I don't think I'll ever actually stop trying to improve every recipe I attempt, even if it already yields one of the most amazing and delicious creations I've ever consumed. It's just my nature to wonder if there's any way I can make it better.
I told you a few weeks ago about a dessert I had for my birthday that sat atop a macadamia nut crust. It was SO good and I haven't been able to get it out of my mind. I already have a killer coconut cream pie recipe, but apparently so does Teeny. For my Easter dessert, I decided to give Teeny's recipe a try with the additions of coconut extract and a crust made using macadamia nuts and toasted coconut.
First things first--the crust was wonderful. It wasn't really anything like what I had eaten on my birthday, but it was superbly tasty and complemented the coconut cream filling very nicely. Secondly, I ended up making this pie in a 9-inch springform pan, which isn't traditional, but worked out famously--the slices slid right out, I could cover the pie without fear of smushing it, and there was an added bonus of leading people to believe I had made a cheesecake instead of a pie. Fooled you!
The filling was excellent as well; in fact, it was extremely similar to the pie made using my favorite recipe. I added extract because I wanted the flavor of coconut to really come through, and it did. I garnished the pie with more toasted coconut and some chopped macadamia nuts and deemed it a delicious success. Things I will repeat include using a macadamia nut crust for all kinds of pies and eschewing a pie plate for the springform pan.
There's still time to win a copy of Teeny's cookbook--read about the giveaway here!
Coconut Cream Pie
From Teeny's Tour of Pie
Makes 1 9-inch pie
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons packed cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut flakes
- 5 ounces (approximately 1-1/4 cups) roasted macadamia nuts, ground
- 1/2 cup panko
- 1/4 cup toasted coconut, ground
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
First make the crust: In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ground nuts, panko, ground toasted coconut, sugar, flour, and salt. Add the melted butter and stir to combine.
Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch cake, pie, or springform pan. Bake 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until lightly browned. Let cool completely.
Next make the filling: Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan and whisk together. Add the milk and egg yolks and whisk together until there are no lumps.
Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a low simmer and begins to thicken, about 7 minutes.
Continue cooking, whisking constantly and being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching, until mixture beings to boil, about 2 minutes. Still whisking constantly, let it boil for a full minute, then immediately remove it from the heat.
Add the butter and vanilla, whisking until the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth. Add 3/4 cup of the coconut and stir with a spoon to fully incorporate.
Pour the coconut cream into the prebaked crust and, while still hot, cover with plastic wrap to prevent a film from forming on the top. Refrigerate until the cream has set, at least 4 hours.
Spread the remaining coconut on a rimmed baking sheet and toast at 350 degrees F, flipping halfway through with a spatula, until it is light brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the coconut from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
Remove the plastic wrap from the pie, top with whipped cream or cool whip, and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Serve cold.
*This post was also made possible thanks to some gift cards from Food Lion, one of North Carolina's best grocery stores. Again, no one can twist my arm to get me to write anything I don't mean.