Sometimes you feel like a nut

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And now we break for pie!  No house stuff this post.  We’re kicking it slow jam style with some actual baking.

As I mentioned a few posts ago, we are renting a small apartment while Via Corona undergoes her transformation.  The apartment isn’t much to look at, but she’s safe, clean and in a great location.  I wasn’t kidding when I said we put 80% of our stuff in storage.  They say you don’t miss your stuff.  I miss my stuff.   I also miss baking.

I know, your closet is bigger than my rented kitchen.  But, if I’m being honest, I could probably bake anything in this kitchen just as well as I could at our last place.  Time has been the issue.

Recently though, I had a thought about pie.  And as I’m sure you know, once you start thinking about pie, it’s hard to stop.  During my TMH tenure I’ve made lots of fruity pies but not much in the way of custardy pies.  The reason is simple: I far prefer fruit pies to the rest of the pie catalog.

This technically began as a fruit pie.  Coconut is a fruit.

Coconuts made me think of chocolate and almonds.  So, a crust of almond meal it was. With coconut oil in solid form serving as the fat source (it totally worked).

The take on the crust in this picture was too thick.  The recipe below allows for a thinner crust.

I determined the chocolate should come in the form of ganache.  It’s easy to spread and saying ganache annoys TD.  A lot . Ganache.  Ganache.  Ganache.

For the coconut cream filling I replaced three-quarters of the dairy in the original recipe with full-fat coconut milk.

Almond crust, ganache liner, coconut cream filling.  You with me?

I lined the crust with ganache.  If you want less chocolate, don’t.  But.  Please.

Next up: coconut cream filling.  This is a custard that thickened up so quickly as I was whisking it over  low heat that I didn’t have a chance to photograph it in-process.

Top with another layer of ganache.

Add a final layer of whipped cream.   I used whipping cream because I had it but you could also use coconut cream (like from the fruit…not the filling) for added coconuttiness.  Top the whole thing with toasted coconut and almond slivers and Bob’s your uncle.

Because I was losing my light, I only let the who shebang chill in the fridge for about an hour.  I got good light but smeared pie.  Not sure if that’s better than pretty pie in bad light.

By the time I was finished making the pie I wasn’t interested in trying it.  Then, the next evening I had some after dinner. As I was eating my sliver (it’s ridiculously rich), I caught myself thinking, ‘man, this is really good.’  Make it.  I know it looks like there are a lot of steps–but they’re easy and can be spaced out over a couple of days. You’ll thank me.

Almond Joy Pie

Almond Flour Crust

adapted from Fountain Avenue Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 C blanched almond flour or almond meal.
  • 2 TBS granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 TBS coconut oil in solid state (throw it in the fridge if need to firm-up)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 9-inch pie pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.  Toss or whisk to combine.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix.  Then scatter-in bits of the coconut oil.
  4. Toss mixture using a snapping motion with your fingers until you can press the mixture together into a ball.
  5. Press dough firmly into the pie pan carefully working it up the sides.
  6. Prick with a fork all over and bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool completely.

Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients

  • 1 C whipped cream
  • 1 C bittersweet chocolate chopped (chips will do in a pinch)
  • 1 TBS butter
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. In a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat cream until little bubbles form around the perimeter.
  2. Remove from heat.  Add chocolate, swirling cream until chocolate is covered.
  3. Sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Whisk cream and melted chocolate until smooth.  Whisk-in butter, vanilla and salt.
  5. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate until cool (at least 60 minutes)

Coconut Cream

adapted from Epicurious

  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 TBS all purpose flour
  • 1 C whole coconut milk
  • 1/2 C whole milk
  • 1 1/2 C sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Whisk together 1/2 C sugar, eggs, egg yolk and flour in a medium bowl.
  2. In a medium heavy-bottomed sauce pan, bring milk, coconut milk and coconut to summer over medium heat.
  3. Starting with 1/2 cup, gradually add hot milk mixture to egg mixture, whisking constantly,
  4. Return to saucepan and cook until pastry cream thickens and boils, whisking constantly, about 4 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and mix-in vanilla.
  6. Transfer to a medium bowl, press plastic wrap directly on to the surface of the cream to prevent skin.
  7. Chill until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Topping

Ingredients

  • 2/3 C sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 C slivered almonds
  • 1 1/4 C chilled whipping cream
  • 2 TBS sugar

Directions

  1. Toast coconut in a small skillet over medium heat until lightly browned.  Cool completely.
  2. Using an electric or stand mixture, beat cream and sugar until peaks form.

To Assemble Pie (finally)

  1. Spread layer of ganache over pie crust.
  2. Carefully layer pastry cream on top of ganache layer.
  3. Top with a layer of ganache.
  4. Top ganache with whipped cream.
  5. Sprinkle toasted coconut and slivered almonds over the top.
  6. Store in the fridge.

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