One pie is good. Three is even better.
After missing my golden opportunity to enter my pies into the Malibu pie contest last week, which I fervently declared I would challenge earlier this year, I was feeling up to a challenge. These pies are my ammo and yes, I'm coming for you next year pie contest.
Being the over-achiever that I am, one pie was not going to cut it. I had to make three. One, for sure would be coconut cream- old-fashioned, smooth, not too thick, and coconut-y enough for my taste. It doesn't get much better than a really good coconut cream pie. I decided the second would be chocolate cream, well, just because. Who doesn't like chocolate?
Last, I chose pumpkin because one it goes with the season and I knew it would be a nice alternative to the other sweet and rich cream pies.
Now, while I love pie, I have decided that I don't like:
1: Toasting coconut in the oven to a perfect golden brown, not burning the coconut (which happens easily, fyi), while holding a wire whisk and whisking cream constantly (which means don't stop- you don't want to scald the cream) in a pan over medium heat until i have lost all feeling in my arm
2: Spilling pumpkin puree filling everywhere while placing pie into the oven, thus creating a cloud of smoke, and me freaking out over whether my smoke alarm was going to go off.
3: Creating the perfect pie crust , only to assemble it haphazardly, watch it break into pieces and have to patch it completely back together. I mean, where did we go wrong here?!
4: Forgetting to set a timer on my cuisinart mixer, leaving the room, and in turn end up over-mixing the whipped cream to a curdled mess. Not a good look :/
5: Shortening (but ok, I admitted the crust was flaky)
In the end, it was all worth it. It was a labor of love. The pumpkin pie was amazing, spiced just right, and uncommonly creamy. It was a home run, and one that I will make again and again.
The chocolate was a knock-out- another pie that I will never stray from. I have made this before and again it delivered.
The standout was the coconut for sure- my first bite in I knew I had something special on my hands ( hint* I practically fell out of my seat when I tasted it! ).
Pies take love, and sometimes it's when you feel you've made a mistake when you create the best tasting pie. I mean, you can totally cover up a broken pie crust. Who's gonna notice that anyway?
Now, excuse me while I go experiment with a killer apple pie recipe...
Coconut Cream Pie::::::
For the crust:
1¼ cups sifted all-purpose flour
¼ cup shortening
⅓ cup chilled butter, cut into pieces
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons ice water
For the filling:
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup cream
½ cup sugar
6 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon softened butter
¼ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon coconut extract
3 tablespoons cream of coconut
For the topping:
2 cups cream
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup sweetened, shredded coconut.
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place coconut on baking sheet and toast until light brown, about 7 minutes.
2. Make the crust: Sift flour, sugar and salt together. Using a food processor or pastry cutter, blend butter and shortening into the flour mixture until pea-sized pieces form. Slowly add the water until the dough just comes together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. Roll out chilled dough on a floured surface until it is large enough to create a 1-inch overhang on a 10-inch pie pan. Using a fork, poke several holes along the base of the crust. Finish the rim of the crust to your liking. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
3. Make the filling: Pour evaporated milk, cream and sugar into a saucepan. Over medium heat, bring to a boil, then immediately remove from heat. Using a whisk attachment on an electric mixer, beat egg yolks until they appear pale and fluffy. Add cornstarch and butter; continue beating until they are fully incorporated. Add vanilla, coconut extract and cream of coconut. Set the mixer on a low speed and slowly add the warm cream mixture to the egg mixture. Pour the filling back into the saucepan and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour coconut filling into the baked pie shell and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and allow the pie to cool completely.
4. Make the topping: Whip cream, sugar and vanilla to stiff peaks.
5. To finish: Place a large mountain of whipped cream in the center of the pie and, using a small offset spatula, create a dome shape. Sprinkle the entire dome with toasted coconut. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 12 servings.
Chocolate Cream Pie:::::
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1⁄2"
cubes and chilled, plus more for pie plate
1⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 9-oz. package chocolate wafers,
such as Nabisco, finely ground
(about 2 1⁄4 cups)
3 1⁄2 cups half-and-half
2⁄3 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
1⁄4 cup cornstarch
9 egg yolks
9 oz. semisweet chocolate,
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate,
2 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
Dark chocolate, for garnish
1. Heat oven to 375°. Grease bottom and sides of a 9" glass pie plate with butter; set aside. Heat 8 tbsp. butter and brown sugar in a 1-qt. saucepan until sugar dissolves. Transfer butter mixture to a medium bowl; stir in ground wafers. Transfer mixture to pie plate; press into bottom and sides, using the bottom of a measuring cup to compress crust. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Bake until set, about 15 minutes; let cool.
2. Heat half-and-half in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat until it just begins to simmer; remove pan from heat. In a large bowl, whisk together 2⁄3 cup sugar and cornstarch; add egg yolks and whisk until smooth. Drizzle half-and-half into egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly, until smooth. Return mixture to saucepan; heat over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until bubbles rise to the surface and mixture is very thick, 3–4 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add remaining butter and chocolates in small batches, whisking until smooth; stir in 1 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla. Set a sieve over a medium bowl and strain chocolate mixture. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing plastic onto surface; refrigerate until set, about 4 hours.
3. Remove plastic wrap from chocolate filling and, using a rubber spatula, stir mixture until smooth. Spoon mixture into reserved crust, forming a dome, and smooth surface with the spatula. In a large bowl, whisk remaining sugar, remaining vanilla, and heavy cream until stiff peaks form; spread on top of filling, forming a dome. Using a peeler, shave some of the dark chocolate onto top of pie. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. (1/2 stick/2 oz/56g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 tbsp. cold vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
3 tbsp. very cold water
1 can (15 oz.) 100% pure pumpkin
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
4 tsp. all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of salt
Whipped Cream Topping:
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
To Make The Crust:
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, granulated sugar and salt and pulse to blend. Add the butter and shortening and pulse until reduced to 1/2-inch pieces. Add the water a little at a time and pulse until the dough just begins to come together in a rough mass. Transfer the dough to a work surface and shape into a 5-inch disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours.
Position a rack in the center of an oven and preheat to 425°F (220°C).
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie dish, fit the dough into the dish and trim the edges, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang; reserve the trimmings, if desired. Fold under the excess dough and, using your thumb, decoratively flute the edges. For an attractive finishing touch, roll out the trimmings and, using small leaf-shaped cutters, cut out leaves and press them gently onto the fluted edge. Freeze the dough for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
Line the frozen crust with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights, uncooked rice or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and foil and continue to bake until the shell is golden, about 5 minutes more. Transfer the pie dish to a wire rack and let the shell cool completely. Reduce the heat to 325ºF (160°C).
To Make The Filling:
In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cream, eggs, egg yolk, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt and whisk until smooth. Pour into the crust.
Baking The Pie:
Bake the pie until the filling is set but the center still jiggles slightly when the pie dish is gently shaken, about 50 minutes, or longer if using a metal pie dish. Transfer the dish to the rack and let the pie cool completely.
Making The Whipped Cream:
To make the whipped cream, in a deep bowl, combine the cream, granulated sugar and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream mixture until soft peaks form and the cream is billowy, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve or for up to 2 hours. Serve the pie at room temperature or slightly chilled, topped with the whipped cream.