Pie #22 – Coconut Key Lime Pie

Happy Easter! It’s been a busy weekend. Getting ready for Easter Sunday. Easter egg hunt for the kids on Sunday morning. The Easter Rabbit brought the kids an Xbox Kinnect but didn’t bother to set it up. So I took care of that too. We also have a BBQ at friends today. I made Coconut Key Lime pie for the event. Actually I made two. The below recipe yields one pie. The recipe comes courtesy of Martha Stewart.

The crust!:

6 ounces cookies (about 12 graham crackers or 46 vanilla wafers or 30 chocolate wafers, such as Famous)

3 tbsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. coarse salt

5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse cookies until finely ground (you should have about 1 1/2 cups). Add sugar, salt, and butter and pulse until combined.

Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. (If using a springform pan, press crumbs halfway up sides.) Bake until crust is dry and set, about 12 minutes. Let cool completely in plate on a wire rack before filling.

The filling!:

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

1 can (13.5 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk

1/3 cup fresh or bottled Key lime juice

7 large egg yolks

2 cups cold heavy cream

2 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar

3 tbsp. sweetened shredded coconut, toasted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together condensed milk, coconut milk, lime juice, and egg yolks until smooth. Pour into crust and bake until set but still slightly wobbly in center, 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, then refrigerate 3 hours (or up to 1 day).

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream and sugar on high until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. To serve, top pie with whipped cream and sprinkle with toasted coconut.

The pie is really tasty but quite heavy.  Smaller slices will do quite well. The whip cream is thick,  fluffy and sweet,  they custard is rich. The graham craker crust is my new favorite. It’s very simple and holds to the custard well so you get the full range of texture and taste.


Pie #21 – Shimmering Strawberry Pie

It’s a beautiful day here in Austin. It’s not too hot but not chilly either. There was a long list of to-do’s around the house and I got a few things done. Among them, pie.

I wanted to make a fruit pie this week. My list of options for this seems to be getting more limited. I’m not a huge fan of peaches.  I’ve done apple and blueberry pies. I’ve done bananas. Rhubarb makes me skeptical. Strawberry pie sounded like a good one take make so this is number twenty one.

The crust!:

1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 stick chilled unsalted butter cut into 1/4 inch cubes

2 tbsp. sugar

pinch of salt

3 tbsp. or more of ice water

Blend the flour, butter, sugar and salt in a food processor using on/off turns. Add 3 tablespoons of water and mix until moist clumps form. Add additional water by teaspoon if the mix is dry. Remove from processor and form into a ball. Flatten and wrap in plastic wrap. Let set in the fridge a minimum of 3o minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and remove the dough after half hour. Roll out on lightly floured surface into a 13 inch circle. Transfer to a 9 inch pie dish. Trim the dough and use the remnants to patch any holes you might have around the crust edge or in the dish.

Line crust with foil and add dry beans or pie weights and bake for about 15 minutes until the sides are set. Remove from oven, remove beans and foil. Heat oven to 350 degrees F and bake an additional 10 minutes until crust is a light brown.

The filling!:

6 cups strawberries, halved

1 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Few drops red food coloring (optional – I opted out)

Light frozen whipped dessert topping, thawed (optional – I opted in)

In a food processor or, using a blender and large bowl combine 1 cup of the strawberries and the water. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes.

In a medium saucepan stir together sugar and cornstarch; stir in berry mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. If you want the red of the strawberries to pop, stir in enough red food coloring to tint a rich red color. I’m a naturalist. I opted out to the food coloring. Cool to room temperature.

Fold remaining strawberries into cooled mixture; transfer mixture to pastry shell. Cover; chill for 3 to 4 hours. If desired (oh yes I do), serve with whipped topping.

Pie #20 – Momofuku’s Crack Pie

I was having my morning coffee on Saturday, just reading about pie shops in San Francisco and Austin, and the pie blogs of others when I came across an article by Rene Lynch of the New York Times. In it, she discusses a pie so popular, people will pay up to $44 for this concoction called Crack Pie. Created by Momofuku Bakery and Milk Bar in Manhattan, this pie truly is addiction in a pie crust, and a nice twist on the Chess Pie.

