13 August 2011

Cool Like Me

As much as I love to bake, I've avoided preheating the oven these last few weeks. With raging humidity — and without air conditioning — baking is decidedly less fun. I have no interest in sweating more than I already am.

Luckily for me, and thanks to my aunt, I have in my possession a recipe that likes to keep things cool — Pineapple Coconut Cream Pie. Short of cooking up a custard in a saucepan and browning a meringue topping in the oven for a few minutes, there's not much heat involved. Just some beating and whipping and the promise of cool, creamy pineapple-coconut bliss.

And, considering it's a cream pie, it's relatively light — there's no heavy cream or milk involved — proving that, with a couple of eggs handy, nearly anything is possible.

Pineapple Coconut Cream Pie (recipe courtesy of Aunt-to-Yours-Truly Lori Johnston)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups water
8-ounce can crushed pineapple
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup flaked coconut
1 9-inch single-crust pie shell, baked and cooled (I went the crumb-crust route using vanilla wafers, melted butter and a bit of sugar, but the recipe calls for a classic pastry crust. Do what you will.)
meringue topping:
2 egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup flaked coconut

In a heavy saucepan (with the burner off), whisk together 1/2 cup sugar, flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Add water, undrained pineapple and egg yolks, stirring after each addition.

Turn the heat to medium and cook until mixture begins to boil (about 6 minutes).

Blend in butter and lemon juice. Remove pan from heat and let cool.

Fold 1 cup coconut into cooled filling. Pour into prepared (*cooled*) pie crust.

Pineapple-coconut bliss in a vanilla-wafer crust.

Beat egg whites with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt until stiff peaks form.

Gently fold in vanilla and 1/3 cup coconut.

Spread meringue over pie filling.

Bake at 425 degrees until meringue is light golden-brown (about 4-5 minutes).


Beat the heat with pie, people. Pineapple Coconut Cream Pie.

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