Year of the Pie – Coconut Cream Pie

So a new year, a new challenge.

I feel like after Great British Bake Off, I was thoroughly baked-out. It was a great learning experience and I’m really glad I did it. I took a nice long break from any serious baking, aided with the fact that my oven was officially out of commission for most of 2016. I finally welcomed a beautiful, shiny, clean, and new Kitchen Aid oven a couple of months ago and it’s definitely sparked a small flame back in my baking desires.

But what should I bake? Whatever I like, of course! But I did want to work on “something” so I decided to tackle the area of pies, an area that I’m not traditionally strong in. So each month I’m going to try to make a different pie. I’m hoping that by the end of the year I’ll have at least mastered one really great dough recipe and maybe (just maybe) the best kind of apple to use (and how high to pile it).

January: Coconut Cream Pie

So it’s not exactly a “fruit” season, so why not pick something nice and decadent? I had my first taste of coconut cream pie about a year ago in Seattle at a Tom Douglas restaurant. I ordered it on a whim and I was glad I did. I don’t exactly remember what made it so good – it was just really tasty. It’s not a pie commonly found in these parts so it was a good topic for a first pie.

Recipe: (crust & filling) Maida Heatter (c/o New Book of Great Desserts)

The crust was really basic, I think just three ingredients: flour, butter, salt. She asked for vegetable shortening but I didn’t have any on hand, so all butter it was. I used a food processor – and here it is after a (Netflix &) chill session.

coconut-cream-pie-crust

You can see the flecks of butter in the dough – in the oven they melt, create steam and those nice flaky parts of crust we all love.

For weights I tried out Stella Parks’s (Bravetart) sugar technique – instead of using rice or beans, she uses sugar as a weight (crust lined with foil). The sugar has enough mass to keep the crust from puffing and over time, it gradually caramelizes! I now have a tub of sugar in my pantry labelled “pie sugar”.

Pie noob learning: After you bake your pie shell WITH weights, take the weight off to finish baking and add colour. I didn’t dock the pie for the second step nor did I bake it long enough.

The filling was a milk custard with a very generous portion of coconut. I wonder what it would have tasted like with toasted coconut? Yum. Anyway, once the custard was cooked. You can chill it and then pour it in the shell – or do what I did and pour it in the shell right away.

coconut-cream-pie-fillingFor those new to this site – my cooking/baking prep area is always a hot mess. This is on the counter for most of my non-prep stuff (old cookie tin, sport drink mixes, spent candle holder, bag of dates for work, other random crap).

After it’s been cooled, you can mound on an obscene amount of whipped cream. And then – toasted coconut 🙂

coconut-cream-pie

Let chill, slice and impress.

coconut-cream-pie-slice

See you next month!

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Tags: , ,

Categories: coconut, pies, Year of Pies

Author:bainvancouver

Communications specialist by day, baker/cook/triathlete/dog-owner by night. I blog about my adventures inside and outside my kitchen. Come take a look - no big whoop!

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