Saturday, November 5, 2016

Lime-Coconut Custard Pie

The Bitten Word, one of my favorite blogs, is ending in a few weeks.  They're going out with a bang, doing their annual Thanksgiving recipe index, Fakesgiving, and a reader-participation challenge.  I signed up and got this pie from The Food Network.

When they say this is Easy, they mean it.  Whisk things together and pour into store-bought crust.  In the spirit of the challenge, I made this exactly as written.  I'd never used refrigerator crust before.  Crazy easy to work with, but was tough and didn't taste very good.  If you're going to cheat, the frozen crusts are better.

Making this as written, it also got expensive.  I've never bought coconut oil before.  $5.99 on sale for 14oz.  The crusts, $2.50 (2-pack) for the store brand on sale.  Limes 39¢ each.  Sweetened shredded coconut (I only had organic unsweetened at home) $2.99 for store brand.  Pints of both half-and-half and heavy cream.  I needed every ingredient except the flour, eggs, sugar, and vanilla.

As for the taste?  Ignoring the crust issues, I would focus on the coconut part if you were thinking of making this pie.  The hint of lime barely freshens it up a bit, and I would use all the juice from both limes if I made this again.  I would also put a little sugar in the whipped cream, or better yet, buy a spray can of it.  Cheaper and easier, if not as pretty.  On the other hand, it's a pretty good coconut pie, and came out looking exactly like the photo on their site.  Even the time estimates were about right.  I don't put in times here because everyone works at a different pace.  The biggest effort went into zesting and juicing the limes.  Aside from that, it was all measuring and stirring together while the oven preheated.

1 sheet refrigerated pie dough
2 Tb flour, plus more for dusting
2 eggs
1/4 C coconut oil
1-1/4 C half-and-half
1-1/4 C, plus 1 Tb, sweetened shredded coconut
3/4 C sugar
2 limes
1/2 C heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla

1.  Assuming your pie dough needs to come up to room temperature to be rolled, get that out first.  While it's warming, finely zest both limes.  Cut one open and juice.  Warm the coconut oil, either in the microwave or on the stove, until just melted.

2.  Start preheating the oven to 350º.  Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll out the crust to 12".  My pastry board has outlines for several sizes of pie plates, so I just used the one for a 9" pie.  Transfer dough by folding it over the rolling pin and sliding it over to the plate.  Coax crust into a 9" pie plate, glass if you have it, then crimp the edges into whatever decoration you like.

3.  In a medium bowl, beat eggs slightly.  Then beat in flour, liquid coconut oil, half-and-half, shredded coconut, and sugar.  Reserve 1/2 tsp of lime zest for garnish and add the rest, plus the juice of one lime.
4.  Pour custard mix into pie crust and bake for 50-55 minutes.  I checked after 45 to make sure the crust wasn't browning too quickly.  Mine was fine, but if yours is getting dark, use a crust guard or strips of foil to cover just the edges that are too dark.  The pie is done when the center is done jiggling, but not completely set.  Allow to cool to room temperature, 1 or 2 hours.  At this point, you can refrigerate it overnight.

5.  For garnish, bake reserved coconut until lightly toasted, about 4 minutes.  I did mine in the toaster oven at 350º.  Walked away and burned the first batch.  At least it was only a small commitment of time and resources.  While that's cooling, whip heavy cream and vanilla to soft peaks.  Spread on pie and sprinkle with toasted coconut and reserved lime zest.  Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

Serves 8

Difficulty rating  π

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