Monday, May 27, 2013

Week 20- A little slice of coconut heaven

I am way behind in my posts, so this will be a quick one.

My mother had heard about a book called "The United States of Pie" which has regional favorites from all over our fair land and she suggested I take a look at it.  I found a copy at the library and settled on a Southern favorite, coconut cream pie, for my 20th pie.

Well, let me tell you Adrienne Kane knows how to make a coconut cream pie.  This was filled light and sweet with a perfect amount of coconut flavor (although there didn't seem to be a lot of coconut in the actual pie.)  Big thumbs up on this one!

Now my husband travels a lot for work, but he is usually around on the weekend when I make pie.  Unfortunately for him, the weekend of the coconut cream pie, he was on a plane (and thankfully far away from the devastating tornadoes out West.)  Which left me home with a whole delicious pie.  I could have shared with friends, but seriously the pie was just too good.  I promise folks, I will make this one again and share next time.

Coconut Cream Pie
Adapted from "United States of Pie" by Adrienne Kane

1 Graham Cracker Crust

1 1/2 cups lite coconut milk (which is just under 1 regular size can)
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 egg yolks, beaten
Pinch of kosher salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted

1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
(Note, I used a KitchenAid mixer so I made a larger quantity of whipped cream)

Combine coconut milk and whole milk in a medium sized saucepan and bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat.  Remove from heat and stir in the sugar until it dissolves.

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the milk mixture with the cornstarch and stir until smooth.  In a small bowl, combine another 1/2 cup of milk mixture with the egg yolks and salt.  Add both the cornstarch and the egg yolk mixture to the saucepan and stir in remaining milk mixture.  (Now I misread this and split the milk mixture in half and did the two steps rather than use 1/2 cup of the milk mixture.  It didn't affect the recipe at all.)

Return the saucepan to medium heat and cook the milk mixture, stirring constantly until it boils.  Reduce the heat to low and cook about 2 minutes until the mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and stir in the butter and the vanilla.  Fold in 1/2 cup of the toasted coconut, reserving 1/4 cup for the topping.  Pour the pudding into the pie shell and cover with plastic.  Chill for at least 4 hours.

When ready to serve, whip the cream and confectioners' sugar.  Cover the chilled pie with whipped cream and the reserved coconut.


Incredibly delicious...

Friday, May 17, 2013

Week 19- Put the Lime in the Coconut...

Happy Belated Mother's Day.  I had a lovely day with my husband and the girls!

For this weekend, I decided to make a pie I would enjoy to celebrate Mom's Day.  A few of you know that I have a MASSIVE collection of recipes I've saved from a variety of sources.  But even I didn't realize that I have had some of these recipes for a very long time.  The recipe I used is apparently from the August 2000 issue of Good Housekeeping- and it's actually clipped out of the magazine.  Which leaves me to wonder 1) Why was I reading Good Housekeeping 13 years ago when I was footloose and fancy free?  and 2) How did this recipe survive all the moves? For the record I have moved 9 times since I got the recipe.

Whatever.  It survived and I'm glad it did because it was delicious.  I love coconut and lime and this had fantastic flavors.  Much easier and tastier than the key lime pie I made a few months back. And I only had to squeeze 6 limes rather than 24 little key limes. Well, actually I didn't squeeze the limes.  I had my eldest helping me with lime juice duty.  She also helped place the mango on the top of the pie so don't blame me for the aesthetics.  You can see from the picture that we started with a spiral pattern and then things got a little out of hand.

BTW, one other note.  The recipe says you can get 10 servings out of this pie.  I don't understand why anyone would cut a pie in more than 8 pieces.  Of course, I eat pie for breakfast these days so maybe I have a skewed perspective.

Tropical Lime and Mango Pie
Adapted from Good Housekeeping, August 2000 recipe
Link to Coconut Lime Pie

Coconut Crust
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
6 tablespoons cold butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease the pie plate.

In a food processor pulse flour, coconut and sugar until finely ground.  Add the butter and 1 tablespoon cold water and pulse until fine crumbs form.

Sprinkle crumbs in the plate and form into a crust.

Bake about 25 minutes or until lightly golden, covering the crust with foil for the last 10 minutes.

6 limes
1 14 ounce can low-fat sweetened condensed milk
1 8 ounce container sour cream
1 envelope of gelatin
1 ripe mango

Grate 2 teaspoons of lime zest and squeeze 1/2 cup juice.  In a medium bowl, whisk together lime peel and juice with the condensed milk and sour cream.

