Toasted Coconut Cream Pie

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Toasted Coconut Cream Pie by twocarolines

It’s November, and I’m hungry for pie every day.  Toasted Coconut Cream Pie is such a special dessert, it’s really not very difficult, but it feels elegant and special.  I like to paint my crust with chocolate which puts it totally over the top.  There is just mind blowing flavor and the chewy toasty coconut bits make it have incredible texture.  It’s hands down one of my favorite pie experiences and I’m going to need to bring this to my November pie line up for SURE.  A cool bonus is that once you learn this recipe you have the foundation for pretty much all my cream pies.  I use it for banana cream pie, strawberry cream pie, chocolate cream pie, and more!  Seriously guys, stop being intimidated by pie, it’s really fun, easier than you think, and such a joy to eat and serve.  You have a Caroline or two here for you every step of the way.

For the crust:

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chocolate painted crust twocarolines

single 9-10 inch traditional pie crust
1/3 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil

For the filling:
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups whole milk (if you don’t have whole use what you have, or mix lowfat milk with cream)
7 egg yolks (save whites for a fancy frosting or meringue in your baking future)
3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut

Make your crust:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450. Roll your crust into your pan, I like to use a medium pie pan, not the little tiny ones, and not the super deep dish, but you can make any size work, you might need to just keep a little filling as some pudding for later or you might need to bulk up your coconut and add cream on top.  And you can always roll our traditional pie crust nice and thin for a deep dish or have a little extra for a standard 9″
  2. Blind bake your crust, ours takes about 8 minutes in a 450 oven on the top rack.  Use either pie weights or poke loads of holes (that’s the twocarolines method).  You want it nicely browned on edges and if it slumps a little just use a tea towel to reshape while it’s hot.   Keep your oven on but turn to 325 to toast coconut.  
  3. Melt your chocolate and teaspoon of coconut oil in a pyrex or heatproof bowl.  I prefer to do this in the microwave on defrost power so it never gets too hot.  If you don’t have a defrost setting melt 20 seconds at a time until chocolate starts to loose its form then let it sit and add a few seconds at at time until you can whisk it smooth.
  4. Spread your chocolate into the crust of your baked pie crust painting up on to the sides halfway and all across the bottom.  Let this cool while you make your filling so the chocolate gets hard.

Toast your coconut:

  1. Set oven to 325.  Spread out 1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened dried coconut on a baking sheet for about 8-10 minutes stirring a few times until it’s got some nice color and smells amazing.  Set aside.

Make your filling:

  1.  Put sugar, cornstarch and salt into a medium/large heavy saucepan.  I use this all clad one, anything decent sized with a good thick bottom will work.
  2. Gradually whisk in your milk
  3. Vigorously whisk in your egg yolks one at a time until no yellow streaks remain.
  4. Stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Remove from heat once bubbles come up and scrape down the corners of your saucepan and whisk until smooth.
  5. Return to heat and whisking constantly, bring a simmer and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Take off the heat and whisk in your butter, vanilla and coconut extract.
  7. Pour about 1/3 of your filling into baked pie crust, layer with coconut and another 1/3 of your filling alternating and ending with coconut on top.  If you’re topping your pie with whipped cream save some coconut to put on top of that.
  8. Chill for a good 4 hours before serving.  This pie keeps nicely in the fridge for a good 5 days or so.

Recipe adapted from Joy Of Cooking vanilla cream pie.

 

 

Banana Pudding

Two Carolines Banana Pudding.jpg

I’ve been looking up ideas lately that are quick and that maybe take a break from our chocolate obsession. This one fit the bill perfectly and seemed like ideal treat to bring to a family BBQ. I love bananas, I love pudding and I love meringue (although it tends to be my nemesis). I added more Nilla wafers and bananas than the original recipe, and everyone was quite pleased with the results.

 

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
1/3 cup cornstarch
4 cups whole milk
4 large eggs, separated and divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 11-ounce box Nilla wafers (you won’t use the entire box, unless you pour the rest in your mouth—which—no judemgent here.)
5 bananas

 

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Make custard: whisk 3/4 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch, milk and egg yolks in a pot set over medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until it just begins to bubble, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn heat down slightly, and allow mixture to simmer, still stirring constantly, for 1 minute, then remove mixture from heat. Whisk in vanilla, salt and butter.
  2. Make meringue: put the egg whites, cream of tartar and 1/2 cup of sugar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer, and set over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is hot to touch, about 3 minutes (This will melt the sugar). Transfer to the stand mixer fitted with whisk, and beat until stiff, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Line a 13-by-9-inch oven-safe casserole pan with two layers of Nilla wafers (I did one side face up and the other side face down to fill in the gaps) and layer all of the  banana slices.
  4. Pour the custard over the bananas and cookies, then use a spatula to spread the meringue. Bake in oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the peaks are the color of a toasted marshmallow. Allow to rest until ready to serve. (The author talks about how the meringue can weep a bit, I couldn’t find a way around that, but maybe those who are more masterful with meringue have some tips for that…)

-CK 1.0

Recipe adapted from New York Times Cooking