Food & Wine

Coconut Cream Pie

The cover of the Tri-City Herald's Food & Wine section Jan. 21 will feature some super Super Bowl snacks. Inside you'll find more recipes plus buying, cooking and health tips on a variety of food-related subjects.

Coconut Cream Pie

Since we can't take romantic vacations in Hawaii as often as we'd like, I present you with this luscious tropical pie. One whiff of the coconut will send your senses reeling. Not only does the pie taste great, it will save you thousands in travel expenses.

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

pinch salt

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

4 egg yolks

2 cups whole milk

1 cup packed sweetened flaked coconut

1 tablespoon butter

1 9-inch store-bought or homemade Graham Cracker Crust (below)

In a large saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in coconut milk until smooth. Whisk in egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in milk.

Cook mixture over medium heat, whisking continuously, until thick and bubbly. Reduce temperature to low and continue to cook, whisking, for 2 minutes more or until mixture is very thick.

Remove saucepan from heat and strain filling through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Stir in coconut and butter until butter is melted. Pour into prepared pie crust, pressing a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool completely. Refrigerate pie for 4 to 6 hours or until filling is firm enough to slice.

Serves 8 to 12.

Topping

1-1/4 cups whipping cream

2 tablespoons confectioner's (icing) sugar

1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted

In a bowl, using an electric mixer or whisk, whip together cream and confectioner's sugar until soft peaks form. Swirl whipped cream over top of pie and garnish with toasted coconut.

Graham Cracker Crust

10 whole graham crackers, ground (about 1-1Zˇ3 cups/325 mL crumbs)

5 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar

Grease a 9-inch pie plate. In a large bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and brown sugar, mixing well.

Transfer crumb mixture to prepared pie plate, pressing into bottom and up side of pan.

Chill crust until firm. Fill with prepared filling or, alternatively, bake crust in preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until crust is set.

From: THE COMPLETE BOOK OF PIES by Julie Hasson (Robert Rose, Inc.; October 2008; $24.95/trade paperback).

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