Sunday, April 24, 2011

Coconut Cream Pie with Foolproof Pie Crust

Yesterday I made a wonderful Coconut Cream Pie for Easter so wanted to share my recipe with you.

Foolproof Pie Dough:
Note the Vodka used is essential to the texture of the crust and imparts no flavor. This dough will be moister and more supple than most standard pie doughs and will require more flour to roll out (up to 1/4 C). This recipe is from Cook's Illustrated 2009 cookbook and is simply the best dough I have ever made and worked with. It has become the only pie dough recipe I make. The texture is similar to playdough and is super easy to roll out. This is a great way to get children in the kitchen, allowing them to participate in the cooking process.
2 1/2 Cups (12 1/2 oz.) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cold vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup cold vodka
1/4 cup cold water

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, sugar add butter and shortening and "cut" in until dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps. Scrape bowl down then add remaining cup of flour, blending until evenly distributed. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture and fold into the dough pressing down until it sticks together and is slightly tacky. Divide into 2 even balls and flatten into 4-inch disks, wrapping in plastic wrap and refrigerating at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days. When ready to use roll dough out as usual.
For the Coconut Cream Pie preheat your oven to 450 degrees roll dough for a 9-inch pie pan then press 1 tablespoon toasted coconut into the bottom of the crust, fill with beans or pie beads and bake 10-12 minutes. Cool pie shell before making cream filling.

For My Coconut Cream Pie:
(The original recipe can be found at the Betty Crocker website under "Triple-Threat Coconut Cream Pie".
My version is slightly different
1 can (13 1/2 oz) coconut milk, well shaken
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sweetened shredded or flaked coconut, toasted
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar

Heat in a 2-quart sauce pan simmer the coconut milk, whole milk, 1/2 cup toasted coconut, vanilla extract, 1/3 cup sugar and salt over medium heat about 5 minutes stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
In a seperate bowl whisk together until smooth.
1/3 cup sugar
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch

Gradually beat in some of the hot liquid to temper it, then return the entire yolk mixture into the saucepan. Simmer over medium heat, beating contantly with whisk 5-6 minutes until it has thickened. Transfer to a bowl cover with plastic wrap (press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling to prevent a "skin" from forming). Refrigerate until cool. Pour into pie crust, chill until just before serving.
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, well chilled
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sweetened shredded or flaked coconut, toasted
1 oz. white chocolate, shaved

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream and sugar in a chilled bowl until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla, continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream over the pie and sprinkle with the toasted coconut and shaved white chocolate. Store in the refrigerator. Makes 8 servings.
The differences in the Betty Crocker recipe and mine are they add 2 tablespoons butter to the custard filling before cooling. I have dropped these added calories with no loss in flavor or texture to the filling. They use 2 teaspoons dark rum in the whipping cream instead of the vanilla extract, again it is a matter of taste. I personally like a true coconut taste with no added flavors. I will use the picture from the BC website because my pie has been eaten! I hope you will enjoy these recipes.

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