4-5 cups of milk (depending on the amount of grated coconut)
Opening Coconuts: Open the coconuts by flinging them onto a cement or rock surface (this is how the monkeys do it!) Don't worry about losing the liquid, as it's not the coconut milk called for in cooking. Each coconut should break in 3 to 4 pieces. It is also possible to open a coconut by piercing the eyes of the coconut with a screwdriver or ice pick, draining the liquid through the holes and placing the coconut in a 400 degrees F oven for 20 minutes. Wrap the coconut in a towel and hit it with a hammer to loosen the shell and split it into pieces.
Pry out the white meat and then pare off the dark skin.
Grating Coconut Meat: To grate the white meat, put the meat through the grating disk of a food processor or use a hand grater. You should get about 7 cups of grated coconut from the two coconuts, which will keep in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
Reserve 4 cups of the grated coconut for the pie crust and filling.
Coconut Liquado: To make the coconut milk, combine the remaining 3 to 4 cups of loosely packed grated coconut with the milk (use 3/4 cup of coconut for each 1 cup of milk) in a heavy saucepan. Heat slowly, bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat and cool. Strain the milk, pressing down on the coconut meat to extract all the liquid. Squeeze all the coconut through a towel to get any last drops. Discard the coconut.
c.1997, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved