Monday, October 27, 2014

Diner Desserts Coconut Cream Pie

Best coconut pie I have ever had. What more is there to say? I have been in love with this recipe and making this pie for years. Someone told me I should sell my pies after eating this. As fate would have it, I did have a chance to sell my pies to a little cafe in Virginia. Fun times.
You can also make coconut mini pies, from the Tish Boyle Sweet Dreams website. Or make coconut cream shortbread bars. I tried the bars and people liked them at work but I felt the crust was too hard.

Coconut Cream Pie by Tish Boyle

Flaky Pie Crust:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks and frozen
3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening, frozen
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water

Coconut Filling:
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
4 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1 3/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut (toast 1/2 cup of it for 7-8 minutes in a 350 degree oven--this is for the garnish)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whipped Cream Topping:
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the dough:
1. Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade and pulse on and off until combined. Scatter the butter pieces and the shortening, in large chunks, over the flour mixture. Pulse the machine on and off until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 6 tablespoons of the ice water and process until the mixture just starts to come together. (If the dough seems dry, add the remaining 2 tablespoons water as necessary. Do not allow the dough to form a ball on the blade, or the resulting crust will be tough.)
2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide it in half, and shape each half into a thick disk. Wrap the disks separately in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
Roll out the crusts:
3. Have ready six 5-inch pie pans (not tartlette pans). Lightly flour a large work surface. Allow the dough to soften at room temperature just until it is pliable (about 20 minutes). Place 1 disk on the floured surface and sprinkle some flour over it. Roll the dough from the center out in every direction, flouring the work surface as necessary to prevent sticking. You want a round about 1/8 inch or slightly less thick. Cut out 2 6 1/2-inch circles from the dough and press each circle into a pie pan. Trim the edges of the dough with scissors, leaving about 1/2 inch of overhang. Tuck the overhanging dough underneath itself, pressing it onto the rim of the pan. Flute the edge by pinching the dough from the outside in a V shape with your thumb and index finger while poking the center of the shape with the index finger of your other hand from the inside. Repeat with the remaining dough and pans, gathering up the scraps and rerolling them as necessary to make 6 pie crusts. If you like, brush the edges of the crust with an egg yolk whisked with a little water.

Bake the crust:
4. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line pie crust with a square of lightly buttered aluminum foil, buttered side down, covering the edge of the crust so that it doesn't get too brown. Fill the lined crust with pie weights, dried beans, or raw rice. Bake the pie crust for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and foil. Prick the bottom of the crust well with a fork and bake the crust for another 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden and the bottoms are baked through. Cool the pie crust on a wire rack.

Make the Coconut Filling:
5. In a medium saucepan, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt until well combined. Gradually whisk in 1/4 cup of the coconut milk to form a smooth paste. Whisk in the remaining coconut milk and the whole milk. Place over medium heat and bring to a slow boil, whisking constantly. Remove the pan from the heat.
6. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot coconut mixture into the yolks, then return the yolk mixture to the saucepan. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Continue to boil, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, or until very thick. Remove from the heat, scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the butter pieces until melted. Whisk in the vanilla and 1 1/4 cups of the untoasted coconut (reserve the remaining 1/2 cup toasted coconut for garnish). Divide the warm filling among the pie crusts and press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of each pie filling. Refrigerate the pies for at least 4 hours, or until thoroughly chilled.

Make the Whipped Cream Topping:
7. In an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment or beaters, beat the cream on medium-low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium-high and add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat until the cream forms stiff peaks.
8. Scrape the whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip. Pipe rosettes over the chilled pies and sprinkle with the reserved toasted coconut. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Baked S’More-Style Chocolate Whiskey Pudding

Another adventure in cooking with my Baked Sunday Mornings group. This recipe, specifically the graham cracker layer, was intoxicating. We all could not get enough of this stuff and the aroma stopped me in my tracks. The graham cracker layer is baked solo then cooled to make a crunchy perfection.

Pudding is made on the stove top. I didn't have whiskey so I substituted rum.  My girls thought that was hilarious. We are not a drinking family and they had wide eyes when I said it had rum as an ingredient. Then of course everyone quoted, "But why's the rum gone", from Pirates.

The layers were beautiful. I used whipping cream for the marshmallow layer because I am without a torch. But tomorrow is my birthday so I am hoping that I will be getting a torch!!

When asked if I wanted a homemade cake for my birthday, I said "No". I want pudding. So we celebrated (early) with pudding.  For me, the name s'more brings up camping and open fires thoughts.

Wouldn't it have been great to have this s'more pudding instead of the gooey messy smores we just had on our camping adventure last week? I think yes. Even though we did have roasted marshmallows on Samoas. Which really takes the s'more up a notch. This pudding is a whole new level of comfort food.

 Family photo taken at Valley of Fire, Nevada this past week on our camping adventure.

Loving our adventures, in and out of the kitchen.

S’more-Style Chocolate Whiskey Pudding

Yield: 6 servings (It was very rich, I think 8 smaller servings would be better)

For the Graham Cracker Crust
4 1/2 whole graham crackers), coarsely broken
1 ounce (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the Chocolate Whiskey Pudding
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona)
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (I used 1/2 tea decaf)
Pinch of salt
3 large egg yolks
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate (54 to 60%), coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons good-quality whiskey (I used 1 Tb rum)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the Marshmallow Topping
2 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/4 teaspoon good-quality whiskey

Make the Graham Cracker Crust
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Put the graham crackers, butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Turn the crumbs out onto the prepared baking sheet, spread to form an even layer (if necessary, break up any large pieces with your fingertips), and bake stirring once, until the crumbs are crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Make the Chocolate Whiskey Pudding
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt. Add the egg yolks and whisk to blend (the mixture will resemble wet sand). Gradually whisk in the milk, then the cream. Place the saucepan over medium heat, and cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it comes to a boil. Boil for 30 seconds, remove from the heat, and continue to whisk for 15 seconds to release excess heat. Add the chocolate, whiskey, and butter; whisk until the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture is smooth. Let the pudding cool slightly, about 10 minutes, whisking occasionally.

Assemble the pudding
Spoon 1/3 cup of pudding into each of six (small and wide or sundae-like) 1-cup glasses; smooth out the tops. Divide the graham cracker mixture equally among the glasses, sprinkling it on top of the pudding. Top each glass with another 1/3 cup pudding; smooth out the tops. Cover each glass with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic directly onto the pudding. Chill at least 2 hours, until ready to serve.

Make the Marshmallow Topping
In the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites, sugar, 1/4 cup of water, corn syrup, and whiskey. Set the mixer bowl with egg white mixture over a saucepan of simmering water. Using hand whisk, whisk the mixture constantly until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the mixture registers 160 degrees F, about 6 minutes. Return the mixer bowl with the egg white mixture to the stand mixer (still fitted with the whisk attachment) and beat on high speed until the marshmallow topping forms stiff peaks, 6 to 8 minutes.
Top each chilled pudding with 2 large spoonfuls of marshmallow topping, covering the top of the pudding completely and creating peaks, if desired.

Use a kitchen torch to lightly toast the topping to your liking. Serve immediately.