Here’s two GREAT recipes for a classic pie. First recipe is from PIE, a FANTASTIC cookbook from Ken Haedrich (pg 468-9). If you haven’t acquired a copy of his cookbook you need to do so promptly!! You can find a selection of pie crust recipes here.
Yield: 8-10 servings
1 9-inch pie crust
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk (don’t skimp with 2 or 1% here, you need the heft)
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
3/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar (powdered sugar)
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
1. Prepare your pastry and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour.
2. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface and line a 9-inch pie pan. Sculpt the edge to a high, upstanding ridge. Freeze for 15 minutes then prebake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Use pie weights in the base of the pie shell to prevent bubbles and flaking. Let the pie crust cool completely before filling.
3. Whisk granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a medium-size, heavy saucepan, preferably nonstick. Whisk in the milk and egg yolks. Place over medium heat and cook, whisking virtually nonstop, until the mixture thickens and starts to boil, about five to 7 minutes. (Don’t skimp on this, you need to make sure the cornstarch activates and thickens fully.) Continue to cook, whisking nonstop for about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and whisk in butter, one piece at a time. Whisk in the vanilla, coconut extract, and flaked coconut. Immediately pour the filling into the cooled pie shell and smooth the top with a spoon. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly over the filling, leaving no gaps or air pockets, to prevent skin from forming. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool thoroughly, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
4. When you’re almost ready to serve the pie, make the topping. Using a chilled medium-size bowl and beaters, beat the cream with an electric mixer until it holds soft peaks. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until stiff but not grainy. Smooth over the chilled pie or pipe it on decoratively. Sprinkle with the coconut. Slice and serve.
This next recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook cookbook (pg 241). This is another GREAT cookbook, completely worth the money. Good tips and great basic and fancy recipes sure to liven up your gatherings.
Yield: 8-10 servings
1 9-inch pie crust
1 large whole egg, lightly beaten, plus 4 large egg yolks
Fresh Coconut Curls
3 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ounces semisweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch round, a bit less than 1/4 inch thick. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Trim the crust to a 1/2 inch overhang all around. Fold under overhang so it extends slightly beyond the edge of the pie plate. Crimp edge as desired. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Chill pie shell until firm, about 30 minutes.
Line chilled pie shell with a round of parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the edges of the crust are just beginning to turn golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove parchment and pie weights. Return crust to oven, and continue baking until golden all over, 15 to 20 minutes more. Place pie shell on a wire rack to cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
Place coconut curls on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, tossing occasionally, until fragrant and lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Prepare an ice bath; set aside. In a bowl, lightly whisk the egg yolks; set aside. In a saucepan, whisk together coconut milk, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Bring to a simmer (do not boil), and cook, whisking constantly, 3 to 4 minutes.
Whisk quarter of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks; whisk in remaining milk mixture. Strain into a clean saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until custard is thick and bubbles appear in the center, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Set in the ice bath until completely chilled, 30 to 35 minutes. (Filling can be kept in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, up to 1 day.)
Fill crust with coconut custard, spreading evenly with an offset spatula. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine cream and confectioners’ sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Using a small offset spatula, spread the whipped cream on top of the custard. Refrigerate pie at least 3 hours before serving. Garnish with toasted coconut and chocolate curls just before serving.