November 6, 2011

meringue? muh-wrong.

Have you ever been to a diner and ordered a slice of pie? More often than not, it comes topped with a mountain of meringue, and I find that unfortunate. I recognize that it complements some pies better than a heaping portion of whipped cream, but I find it tasteless and a little bit gross.


I hope I didn't offend anyone with that statement; to each her own. I simply prefer a blanket of sweetened cloud-like cream--it adds a touch of decadence to even the most basic of pies.

Proper proportions?  I think so.

Some pies, however, don't need a touch of decadence. Case in point: Coconut cream pie. Lusciously velvety and oh-so-flavorful, with contrasting textures from the custard to the crust and toasted coconut on top, this is show-stopper of a dessert. So, while it doesn't need whipped cream to achieve delectable status, I figured it certainly wouldn't hurt.


Whether by accident or subconscious choice, I ended up with equal parts filling and whipped cream. It was magnificent--dense custard and soft cream melting together in the mouth. The small bit of crunchy coconut on top was the perfect ending touch. I would really recommend this pie, topped with as much or as little whipped cream as you please. Or, if you insist, meringue.

Pie of Creamy Coconut and Creamed Cream
Crust:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces (do it!)
4 tablespoons (or more) ice water

Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon coconut extract

Topping:
2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut, for garnish
1 1/4 cups chilled whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon coconut extract

To make the crust, blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter and shortening; cut in until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle 4 tablespoons ice water over mixture. Process just until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic. Chill 1 hour.
Roll out dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to 14-inch round. Transfer dough to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Fold overhang under. Crimp edges decoratively. Pierce bottom of crust all over with fork. Freeze crust 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line crust with aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 20 minutes. Remove weights and foil. Bake until golden and set, about 10 minutes. Cool. (Crust can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature.)

For filling:
Whisk 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, egg yolk, and flour in medium bowl. Bring milk, cream, and coconut to simmer in medium saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add hot milk mixture to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return to same saucepan; cook until pastry cream thickens and boils, stirring constantly, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in vanilla and coconut extracts. Transfer pastry cream to medium bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface to prevent formation of skin. Chill until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Transfer filling to crust. Cover; chill overnight.

For topping:
Toast coconut in heavy small skillet over medium heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Cool completely.
Using electric mixer, beat cream, sugar, and coconut extract in medium bowl until peaks form. Spread whipped cream all over top of filling. Sprinkle evenly with toasted coconut.



For another creamy treat (and one that's even MORE decadent), check out my bete noire on the Key Ingredient blog!

53 comments:

Foodycat said...

I'd much rather have cream than meringue! I've never had coconut cream pie, and I think my life is lacking because of it.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Thta vis a luscious looking pie! Just irresistible.

Cheers,

Rosa

jose manuel said...

Que maravilla

Beth said...

What a lovely pie! I do like meringue, but homemade is much better than what I often get in restaurants. That rubbery concoction isn't really meringue, and doesn't do anyone any good!

Becki's Whole Life said...

I am a whipped cream girl, too. Coconut cream is to die for, too:-) Your pictures look scrumptious. Funny, I didn't realize the La Bete Noir in KI was yours and I pinned that the other day. That looks great, too. I think some people repinned it since it's Gluten Free but I just thought it looked decadent. Everything looks great!

Pam said...

I'm with you on meringue, I think it's creepy.

Von said...

I'm not too much of a fan of meringue either- I'd much rather whipped cream! Your coconut custard filling looks amazingly good! I just love your coconut creations- they're always amazing ;)

bellini said...

I wouldn't insist on meringue, although I do love a good lemon meringue pie.

Helene said...

I'm a fan of coconut cream pie. I could eat it without the topping. I could not resist yours!

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Equal topping to filling sounds great to me! I would be all over it...yum!

Cathy W said...

That's what I call a pie! I only like meringue as a crust, with copious amounts of whipped cream on top. Now, I have to make a pie. Thank you for that.

Leslie said...

I think your ratios are just perfect!!!

Lisa said...

What can I say here ......but Love ya, Grace! :-) I do prefer baked meringue cookies to pies topped with meringue but I won't pass up either. Then again, you can make it cream if you like. The answer to "Dessert?" is still "Yes, please!"

Laura said...

I TOTALLY agree. The only meringue I have liked much are the meringue cookies I made with a fair amount of bittersweet cookies in them. This looks awesome, the bete noir even more so.

Y said...

Wow. I've never baked coconut cream pie before. It looks so luscious!

Gloria said...

amazing, absolutely amazing! gloria

Carolyn Jung said...

I prefer whipped cream, too -- unless the meringue is the base for homemade marshmallow fluff that's torched until golden. :)

Hotly Spiced said...

Coconut and meringue and cream - a perfect dessert and yours looks fabulous. I'll have to try this. Gorgeous!

peachkins said...