In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water; let stand for 2 minutes.  Heat over low heat for about 5 minutes until gelatin dissolves. When done, combine the gelatin into the lime mixture.

Set bowl with lime mixture into a larger bowl filled with ice water.  With a spatula, stir mixture occasionally until it begins to mound (about 20 minutes).  Pour the filling into the crust and chill.

To serve, arrange mango slices on top of filling.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Week 18- Looh-ville pie

Sorry for the late post.  I've been swamped with princess parties.  Seriously, I escorted my little princess to three themed birthday parties last week.  My head might fall off if I see another tiara, pink castle cake or  Disney costume in the near future.

My daughter's birthday is coming up next month and I'm very glad to say we're heading towards a different theme- we're having a pony party.  Which is fitting considering my eldest was born in Horse Country USA- Kentucky.  And last week, we had Kentucky on the brain when we sat down to watch the first leg of the Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby. 

To celebrate the Derby, I made the iconic chocolate bourbon pie that can't be named for trademark reasons.  Although I love the fact that as I searched for recipes people have found a ton of cutesy other names like "Derby Day Pie" or "Run for the Roses Pie" or "Pegasus Pie".  When I searched Wikipedia I discovered this type of pie has been the subject of 25 lawsuits.  And since, I don't want to be #26, I'm just going to call it "Looh-ville" pie.  Or if you're really local "Lul-ville" pie.  ;)

I did have a debate about which nut to use in the recipe because most recipes call for walnuts.  However, I feel that pecans are a little more in the spirit of a Southern pie.  So pecans it was. 

Super sweet and filled with chocolate and bourbon, it's really not the best pie for a warm day.  But you can't mess with tradition!  And this pie was a good antidote to princess overload....

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie
Recipe adapted from Southern Living, May 2005
Link to Chocolate Bourbon Pie

Pie crust
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup bourbon (although the recipe says you can use bourbon or water.  I say "HA!" If there is no bourbon there is no reason to make this pie)
4 eggs
1/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons cornmeal
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

Prepare pie crust.  Sprinkle pecans and chocolate chips in bottom of crust.

Combine corn syrup, 2 sugars and bourbon in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.

Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients.  Whisk 1/4 of the sugar/bourbon mixture into the egg mixture, stirring constantly.  Add the remaining hot mixture while whisking.

Pour into prepared pie crust and bake at 325 degrees for 55 minutes.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Week 17- Substitute Pie

As you know I planned to do one more "Pie I Don't Like".  However, Mother Nature foiled me.  I had promised myself that I would use local ingredients as much as possible.  Well, because it's been so cold and dreary, the ingredient I needed for the last pie is not out yet.

So I made a quick sub.  I found this recipe for cranberry chocolate nut pie and it just so happened I had all the ingredients on hand.  No trip to the supermarket for me (well, unless you count visiting three different farms earlier in the week to find rhubarb for the MIA pie.)

The other beautiful thing about this recipe is this was a pie used in another person's 52 pie project.  As you can see I'm not even original.  And her pies are much better looking than mine.  So just look at her pie picture and you can pretend it's mine.

The pie was yummy- very dense, boozy, and almost like a cookie bar in pie form.  This is definitely a keeper for a winter pie option since everything is from the pantry- and I enjoyed using up the last of my nuts, white chocolate chips and brandy from other baking projects!

Cranberry Chocolate Nut Pie
Adapted from a recipe on the blog Saving Room for Dessert
Pie Recipe

3/4 cup dried cranberries (I had sweetened on hand so that's what I used)
1/2 cup brandy (you can use orange juice but I had brandy that needed to be used up)
1 single crust pastry
1/3 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts (I used about 3/4 cup since that was all I had)
3/4 cup flour
2 oz white chocolate chips

In a bowl, combine the cranberries and the brandy.  Chill for an hour.  Drain, but save 1 tablespoon of the brandy for the pie.

Preheat oven to 325 and prepare the pie crust.

Combine all the other ingredients.  Pour into the prepared pie crust.

Bake for 65 minutes, loosely covering the pie for the last 30 minutes.  (I left my pie in an extra 5-10 minutes since it looked like it needed a little more time to bake.)

Cool on wire rack and then enjoy!