Monday, 30 May 2011

Coconut Cream Pie

Whilst I don't mind coconut, it is again not one of the things I instantly go for. This recipe was picked by a friend, so apart from a slice to taste, the pie will be a gift to her.

Although it is a one page recipe, it has a lot of little steps inside the main points. Firstly you have to make the dough up which will form as the pie base. It says to do it in a freestanding electric mixer, which I do not have. Instead I rubbed the flour and butter together with my fingers until it was crumb like and then used a wooden spoon to stir in the sugar and egg. Once it had come together I used my hands to kneed it and then it is wrapped in clingfilm and goes into the fridge for 30 minutes to rest. once rested you then roll it out and place it into the pie tin and this then goes into the fridge for half an hour again.

Once the base has rested for a second time it goes into the oven to be baked blind. I have still not got around to buying some baking beans so used uncooked rice instead. The greaseproof paper and beans/rice are then removed and the base is cooked for a further 15 minutes until golden. It needs to cool on the side completely before the filling is added.

The recipe says its a Coconut cream but the coconut flavour is actually in the filling which is a custard. The pie is then just topped with whipped cream and shavings. To make the custard you have to mix the sugar, cornflour, salt and the milk and coconut milk together over heat whilst whisking until it thickens. Then a few tablespoons of this mixture are added to the already whisked egg yolks and vanilla essence before this then gets added into the hot mixture and it is whisked until thickens more and actually looks like custard.

It is poured straight into the now cool pie base and covered with clingfilm to stop any skin forming, which I detest, so gross! This is left to cool on the side before going into the fridge for an hour or more. Mine was left overnight, as you have now gathered i make these recipes in the evenings once baby has gone to sleep, so usually gets too late to finish them the same night. 

The next morning the pie was looking lovely and wobbly and the coconut custard smelt wonderful. I made the topping of double cream whipped with vanilla essence and a small amount of icing sugar until it forms peaks then spooned this onto the pie. Neither me nor my husband could find any coconut flakes or shavings in the supermarkets so I decorated the pie with grated chocolate as an alternative that is actually suggested in the recipe.

I took my slice to try this afternoon. Not really looking forward to it as, as I said it was a friend who was keener on this recipe, but I was pleasantly surprised. The custard tasted like a normal custard with a nice undercurrent of coconut. It was not nearly as strong a flavour as I was expecting and it went well with the cream topping. Unlike the Grasshopper pie which seems too creamy, this one had struck the right balance between the whole. The base is also sweeter than I was anticipating. Something I would definitely have another slice of tomorrow when I deliver it to my eagerly awaiting friend.

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