Friday, February 24, 2012

Coconut Cream Pie (at last!)

Here it finally is! This was a delicious labor of love. The first try was a little...thick (?)...tasting. It needed something to cut through all of the coconut and cream. So, the second try included lime custard at the bottom, but I used organic cornstarch and I think that's why I had some texture problems. Third time was the charm. The coconut flavor runs through every element of the pie (except the lime curd) and comes from different sources; toasted coconut, coconut milk, coconut rum, coconut extract, so it's deep and complex. And the lime custard just gives all of that flavor a tangy little boost. So yummy. Perfect for a tropical getaway from a gray and brown winter.

Coconut Cream Pie
*click here for printable version*
Makes 1 9-inch pie

Toasted Coconut

1 c. sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 325.

Spread the coconut evenly onto a baking sheet and toast until lightly golden brown, stirring once, 8-10 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the coconut sit in the oven until very dry and crunchy, up to 15 minutes longer (check frequently, it may take as little as 5 minutes). Set aside to cool.

Coconut Pie Pastry (makes 1 9” crust)

1-3/4 c. + 2 T flour
1-1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c. (12 T) fats*

Mix together with pastry cutter, fork, or fingers until crumbly.

¼ c. coconut rum

Pour gradually into crust, mixing as you go. Use only enough to make dough stick together.

On floured surface, roll the crust out to about 1/8 in. thick and transfer to pie pan.

Prebake the crust: poke holes in bottom and sides with a fork, line with foil, and pour in pie weights, making sure they cover bottom all the way to the sides. Bake at 425 for 15 min., then remove foil and weights and bake for another 10 minutes (or until crust has color you prefer). Cool completely.

Lime Custard

3 large egg yolks
6 T sugar
3 T fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp grated lime peel

Whisk all ingredients in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until custard thickens and boils for 30 seconds, about 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally (mixture will thicken). Spread in bottom of pie crust (it will just make a thin layer).

Coconut Custard

1 c. whole milk
1-1/2 c. unsweetened coconut milk
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
8 large egg yolks
2/3 c. granulated sugar
6 Tbls. (packed) cornstarch
4 tsp. coconut rum
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. coconut extract

Combine the milks and vanilla bean seeds in a medium, nonreactive saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.

Whisk together the yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Slowly whisk the warm milk into the egg mixture, then return the mixture to the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened. Remove pan from heat and whisk in the rum and both extracts. Let cool to room temperature (make sure to cover with plastic wrap--pressed onto the custard so it doesn’t form a skin), then spread in pie crust and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours (cover with plastic wrap as before).

Coconut Whipped Cream

1-1/2 c. very cold heavy cream
1 tsp. coconut extract
3 tsp. nonfat dry milk (optional, to stabilize cream)

Combine all ingredients, whip to stiff peaks and spread over top of cooled coconut custard.

Sprinkle toasted coconut over top.

*Re: fats--for a particularly flaky crust (and if you're not vegetarian), use lard for 2 T of your fats. The other 10 T of fats can be a combination of salted and unsalted butter: 8 T salted, 2 T unsalted.

I should mention, this version of my pie crust doesn't have any egg white, so it's a little more fragile than the normal crust. Be patient and careful and you will be so so happy with the results. It's super tender and flaky.

TGIP Rating--Coconut Cream Pie--KEEPER. Make and love. Even if you're not a big coconut fan.

Next up: Hmm...some kind of oatmeal cookie...chock full of goodies.


Bill said...

Tammie made this for me for my birthday and it was DELICIOUS. I also took the leftovers to work and everybody loved it. Yum yum!

April Fossen said...

Hooray! So, it worked okay without the rum?