How long is a piece of string? Or, in the case of this month’s Sweet Adventures Blog Hop (hosted by the dynamic Kitchen Crusader), how many types of pie can you bake? The possibilities are truly endless!
Initially I was leaning towards doing a classic cherry pie (if you aren’t put off by overseas imports, American cherries are plentiful at the moment) but then another American classic came to mind: Coconut Cream Pie.
So many times I have heard of the near mythical coconut cream pie. Fans of Gilligan’s Island reruns will remember Mary Ann effortlessly producing coconut cream pies sans electricity… It certainly seems to be a regular dessert fixture in the US along with Key Lime Pie, Pumpkin Pie and Shoofly Pie (I nearly made this too since I have a lot of molasses leftover from Molasses & Walnut Brownies).
The problem I find with many American dessert classics however is that there are soooo many recipe variations. It’s hard to know where to start! Interestingly, the actress who played Mary Ann in Gilligan’s Island brought out a themed cookbook which features a luscious recipe for coconut cream pie. I’d like to try that some time but I decided to keep things relatively simple for my first attempt.
I prepared a sweet pie crust based on a Gordon Ramsay recipe although the Thermomix ‘Everyday Cooking’ book has a good recipe also. Gordon’s recipe is easy to adapt for the Thermomix. In retrospect however, I would have preferred a Graham Cracker crust. Next time!
The filling was an easy coconut flavoured custard which I made up in the Thermomix also. There is an abundance of recipes for the coconut pie filling for whatever kitchen situation you have so please search around if you’re keen to try making a coconut cream pie. I chose to use some gelatine to help firm the filling up for the pie. Otherwise another egg or two should keep the filling stable on cutting.
For the topping, I decided to go with the whipped cream instead of doing an Italian meringue (most recipes seem to include cream as the topping) and sprinkle with toasted, shredded coconut (some people use untoasted…). I worried that the sweet meringue would be too much for the sweet filling but I think I’ll give it a go that way next time.
This pie was lovely. There is definitely room for improvement though and I’ll reconsider using all plain white sugar instead of light muscovado as the resulting colour of the filling wasn’t as pretty as it could have been and didn’t outweigh the benefit of the muscovado’s lovely flavour. I will probably use coconut milk instead of cream, or try the method of steeping shredded coconut in regular milk (of milk/cream, half-and-half) to get the flavour to further avoid the grey-ness.
NB – Featured in two of these photos is a baby coconut cream pie. I’m freezing the big one for a doll’s meeting this weekend so I’ll amend this post once I see how well (or not) the pie thaws :)
Coconut Cream Pie
(makes one 9-inch pie – some leftovers for baby pies :) )
One 9-inch pie shell of your choosing (sweet short crust, Graham Cracker/crushed biscuit based, shop bought)
200g light coconut cream (or milk)
280g milk (whole or light is fine)
1/2 vanilla bean or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
one egg yolk
100g sugar (I recommend white although light muscovado gave the custard an amazing flavour)
40 g cornflour
dash of rum if desired
1 tsp gelatine dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
250ml whipping cream
1 tbsp icing sugar to sweeten
2 tbsp shredded coconut to decorate (toasted if desired)
To Make: Prepare pie crust as required. Allow to cool if baked fresh. Place coconut cream, milk, cornflour, egg, yolk, sugar and vanilla in TMX bowl. Cook on 90C for 7 minutes on Speed 4 until nicely thickened. Add dissolved gelatine as the mixture cools and the dash of rum if using. Pour into pie crust and allow to set in fridge for at least 2 hours. When set and cooled, top with sweetened whipped cream and shredded coconut :)