Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Coconut Cream Pie

It's time to make a filling for the piecrust I prepared on this blog.  In a pinch, use a pre-made frozen pieshell instead (Whole Foods and Wholly Wholesome are two vegan brands to try).  Don't forget this pie will need at least 8 hours to chill, if you're planning to make it for an event.

For the crust:
For the filling:
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup vegan sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Ener-G eggs
  • 3/4 cup plain non-dairy milk
  • 3/4 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the meringue:
  • 3 Ener-G eggs
  • 2/3 cup vegan sugar
  • 1 tablespoon toasted flaked coconut*
1. Bake the Piecrust according to recipe directions in a 10-inch deep-dish pie plate.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

2. Lightly spoon the flour into a dry measuring cup and level with a knife.  Combine the flour in a bowl with the sugar, salt, and 2 Ener-G eggs, stirring with a whisk.

3. Combine the milk and coconut milk in a small, heavy saucepan.  Cook over medium-high heat just until bubbles form around the edges, but before the mixture boils.  A candy thermometer is your best bet for accuracy; it should read about 160 degrees.

4. Gradually add the hot milk mixture to the sugar mixture, whisking constantly.  Return to the saucepan and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly; it will be very thick and bubbly by the end, and will look much like vanilla pudding at this stage.

5. Spoon the custard into a bowl, and place in a larger bowl filled with ice.  Let stand for about 10 minutes, or until cooled to room temperature, stirring occasionally.  Remove from the bowl of ice, and stir in the coconut and vanilla extracts.

6. Spoon the custard into the chilled pie crust; cover and chill for at least 8 hours, until the filling is firm.

7. Soon before serving, make 3 Ener-G eggs in a large bowl and beat with a hand mixer for 12 minutes until stiff peaks form like egg whites.  At the 6 minute mark, gradually add 2/3 cup vegan sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, while continuing to beat.

8. Spread the meringue over the chilled pie filling, and sprinkle with the coconut. 

9. Transfer the pie to the oven and broil for 1 minute - the meringue topping should be just lightly browned.  Let cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack, at which point the pie is best served immediately.

*Toast the coconut ahead of time in a small skillet over medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes.

Nutrition Info:
10 servings (1 wedge), Calories 281 

Tasting Notes:
One taste of this and you will be transported to a tropical island - coconut coconut coconut.  The custard was utterly perfect: exactly the right consistency (like the soy pudding cups I buy at the grocery store), and full of coconut flavor.  The sugary-sweet crust (sweeter than most versions) fits this creamy pie to a T.  The meringue on top was like a big puffy cloud, but I would definitely add more flaked coconut on top, and broil a minute or two longer next time.

My difficulty tonight came not through any fault with this recipe, but because I made the fatal mistake of whipping Ener-G egg replacer on a humid day - and as every meringue chef knows, you quite simply can't whip up egg whites (or fake ones!) on a humid day.  The reason is that most of what you are creating is air, and if the air is wet and heavy, well.... deflation.  I was so dismayed - with a perfect coconut custard chilled and ready to go in my pie crust - to realize the humid evening air wasn't going to cooperate with the recipe as written.  To fix the problem, I whipped up 4 Ener-G eggs instead of 3 for extra volume, and I only used half the sugar called for.  That did the trick, but is the reason the texture of my meringue was not quite as I hoped.  I intend to try this pie again on a nice dry day, and will keep you updated. Oddly enough though, the meringue did seem perfectly sweet enough, so if you are making this on a dry day, you still might want to taste as you go and add anywhere between 1/3 cup and 2/3 cup sugar to taste.


1 comment:

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    The meaning of this is that you actually get rid of fat by eating Coconut Fats (also coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

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