Impossible Coconut Cream Pie

 

Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Cream Pie

Tomorrow is Pi Day, folks!

In case you are not aware of it, the first three digits of the mathematical constant pi are 3.14; so March 14th has earned the title Pi Day.  Since the date this year is March 14th, 2015, we have the first five digits of pi, 3.1415, an extra special day for celebrating.   And it’s so nice to have another food holiday (besides Thanksgiving) to celebrate each year.

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Of course, we love our pies for Thanksgiving, but most of us stick to the traditional ones–pumpkin, apple, pecan, etc.   I like Pi day because it gives me a reason to make a pie (#1), and because it gives me a chance to bake a new pie I haven’t tried yet (#2).  As I do each year I browse through many pie recipes, mulling over the choices in my mind, considering both sweet and savory options.   This coconut cream pie just got stuck in my head and wouldn’t let me rest until I made it.  I don’t remember trying coconut cream pie before this.  Newsflash—-it’s fabulous.  Don’t be thrown by the name.  This pie is not impossible to make, just impossibly good!

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Naturally since this is my first attempt at coconut cream pie, I have no basis for comparison, but we do love this pie.  The coconut custard filling is silky smooth and luscious without being too rich.  A cap of freshly whipped cream on top makes almost any pie better, and this is no exception.  I decided to go the extra mile and toasted some coconut chips for a garnish—so fun and so pretty.  I just love the way it looks.

Will you be celebrating Pi Day with pie?  I’d like to know what flavors you all are making!

IMPOSSIBLE COCONUT CREAM PIE

Yield:   Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked ( your favorite recipe or a refrigerated pie crust)
  • 2 eggsIMG_9361
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup non-sweet coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350*F.  Grease and flour a 9-inch pie plate.  Set aside.

2.  Flour a work surface and roll the pie crust out to fit your pie plate.  Carefully place the crust in the pie plate, flute the edges and refrigerate until ready to fill.

3.  In a large bowl, beat the eggs well.  Add the sugar, flour, baking powder, salt , milk, vanilla and melted butter.  Mix well.  Fold in the coconut.  IMG_9362

Fold in the coconut.

Fold in the coconut.

4. Pour into the pie crust.

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Bake  at 350*F. for 45 minutes or until lightly browned and edges are set.  The center may still be a bit jiggly.  It will become firm as it cools.  Allow to cool at room temperature about 2 hours, then refrigerate.

Baked, and lightly browned at the edges.

Baked, and lightly browned at the edges.

5.  Serve with a dollop of whipped cream on top and garnish with some coconut flakes that have been lightly toasted.  You can easily do this when the pie is cooked and out of the oven. Leave the oven on and toast the coconut flakes for 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully that they do not become too brown.

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Looking for more Pi day inspiration?  Be sure to check the Pie category—there are many more options to choose from.

 

SOURCE:   adapted from a recipe by Penzey’s Spices

 

Layered Strawberry-Coconut Panna Cotta

Strawberry-Coconut Panna Cotta

Strawberry-Coconut Panna Cotta

After this year’s seemingly never ending winter, it’s a joy to see the arrival of spring and the arrival of fresh vegetables like asparagus, baby artichokes, and new beets.  Early fruits include rhubarb and strawberries, and I can’t wait to start to use them in my meals.

One of the first things I made was this sweet, creamy strawberry-coconut panna cotta.   The strawberries are served up in two ways–sliced and sweetened as a topping, and cooked into the ruby-red gelatin. I showcased it’s pretty layers by serving it in wine glasses.

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This dessert gets it’s coconut flavor thru coconut milk, and the recipe calls for both regular coconut milk and light coconut milk.  If you prefer to use all light coconut milk you certainly can, but it’s amazing how much flavor and creamy consistency you get from mixing in a little full-fat coconut milk.  I already had some cream of coconut open in my refrigerator, so I used that, and thinned it with skim milk.  This allowed me to keep the fat content low, but still get the coconut flavor.  The cream of coconut is sweet, so I used only 1 Tablespoon of sugar in the panna cotta.

