same as it would have with all coconut milk, but shouldn’t be too far off. You will also be adding coconut, won’t you?

BarnacleBill's avatar

In looking at your recipe, the coconut milk is the only coconut in the pie, and you’re also adding a cup of heavy cream. I would have to say no, you need the coconut milk. You could substitue the evaporated milk for the cream, but not for the coconut milk.

Essentially, you are making pudding with the coconut milk. Perhaps you could subsitute coconut cream from the bar mixes section, and use 6 oz that cut with 6 oz. of milk. It would give you a stronger, sweeter coconut taste. That would work in a dessert.

wilma's avatar

If there is no other coconut in the pie, then I would agree with @BarnacleBill .

janbb's avatar

In cooking, I love to improvise. In baking, however, it is not usually a great idea. I would try to find the coconut milk. If there is a Thai food store in your area, you might find it there. Otherwise, you may well find it in a lliquor store as it is a component of pina coladas.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I was thinking of looking for coconut extract to add a little flavor, but janbb’s answer was excellent. I’d try the liquor store as well.

meagan's avatar

Thanks for the GREAT advice, guys!

I ended up looking around at another store and found just what I needed.

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