Sunday, April 15, 2012

Coconut Key Lime Pie

 Easter dessert is always our challenge.  This year, the main challenge was that we didn't decide what we were going to make until the week before Easter and then we tested it and then made it all again the next week. By that time, I was already tired of our choices and didn't end up eating any of our desserts at the actual Easter celebration (luckily nobody noticed cause that would've been just weird).

The first dessert we made for our smaller group of just 14 people was coconut key lime pie.  This pie was perfected in our second try by really reducing the amount of whipped cream topping from the amount that Martha Stewart used in the recipe because on the first pass our pie and whipped cream were of comparable texture.  We also added some flavoring to the cream because we felt it was boring on top of the pie just as is--it was sort of useless.  This pie was a cinch
put together and a big hit with the family.  It really does need time in the refrigerator before digging in so try to make this pie ahead and let it set first. The coconut flavor wasn't very strong which but just a little hint of it was nice.

Coconut Key Lime Pie
adapted from Martha Stewart

For the Crust:
6 oz Graham Crackers
3 T sugar
1/4 t coarse salt (I used regular salt the first time and Joey used coarse the second time, there was no difference)
5 T unsalted butter, melted

For the pie Filling:
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 can (13.5oz) unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 C bottled key lime juice (or fresh!)
1 T lime zest (we zested some key limes)
7 large egg yolks

For the whipped cream:
1 t lime zest
2 t key lime juice
1 C heavy cream
2 T powdered sugar

For Decoration:
2-3 T toasted coconut
1 key lime's zest

1. Preheat the oven to 350
2. In a food processor pulse the graham crackers until course sand. Add all the other ingredients and pulse until combined and the crackers seem wet
3. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9" pie tin. Bake crust 12 minutes until dry looking and slightly more golden.  Let the crust cool while you make the filling
4. Reduce oven temperature to 325
5. In a bowl combine all the ingredients for the pie filling until mixed together well. Pour into the graham cracker crust and bake 40 minutes until set but still a little wobbly in the middle.  Cool on a rack until room temperature and then move to the refrigerator.
6. Meanwhile, toast 2-3 T sweetened coconut flakes in a small dry frying pan over medium heat.  Toss the coconut so it doesn't become too browned on one side.  Remove from heat when most coconut is browned and cool, then store in a ziploc bag.
NOTE:  We made our whipped cream 1 1/2 days before Easter dessert and it turned out fine, stored in the refrigerator without re-whipping. However, if you feel the desire to make it right before, feel free.  Whip cream
7. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream, sugar, juice & zest on high until stiff peaks form about 3 minutes.
8. Spread whipped cream over just the center of the pie leaving an edge of filling to see.  Sprinkle toasted coconut and remaining zest over the pie and chill until ready to serve.

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