Friday, January 25, 2013

Coconut Plus Chocolate Pie

Question:  What do you do with a leftover bag of sweetened shredded coconut.

Answer:  Make a coconut cream pie with a chocolate bottom crust!

Typically, I'm not much of a coconut fan when it comes to desserts, but the combo of coconut and chocolate in this one appealed to me. Especially when I had a huge bag of shredded coconut in the fridge left over from my Lane Cake, which I made a while back. (Don't you hate when a recipe calls for two tablespoons of an ingredient that's only available in one-pound bags!)

Not only did I get to use up the coconut, but also I had some chocolate wafers, which I crushed up along with some butter and a bit of the coconut to make the crust. The filling was a fairly straightforward process: a stovetop custard that once cooked gets poured into the cooled pie shell.

The topping is simply whipped cream and some toasted coconut. Light, creamy, rich with a chocolate base. It's easy to eat several pieces...

Coconut Cream Pie
(from Martha Stewart's Pies and Tarts)

Ingredients:

For The Crust

30 chocolate wafer cookies, broken into pieces
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut

For The Topping And Filling

1 3/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 3/4 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Directions

Make crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a food processor, combine cookies and salt; process until fine crumbs form. With machine running, slowly pour butter through feed tube and process until mixture resembles wet sand. Stir in coconut. Press crumbs in bottom and up side of a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Bake until crust is set, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pie plate on a wire rack.

Make topping: Increase heat to 350. Spread 1/2 cup coconut on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Make filling: In a small saucepan, whisk together milk, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and salt. Cook over medium-high, whisking constantly, until bubbles form at the edge and mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl and stir in 1 1/4 cups coconut. Pour filling into cooled crust and smooth top. Refrigerate until filling is chilled and completely set, about 2 hours (or wrap tightly with plastic and refrigerate, up to 2 days).

To serve, whip cream until soft peaks form. Top pie with whipped cream and toasted coconut.

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