I love meringue and I also love whipped cream!

Barbara said...

I love a coconut cream pie. And it is usually served with whipped cream, which, oddly enough, is not one of my favorite things to eat, but I love it on this pie. I prefer meringue on most pies or ice cream!

A Plum By Any Other Name said...

Holy moly your pie looks good. Okay, exceptional. And this is from a gal that's a huge fan of meringue. No matter. You've done it again ...

Faith said...

I am so with you on meringue, Grace! I much prefer a whipped cream...it was definitely the perfect choice for this gorgeous pie!

Robin Sue said...

Meringue only belongs on lemon meringue. Coconut cream, whipped cream yes please! And the chocolate dessert looks amazing!

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who hates meringue! This looks so much better than my recipe!

cookies and cups said...

I'm not a meringue girl either, but creamed cream? ummm, yes please!

kimberleyblue said...

I've never had coconut cream pie, but your photos have me convinced that I definitely should. That coconut layer looks divine, and I adore the minimal crust.

Marjie said...

I try to avoid much whipped cream, due to the millions of calories packed in every bite. And since I'm not as young and gorgeous as you, I have to worry about it.

I keep my meringue layers thin-ish, so as to not overpower the pie (or cake).

Joanne said...

totally agree on this. Meringue is SUCH a waste of egg whites! blech.

But a cream replacement? Now that is just heavenly.

MaryBeth said...

The coconut looks good but the chocolate has my vote..

scrambledhenfruit said...

That's one gorgeous pie, and the proportions of topping to fillingf are spot on! Coconut cream was my dad's favorite pie- whipped cream and all- and I think of him every time I see it. :)

tasteofbeirut said...

the meringue I like are filled with toasted hazelnuts or pecans or almonds, which cuts down on the sugar. This pie looks to-die-for!

Mimi said...

I'll have my pie with cream and save the meringue for cookies.
Mimi

Angie's Recipes said...

That's a luscious and delicious pie!

galit said...

That looks perfect!

eatme_delicious said...

Ahh it's been way too long since I've had coconut cream pie!! Yours looks so good. I love all that whipped cream. I don't often order pie at a restaurant and the only one I see here with meringue is usually lemon. I'm not sure which I prefer, both are delicious.

Abby said...

I love a GOOD meringue; my grandmother's was the best. I'd give anything to make it with her in the kitchen. Miss her. And whoa is my little kid self for scraping it off her butterscotch pie. Wish I could have it back now!

lisa is cooking said...

I have plenty of 'personal' food preferences, so, no, I won't be offended by your lack of interest in meringue. I will say I wouldn't mind it on a coconut cream pie, but the whipped cream looks just as fabulous! One of my favorite kinds of pie.

Hungry Dog said...

I'm not always big on meringue either. I like the way it looks but it tastes weird and not satisfying. This, on the other hand, is a great dessert.

Juliana said...

You got my vote...cream, and this coconut cream pie looks so good, if only I could have a mouthful of it...yum yum.
Hope you are having a nice week and thanks for this delicious pie Grace :-)

Half Baked said...

I'll take whipped cream over meringue any day. That coconut cream pie looks superb!!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

I am completely mad for coconut cream pie! I had it at a place here in Sydney and melted...

~~louise~~ said...

That pie looks obscenely delicious, Grace!

Thanks for sharing...

vanillasugarblog said...

spot on my friend!
i am NOT a lover of mile-high meyuck.
mile-high frosting ok, mile-high crumb HELLO.

Vianney Rodriguez said...

not a meringue lover, not even the cookies..I'll take the cream

Gourmet Gadget Gal said...

Have you ever tried a meringue made with marshmallow cream? It is deliciously smooth and makes a wonderful topping for chocolate pies - not such an meyuck mess.

Gisela said...

Wow - that looks really delicious!

Kerstin said...

I'm not a meringue fan either, so this is definitely up my alley! And your coconut filling looks just perfect.

garlutti said...

Hi Grace .... I love to learn different recipes from around the world ... so I sign up to follow .. I invite you to share mine and my blog .. greetings from Vigo SPAIN Marimi

sophiesfoodiefiles said...

Hey Grace! What a pie, a terrefic & delectable one! Yoy are certainly a real genius when it comes to baking! And that chocolate cake looks even better!

The TeacherCooks said...

Coconut cream pie is one of my favorites. I have not made it in years and just might have to try your recipe with whipped cream of course!

M said...

Heartily agreed! Meringue turns me sour. I would dive into this version.

Pam said...

I am so with you on this one Grace. I must say that this coconut cream pie is making me drool, my stomach rumble, and my mouth water.

Rosita Vargas said...

Exquisita receta una delicia al paladar,incaría el diente está muy tentadora,abrazos hugs,hugs.