Dessert Pies

bothpies

Wotchers!

Last week over on DejaFood.uk I posted a recipe that looked like a two-for-one, but was actually just the one recipe that could be made as either Petticoat Tails or Pitcaithly Bannock, depending on the shape you moulded it in.

This week, it’s an actual genuine two-fer: two adaptations of American-style dessert pies. One of them is a relatively new classic, and one is a long-time mainstay favourite pie. Admittedly, if you’re not a fan of coconut, it’s unlikely that the second one will become a favourite, but there are a few ways you can vary it to lean towards the delicately nuanced, rather than the in-your-face coconut deluge.

They also differ in the amount of effort needed to make: one is relatively quick, the other takes a little longer, so if you’re dithering between them, go with whatever suits your timetable or the degree of arsed-ness (can be/can’t be) you are currently experiencing.

So let’s get into it!

Atlantic Beach Pie

Atlantic Beach Pie

This pie was served by Bill Smith, the chef at Crook’s Corner restaurant in Chapel Hill, on the North Carolina coast, and I first came across it in an NPR article back in 2013, but it seems to go back to at least 2010 in the form of a Weight Watchers reduced-calorie pie. This adaptation is more of a translation to British ingredients than making any substantial changes. Other weights and measures can be found by following the above two links.

For the crust

1 x 240g pack of (preferably) Doria Doriamo Sea Salt Crackers or 240g plain Ritz crackers
120g butter
2 tbs caster sugar
1/4tsp salt (only if butter is unsalted)

For the filling

1 x 397g tin of sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
125ml lime juice (from approx. 6 limes)
300ml double or whipping cream
lime zest
sea salt flakes

  • Line a 20cm square (round or any shape really) with baking parchment.
  • Empty the crackers into a large ziplock bag.
  • Seal the bag and use a rolling pin to crush the biscuits into crumbs. Confession Time: Every time I make this, I follow the original instructions and try to not crush them too much, and every time when I come to cut the pie, as can be seen in the photo above, I am reminded why this is not a good idea: the crust doesn’t stay together. So crush away, my pretties, until the crumbs are finer than those in the photo. *Lying* Good job I decided to do this on purpose in order to show you what not to do. 😀
  • Tip the crumbs into a bowl and add the sugar. Stir well.
  • Melt the butter and pour into the crumb mixture and stir thoroughly to combine.
  • Press the crumbs into the prepared tin. You can make it a base-only crumb layer, or you can also press the crumbs up the sides if you like.
  • Chill in the fridge while the oven is heating up.
  • Heat the oven to 175°C, 155°C Fan.
  • Bake the crust for 20 minutes, then set aside to cool.
  • Whisk the condensed milk and egg yolks together until smooth and well combined.
  • Remove 2tbs of zest from the limes and set aside, then squeeze them for juice. You might decide not to use all of the zest, but better to have too much than not enough and then be faced with having to zest already-squeezed lime halves
  • Measure out 125ml of juice, and whisk it into the egg mixture until well combined.
  • Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth over.
  • Bake until just set – about 15 minutes.
  • Cool on a wire rack.
  • Chill until required.
  • To serve:
    • Whip the cream until light and pillowy, and spread over the top of the chilled pie.
    • Sprinkle over the reserved lime zest and a few sea salt flakes.

Coconut Cream Pie

coconut cream pie
This is a pie that is visually similar to the Atlantic Beach Pie, but is a whole different flavour bundle. There are more flavours and textures to savour and you can even leave out certain elements if you think they’re too much of a distraction. Even though it has more elements to it, this recipe can also be assembled right before serving, in order to preserve the crispness of the crust and the toasted coconut.

For the base
300g digestive biscuits – or crisp biscuit of your choice.
150g unsalted butter

  • Heat the oven to 175°C, 155°C Fan.
  • Line a 20cm square (round or any shape really) with baking parchment.
  • Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until crumbs.
  • Pour the crumbs into a bowl.
  • Melt the butter and pour onto the crumbs.
  • Stir thoroughly to combine.
  • Press the crumbs into the prepared tin. You can make it a base-only crumb layer, or you can also press the crumbs up the sides if you like.
  • Bake the crust for 20 minutes, then set aside to cool.
  • Chill in the fridge until required.

For the custard filling
2 large eggs
2 large yolks
4 tbs caster sugar
1 x 400ml can coconut cream
3 tbs cornflour
4tbs milk
3 tbs coconut rum (Malibu)
25g unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
1 cup dessicated coconut (optional)

  • Whisk together the eggs, yolks and sugar.
  • Heat the coconut cream in a pan until almost boiling, then pour onto the egg mixture, whisking briskly, to combine.
  • Mix the cornflour and milk together until smooth, and then pour into the custard.
  • Rinse the saucepan and then return the custard mixture to the pan over medium heat and stir constantly for 7-8 minutes until thickened. Don’t let it boil, or the eggs will curdle.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter.
  • Stir through the coconut rum and taste. Add more if liked, but this quantity will make for a delicate flavour without making the custard runny.
  • Add the dessicated coconut if liked. If you’re a huge coconut fan, then have at it, but I prefer it without as the flavour is much more subtle. In addition, the smooth texture makes for a much more decadent bite as it contrasts against the crispness of the crust and the crunchy, toasted coconut.
  • Transfer the custard to a bowl/box and cover with cling film. NB Make sure the film is fully in contact with the surface of the mixture in order to prevent a skin from forming.
  • Chill in the fridge until required.

For serving
100g coconut ribbons/flakes
300ml whipping cream
300ml double cream
1 x 397g tin caramel condensed milk
60ml dark rum

  • Toast the coconut flakes/ribbons
    • Heat the oven to 175°C, 155°C Fan.
    • Sprinkle the coconut onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for 8-10 minutes, until browned and crisp.
    • Allow to cool, then store in an airtight container until required.
  • Make the caramel sauce.
    • Mix together the double cream, the caramel condensed milk and the rum until smooth and well combined.
    • Store in an airtight container until required.
  • To Serve
    • Sprinkle up to half the toasted coconut over the chilled biscuit base.
    • Pour the coconut custard onto the base and smooth over.
    • Whisk the cream until light and pillowy, and spread over the top of the chilled pie.
    • Sprinkle over toasted coconut.
    • Drizzle with the caramel rum sauce. NB This sauce is dynamite, so I can highly recommend pouring the remainder into a jug and serving it alongside your pie.


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