LAYERED STRAWBERRY-COCONUT PANNA COTTAIMG_7095

Yield:   Serves 4

Ingredients:

Strawberry Gelatin:

  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3/4 cup sliced strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  •  1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup water

Panna Cotta:

  • 3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk**
  • 1/4 cup light coconut milk **
  • 2  1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar  ( I used only 1 Tablespoon sugar, here.)IMG_7099
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  •  ** If using cream of coconut, make a 50-50 mixture of cream of coconut and fat-free milk for a total of 3/4 cup of liquid.

Strawberries:

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  • 1  teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Directions:

1.  To make the strawberry gelatin:  Sprinkle 1 teaspoon gelatin over 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl.  Combine the strawberries, the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan;  let stand for 5 minutes.  Mash mixture with a fork or a potato masher.  Place pan over medium-high heat.  Bring to a simmer;  cook 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves.  Add the water; return to a simmer.  Remove from the heat.  Add gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin dissolves.  Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a measuring cup, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible.  Discard solids.  Divide strawberry mixture evenly among 4 wineglasses.  Chill 1 hour or until set.

2.  To make the panna cotta:  Sprinkle 3/4 tsp. gelatin over the 1 tbsp. water in a small bowl.  Combine coconut milks, sugar, and 1 tsp. lemon juice in a saucepan; bring to a simmer.  Remove from heat.  Add gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin dissolves.  Cool to room temperature.  Carefully pour one-fourth of this mixture on top of each strawberry gelatin.  Chill 1 hour or until set.

3.  To prepare strawberries:  Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl;  toss gently.  Let stand  5  minutes.  Divide strawberry mixture evenly among the glasses.

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SOURCE:   Cooking Light Magazine

Coconut Mango Ice Pops

Today I want to share with you another way that I have been trying to beat the heat.    I’m on a binge of making Ice Pops.   And eating them too, of course. 😀

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With a new toy to play with (my popsicle mold), I’ve been dreaming up all kinds of flavors and while most of them have been pretty good, this one, I think, is outstanding. Pureed mango and coconut milk with a little shredded coconut thrown in just to really taste the flavor.  I can’t even begin to tell you how delicious they are.  Sweet pureed mango and silky, smooth coconut are a match made for each other.  Sort of like a Piña Colada.  Want to know what else is great about them?  They are only 68 calories each.  Whoo-Hoo!

COCONUT MANGO POPS

Yield:   Makes 10

Ingredients:

Coconut Mango ice Pops

Coconut Mango ice Pops

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage (dairy case)
  • 1 3/4 cups diced ripe mango
  • 1 cup canned light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 tsp. coconut flavoring, optional

Directions:

1.  Puree mango in the blender with 1/4 cup of the coconut milk beverage and sugar and blend until smooth.  Pour out into a small bowl and set aside.

2.  In the blender container, combine the remaining coconut milk beverage, canned coconut milk, honey, shredded coconut and coconut flavoring, if using.  Blend briefly to thoroughly mix and chop the coconut.

3.  Pour, or spoon, about  2 Tablespoons of mango puree into each popsicle mold then pour in coconut milk mixture, until all the molds are filled. Cover the molds, insert sticks, and  place the molds in the freezer and freeze until solid, about 5 to 6 hours.

Fill the molds, then freeze.

Fill the molds, cover, insert sticks, then freeze.

Cool and yummy!

Cool and yummy!

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SOURCE:   POPS,  Icy Treats for Everyone,   Krystina Castella

We All Scream!

A non-dairy ice cream that is rich and creamy.

A non-dairy ice cream that is rich and creamy.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream, but not everyone can eat the traditional dairy version of ice cream.

Even though we love the full-fat dairy ice-creams, I have been experimenting with using other non-dairy ingredients to still get a creamy satisfying frozen dessert, with less fat and sugar.    I had not been aware until recently how many products are available and how rich and satisfying a dessert can be when using them.  This recipe today is for a wonderful chocolate hazelnut ice cream using coconut milk.  It also includes cocoa powder and maple syrup as a sweetener.  The hazelnut flavor can be intensified through the addition of about 1/4 cup Hazelnut liqueur, but that is optional.

