Thursday, May 26, 2016

COCONUT CREAM PIE

ph: the pie academy

I recently made a Coconut Cream Pie from a recipe I found at The Pie Academy. This recipe has a Georgia twist in that instead of a traditional pastry crust, the base is a pecan graham crack crust. It made all the difference in the world. If you have yet to check out Ken Haedrich's website, then you're missing out. His recipes are kitchen-tested making them tried and true. Registration is now open for this year's Lowcountry Pie Getaway in Charleston, South Carolina. It's a chance to meet, mingle, and bake alongside other passionate pie makers from across the country. This year's dates are October 21st, 22nd, and 23rd. 

Coconut Cream Pie with Georgia Twist
Pecan Crust:
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fine graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Cream Filling:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk or half-and-half
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, in 1/2" pieces
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (optional but highly recommended)
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
Topping:
  • 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. TO MAKE THE PECAN CRUST, combine the pecans, sugar, and flour in the bowl of a food processor and pulse the mixture until the nuts are finely ground. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in the graham cracker crumbs and salt. Add the melted butter and mix well with a large fork. Drizzle 2 teaspoons water over the mixture and then rub the mixture with your fingers until it is well combined and slightly clumpy.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter the bottom (but not the sides) of a 9 1/2" deep-dish pie pan. Add the crumbs and spread them evenly across the bottom and up the sides. Press evenly into the pan. Bake the shell on the center oven rack for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly.
  3. TO MAKE THE FILLING, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a medium size, heavy saucepan, preferably nonstick. Whisk in the milk (or half-and-half) and yolks. Place over medium heat and cook, whisking almost nonstop until the mixture thickens and starts to boil - about 5 to 7 minutes. Go easy, and don't try to make it boil too quickly.
  4. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, vanilla, coconut extract, and coconut. Pour the filling into the pie shell and smooth with a spoon. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the filling so it doesn't form a skin. Transfer the pie to a rack and cool thoroughly. Refrigerate overnight.
  5. TO MAKE THE TOPPING, put the coconut and chopped pecans in a skillet over medium-low heat and toast, stirring virtually nonstop, for 3 to 5 minutes, until the coconut takes on a golden hue. Watch it carefully; it burns easily. Quickly transfer to a plate and cool completely.
  6. About 10 minutes before you plan to serve the pie, chill a bowl and your electric mixer's beaters for 5 minutes. Pour the cream into the cold bowl and beat until it holds soft peaks, then beat in the confectioners' sugar. Add the vanilla and beat until the cream is firm but not grainy. Spread the whipped cream over the pie then sprinkle the top with the cooled coconut and pecans. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

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