Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Coconut Cream Pie From Scratch {With Boozy Option!}

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So, we have a problem.

I had been asking Samuel to rearrange our furniture in the living room for a while, ever since everything was pushed into the corners as it became a bedroom for our refugee friends for a few weeks. Being the busy man that he is, he simply hadn't gotten around to moving everything back into place. Plus he needed someone to help him since I think it's against the rules for a pregnant lady to help move furniture.

One day, I was walking back from the grocery store and found Samuel sitting on the front stoop.

"Hey, when you get inside, see how you'd like the furniture rearranged..." he said mysteriously.

"Why do you need to know now? I thought you were going to do it this weekend and have your friend help you."

"Well, just see..." he said, his eyes twinkling mischievously.

I shrugged and went inside. When I walked into the living room, it looked like an interior designer had swept through the place in a magical whirlwind. As it ended up, Samuel was the interior designer responsible. The one trillion pound desk had somehow been moved to the far side of the room and the furniture was all clustered cosily together by the window.

Having gone from being living-room-less for months to suddenly having a place to chill out all day in sweatpants while eating ice cream and not getting anything done might be kind of a problem. Oh living room, how we have missed you.

But somehow, I took a break from that to make this pie. Probably because I was getting paid for it. I made it for that cafe again. And since her only requirement is that it must be decorated with strawberries since they're in season now, this was a strawberry topped coconut cream pie.

I originally wanted to make this pie with coconut rum, but seeing as how I was selling it to a cafe, I didn't know if that was really a good idea. Plus I feel kind of weird buying rum when I'm pregnant. So to avoid disapproving glares at the grocery store check-out and tipsy cafe patrons, I left it out. It would only be an improvement to an already perfect dessert though, in my opinion, so I encourage you to do it.

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    • Coconut Cream Pie From Scratch

    • Crust:
    • 2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs (you could also use Golden Oreos)
    • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut (optional)
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup melted butter

    • Filling:
    • 2 cups milk (I used 1 cup of full fat coconut milk and 1 cup of regular whole milk. Any milk will work, but of course fattier milk tastes better. Using a regular carton of coconut milk would also be great!)
    • 5 egg yolks
    • 1 whole egg
    • 1/4 cup corn starch
    • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (omit the extra 2 tablespoons if using sweetened coconut)
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon coconut extract, optional (they don't have it in Germany, but normally I would add some)
    • 3/4 cup desiccated coconut (sweetened flaked coconut is also good)
    • A shot or two of coconut rum, optional (just add to taste)

    • Topping:
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract (again, optional)
    • A few teaspoons of coconut rum, optional

    • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut (or 1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut and omit the 2 teaspoons of sugar)

    • Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Combine the cookies, coconut, and sugar for the crust in the food processor and pulse until all the crumbs are fine. Add the butter and mix well. Press firmly into a pie or tart pan. Start by pressing some around the edges with your fingers and then press the rest into the bottom using a flat bottomed glass. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes or until it's very slightly browned and smells awesome. Refrigerate until the filling is ready.
    • For the filling, first add the milk to to a pot on the stove and bring to a simmer. 
    • Meanwhile beat the eggs, corn starch, and sugar together until smooth. 
    • Once the milk is simmering, add a little at a time to the eggs, whisking constantly. Once you've added about 1/2 the milk, add the whole milk/egg mixture back to the pot with the rest of the milk (this is called tempering and prevents you from having scrambled eggs in your pudding). Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until it comes to a boil and thickens. Make sure you stir the corners and bottom so it doesn't burn. 
    • Add the butter, extracts, and rum (if using) and whisk well until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the coconut. Allow the mixture to cool slightly and then pour into crust. Cover the top with plastic wrap so that the wrap is touching the pudding (this prevents a film forming on the top). 
    • Chill for 6 hours or overnight. 
    • Whip the cream with the powdered sugar, extracts, and rum (if using). On the stove, toast the coconut and sugar over medium heat until lightly browned. Top the pie with the whipped cream and coconut. Throw some strawberries on if you feel like it. Enjoy. 

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