Monday, February 27, 2012

The Crazy Pie Train: Coconut Lime Cream Pie

House of Pies ain't got nothing on us!!!
Thankfully for my blood sugar and your reading enjoyment, Robin and I decided to combat the fact that cream pies take so long to make by baking two of them (see yesterday's giant s'more-like goodness known as Chocolate Cream Pie with Meringue). Our second pie would toe the line between our usual fruit pies and our new friend cream pies to help make the transition much easier (I was worried it would be far too overwhelming to just jump right in to.). If we could just keep from burning Robin's townhouse down while toasting the coconut (we're apparently bad at setting timers on toaster ovens, but luckily smoke is a good signal), we would be in for one of the greatest pie binges ever.

I'm seriously buying this book (and moving to Boston to become best friends with this baker and eat at her bakery every day until I have to be wheeled out because I've lost the ability to use my legs).
Coconut Lime Cream Pie
From Flour by Joanne Chang
Servings: 9" pie
Time: 45 minutes (plus 4 hours to set and 2 hours crust time)

Add the well toasted coconut
Pâte sucrée (recipe found here)
1 14 oz can coconut milk
1/2 cup milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cake flour
1 egg
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted

Lime Whipped Cream
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1-2 tsp grated lime zest
3 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted

I call this the pie in its tadpole state.

  1. Make the crust as described in the linked recipe. Set aside.
  2. Heat the cream and lime zest together in a small saucepan and bring to just a boil. Remove from heat and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Scald the coconut milk and cow type milk in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat (remember scalding means the edges start to bubble but the liquid isn't boiling).
  4. While waiting for the milks to scald, whisk the granulated sugar and flour together in a small bowl (this is key or it will clump later).
  5. Whisk the egg and egg yolks together in a separate bowl then slowly whisk in the sugar-flour mix until a thick paste forms.
  6. Slowly pour the scalded milk into the egg mixture in intervals while whisking constantly. Once it's completely incorporated, return to the saucepan and cook over medium heat while continuously whisking until it thickens and reaches a boil (about 5 minutes). You'll known when it's boiling because it will start to blub blub (it totally did just like the book described).
  7. Once it blub blubs, whisk vigorously for 30 seconds.
  8. Immediately strain the mixture and mix in the vanilla, salt and 3/4 cup toasted coconut.
  9. Pour your filling into the baked pie shell and refrigerate uncovered for 4 hours or until the filling is set.
  10. Once the pie is ready, whip the zest-cream mixture, powdered sugar and cornstarch until stiff peaks form.
  11. Spread the whipped ream over the pie and decorate with toasted coconut.
  12. Come to the realization that it's too much work to try to make actual designs with the coconut and resign yourself to eating the pie immediately. 
  13. Realize it was totally the right decision.
You put the lime in the coconut (Come on. You knew it was coming).

Despite only existing as some zest in the whipped cream, the lime was actually the strongest flavor in the entire pie. It went nicely with the creaminess of the coconut filling to yield one truly refreshing pie. Unfortunately, the coconut was a little muted (aside from the garnish), so I would definitely try to find a way to accentuate it more next time.  Despite this minor quibble, I have to say that this is exactly what I think of when I imagine a cream pie (which I probably do 3-4 times a day once I'm done picturing cupcakes and waffles).
My sightline as I prepared to pounce.
Our lime filled whipped cream was the perfect topping for this pie, but I would forgo the cornstarch for a slightly silkier and smoother experience in future incarnations. The toasted coconut garnish was a nice touch for both prettiness and tastiness reasons. Once again, the nice crisp fancy sounding crust was a brilliant addition to the round out any cream pie.
Our streak of ugly slices stays alive! (It took two slices and some prettying up to show something that wasn't just whipped cream.)
The success of our latest (and greatest) pie adventure can be summed up by my actions leading to this post. I wanted to have a quick little slice of each pie to freshen my memory (and negate everything I just did at the gym). Instead, I ended up having two ginormous slices (or at least what I postulate were excessively large slices since I just started going at the pie straight with a fork after the tiny slice). Our two pies provided completely opposite ends of the magnificent pie spectrum. One was bold, rich and heavy chocolate, while the other was refreshing, surprisingly light and fruity. They somehow managed to come together gloriously for a pie experience that neither of us will soon forget (which, lets be honest, was gonna happen anyway since pie is an essential part of both of our lives). Now it's time to start prepping an actual crazy pie train (think like the Coors Light train in the commercials but with pie and probably less fit people).

Abbie licks her lips in anticipation of fresh pie.

No comments:

Post a Comment