Momofuku’s Crack Pie

Makes 2 pies (6 to 8 servings each)

Cookie for crust:

2/3 cup plus 1 tbsp. flour

1/8 tsp. each: baking powder, baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1/3 cup light brown sugar

3 tbsp. sugar

1 egg

1 cup rolled oats


Crumbled cookie for crust

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar

1/8 tsp. salt


1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup plus 3 tbsp. light brown sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 cup plus 1 tsp. milk powder

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted

3/4 cup plus 2 tsp. heavy cream

1 tsp.vanilla extract

8 egg yolks

Powdered sugar, garnish

To make the cookie for crust:

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment (I don’t have one), or in a large bowl using an electric mixer (I have one), beat the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Whisk the egg into the butter mixture until fully incorporated.

5. With the mixer running, beat in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until fully combined. Stir in the oats until incorporated.

6. Spread the mixture onto a 9-by-13-inch baking sheet and bake until golden brown and set, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to the touch on a rack. Crumble the cooled cookie to use in the crust.

To make the crust:

1. Combine the crumbled cookie, butter, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse until evenly combined and blended (a little of the mixture clumped between your fingers should hold together).

2. Divide the crust between two 10-inch pie tins. Press the crust into each shell to form a thin, even layer along the bottom and sides of the tins. Set the prepared crusts aside while you prepare the filling.

To make the filling:

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, salt, and milk powder. Whisk in the melted butter, then whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla.

3. Gently whisk in the egg yolks, being careful not to add too much air (this I don’t understand and don’t know if any air was added to my mix).

4. Divide the filling evenly between the two prepared pie shells.

5. Bake the pies for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake until the filling is slightly jiggly and golden brown (similar to a chess pie), about 10 minutes. Remove the pies and cool on a rack.

6. Refrigerate the cooled pies until well chilled. The pies are meant to be served cold, and the filling will be gooey. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

I ditched the powdered sugar and went for the gooey richness. It is really delicious and the texture is nice. My wife and I tried it while it was still warm. It’ a very sweet pie that won’t hold shape unless it’s cold. Not a problem for me though:) This pie is a total diet buster. I’m going to freeze one and bring it to a potluck on Wednesday.

Pie #19 – ZTejas Ancho Chili Fudge Pie

Epilogue on the Shoo Fly Pie, it is NOT as good cold as it is warm. My first epilogue on a pie. It was also the first pie to end up in the trash. And I made two!  Blah. I hadn’t heard of the pie until my late 4o’s. Another first. I won’t be doing this one again in this lifetime…the last…did I say blah?

Which brings us to a very good-in-an-evil-way kind of pie,  ZTejas Ancho Chili fudge pie. I was having a conversation with Candy (a colleague from work) and she kindly asked how the pie adventure was going. I gave her the high notes and she suggested the pie I’m doing this week. I was told it’s very tasty and the menu is simple. Thank you to jaeleepoms of Mason, Ohio for this one. It comes from grouprecipes.com.

The recipe!

2 teaspoons pureed ancho chilies (*)

1/2 lb butter ( I had to do a double take at this, a half pound!)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup flour

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

9 in. unbaked pastry shell

For Ancho Chili Puree – Remove the seeds and stem from one ancho chile pepper, place in a small saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer until ancho is tender. *Go old school by mashing it through a strainer with a wood spoon. Or use a food processor.

Pre-heat oven to 325°F.  Toast the chopped nuts until lightly brown.

Melt the butter and let cool to warm. Beat eggs well and then add sugars and flour. Beat until smooth. Add warm butter to the batter and mix well (it is important for butter to be warm so chocolate chips will melt some).

Add chile puree.

Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.

Pour filling into pastry shell and bake for 45 to 60 minutes at 325°F until done. To see if its done, stick a toothpick into center of the pie. If it comes out clean, it’s done.

My wife and I tried it when it was still warm. It was like eating a big gooey cookie! We didn’t get a lot of the ancho chili taste though. Still, it’s really good.