It all started with a simple text message: “Hey Dad, what do you want for your birthday dinner on Tuesday?”
I was actually wondering what he wanted for dinner, but the reply I got related only to dessert: “Coconut Key Lime Pineapple Cream Pie….with an inch of lime infused whipped cream and toasted coconut sprinkles”. Ummmm, ok Dad, seems oddly specific.
Did I mention that I’ve never made Coconut Cream Pie. In fact, I don’t make many pies at all. Cakes, yes…tarts, yes…crumbles and crisps, yes….but pie? Not so much. But, being the good daughter that I am, I took the challenge.
I knew the process was going to be a bit involved. To start, I had to figure out how to incorporate the pineapple. Then, I was going to have to make a coconut pudding layer, from scratch (never done that before, pinterest was a big help). Lime infused whip cream, because the request was quite specific. And then, all finished off with coconut sprinkles. Because, really, what’s a birthday without sprinkles ;). Finally, the entire pie was going to have to be chilled for several hours and only then would I know if it had set up properly. So, you know, no pressure.
In the end, it was all worth it. The pie was a hit and even my husband, who is anti-coconut anything, enjoyed the little piece he had.
Graham Cracker Crust:
1/2 Cup butter, melted
1 1/2 Cups graham cracker crumbs
Mix well and press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a pie pan. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
1 Cup Pineapple, finely chopped
2 tbsp Rum
2 tbsp Brown sugar
In a small sauce pan, combine the pineapple, rum and brown sugar. Over low heat, cook the mixture for about 15 minutes, mashing and stirring frequently, until it reaches a jam-like consistency.
Coconut Cream: (adapted slightly from Rock Recipes)
1/3 Cup All purpose flour
3 Cups Whole milk
1 Cup fine coconut
2/3 Cup Sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
In the microwave, scald the milk until almost boiling (You could do this step on the stove top, but the microwave makes it easier to prevent burning).
In a saucepan, combine the flour, coconut, sugar and salt. Over low heat, add the scalded milk in 1 Cup increments, whisking constantly and waiting until each portion has thickened before adding the next amount.
Once all the milk has been added and the mixture has thickened, remove the pan from the heat. Pour 1/2 Cup of the mixture onto the beaten eggs, whisking constantly. Then, pour the egg mixture into the pot, continuing to whisk. Cook the entire mixture for an additional few minutes, until it reaches a pudding-like consistency. Remove from the heat.
Stir in the butter and vanilla and set aside to cool for about 20 minutes. Once the coconut cream has cooled, pour it into the chilled graham cracker crust. Place it back in the fridge and allow to chill for about 3 hours.
1 tbsp sugar
2 Cups Heavy cream
juice and zest of one lime
Chill a metal mixing bowl in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Once the bowl has chilled, combine the sugar and cream and beat on high for about 3 – 5 minutes, until the soft peaks begin to form. Add the zest and juice and beat for a minute or two more until desired consistency.
Once the coconut cream layer has had a chance to chill, evenly spread the whip cream over top.
1/4 Cup Fancy coconut, toasted
2 tsp lime zest