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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Banana-Caramel Coconut Creme Pie

 This pie was Dave's contribution to Pies & Tarts night.  He's a big Cook's Illustrated fan, so almost anything he makes is time-consuming, multi-step intensive, and very, very delicious.  This was no exception, as you can tell even from the title.  Bananas, coconut, and caramel altogether = a truly spectacular idea.

Banana-Caramel Coconut Creme Pie (print recipe)

Graham-Cracker Crust:
8 whole graham crackers, broken into 1-inch pieces
5 Tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 Tbs sugar

Caramel Layer:
3 Tbs water
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbs heavy cream
pinch salt
2 Tbs unsalted butter

2 slightly underripe bananas

Coconut Filling:
1 (14oz) can coconut milk (they make a point of saying to avoid 'light' coconut milk)
1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 tsp salt
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 Tbs unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
1.5 tsp vanilla extract

Whipped Topping:
1.5 cups heavy cream, chilled
1.5 Tbs sugar
.5 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs unsweetened shredded coconut; toasted until golden brown

1.  Make the crust:   Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325. Process graham cracker pieces in blender or food processor to fine, even crumbs; about 30 seconds. Sprinkle melted butter and sugar over crumbs and pulse to incorporate; about 5 pulses. Sprinkle mixture into 9-inch pie plate. Using bottom of measuring cup, press crumbs into even layer on bottom and sides of pie plate. Bake at 325 for 13-18 minutes until crust is fragrant and beginning to brown. Allow to cool.

2.  Make the Caramel: Add 3 Tbs water to small saucepan, then pour in 1/2 cup sugar. Gently stir sugar with clean spatula to wet thoroughly. Bring to boil and cook until sugar mixture turns dark amber, 5 to 8 minutes, swirling pan occasionally once sugar begins to color. Off heat, add 3 Tbs heavy cream (caramel will bubble vigorously) and pinch salt; whisk to combine. Whisk in 2Tbs unsalted butter. Pour caramel into crust, tilting pi plate to coat evenly; set aside to cool.

3.  Banana Layer: Once the caramel is cool, peel 2 slightly underripe bananas and slice crosswise 1/4 inch thick. Arrange slices in a single layer on top of the caramel. 

4.  Coconut Filling: Bring coconut milk, whole milk, 1/3 cup sugar, shredded coconut, and salt to simmer in medium saucepan, stirring occasionally.  As milk mixture begins to simmer, whisk egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in medium bowl until smooth. Slowly whisk 1 cup of simmering coconut mixture into yolk mixture to temper, then slowly whisk tempered yolk mixture back into remaining coconut milk mixture. Reduce heat to medium and cook, whisking vigorously, until mixture is thickened and a few bubbles burst on the surface; about 30 seconds. Off heat, whisk in butter and vanilla. Let mixture cool until just warm, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Pour warm filling on top of bananas. Lay sheet of plastic wrap directly on surface (to avoid 'film' forming) and refrigerate until pie is chilled and set; about 4 hours. 

5.  Whipped Topping: Before serving, using stand mixer with whisk, whip cream, sugar, and vanilla together on medium-low speed until frothy; about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and continue to whip until soft peaks form; 1 to 3 minutes. Spread whipped cream attractively over top of pie and garnish with toasted coconut. 

6.  Devour.

Recipe from the Cooks Illustrated Cookbook p. 726


Marie W said...

Submitting a request that this pie make an appearance at Lefse Day.

Dave Younce said...

I will forward your request to the appropriate authorities.

kat said...

in case you're wondering, this pie is delicious with an oreo crust. and toasted coconut on top. thumbs up all around.

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