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CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT ICE CREAM

Yield:   Makes about 4 cups or 1 quart

Ingredients:

The main ingredients.

The main ingredients.

  • 2 cans full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup Hazelnut liqueur, such as Frangelico, optional

To make:   Pour all the above ingredients, except the nuts and Hazelnut liqueur,  into a blender container and process till smooth.  Pour into a covered bowl and chill overnight.

The next day, pour into the canister of an ice-cream maker and process as per directions.  In the last couple of minutes add the nuts and the liqueur, if using.   Alcohol products are added at the end of processing time so they do not interfere with the freezing process.  Freeze in an ice-cream container until firm.

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SOURCE:   All-recipes.com

Breakfast Quinoa

Breakfast Quinoa

Breakfast Quinoa

I was excited to make this recipe to try out serving quinoa as a hot cereal.  This highly nutritious grain has been gaining favor with us ever since I first prepared it and served it in place of rice.  It’s toasty, nutty, flavor is very pleasant, to say nothing of its high protein content.  So I was particularly anxious to see if we would like it for breakfast.  I found it to be very enjoyable, but Mr. D. thought it was a little too sweet for him as a cereal.  However, I think that children might like this very much, thinking that it resembles dessert.

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The recipe is very easy to make, and you can top it off with a mixture of seasonal fruits and coconut, or nuts.  The recipe calls for using coconut milk, but I used almond milk instead.  The recipe also suggests strawberries and bananas as the fruits, but you can see by my pictures that I used mango and blueberries along with toasted coconut.  The cooked quinoa is slightly sweet, and creamy, so you can use a tart fruit as a flavor contrast.  Like most whole grains it is quite filling, and we were satisfied with just this for breakfast, but if you need more, you may want to add an egg on the side.

You will most likely be toasting the coconut, so remember to keep an eye on it as it is toasting, so that it doesn’t burn.

BREAKFAST QUINOA

Yield:   2  Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

    coconut flakes, almond milk, mango and quinoa make up a nutritious breakfast.

    coconut flakes, almond milk, mango and quinoa make up a nutritious breakfast.

  • 3/4 cup light coconut milk ( or almond milk)
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2  cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/2  cup sliced bananas

1.  Preheat oven to 400*F.

2.  Rinse quinoa well in a fine strainer or sieve.  Place in a medium sauce pan.

3.  Combine quinoa, coconut milk, water, brown sugar, and salt.  Bring to a a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed stirring occasionally.  Stir mixture constantly during the last 2 minutes of cooking.

4.  While quinoa cooks, spread coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake at 400* for 5 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool slightly.

5.  Place about 1/2 cup quinoa in each bowl.  Top each serving with 1/2 the strawberries and 1/2 the bananas, and 1 Tablespoon toasted coconut.  Serve warm.

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SOURCE:   Cooking Light

Baked Coconut French Toast

Baked Coconut French Toast

Weekday mornings are so rushed with getting ready for work, breakfast is usually something quick like a scone or granola bar with coffee.  But on the weekend I like to make more complete breakfasts, to be enjoyed more leisurely.  This weekend I made this recipe for a baked French Toast that was fantastic!

The recipe was one that I had clipped out of a magazine some time ago and tucked into one of my (many) recipe books and forgot about.  While I was looking for another recipe this one fell out onto my lap.  When this kind of thing happens I take it as a sign that now is the right time to make it, and so I did.

Oh, what we’ve been missing all this time!…a little rich, a little high in fat and carbs, but we can fix that.  I’m printing the recipe as it was written, and then including my modifications for cutting back on fat, and sugar.  Here we go—-

BAKED COCONUT FRENCH TOAST

YIELD:  8 servings, 2 slices of French Toast

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 French bread baguette, (10 ounce size), sliced diagonally, 1-inch thick
  • Diagonally sliced French baguette

  •  cooking spray

  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk  ( I used light coconut milk–less saturated fat)
  • 4 large eggs ( substitute with 1 1/4 cups egg substitute, or 2 eggs and 1/2 cup egg substitute)
  • 1/2 cup sugar  (you can reduce to 1/4 cup, especially if using syrup on your toast)
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flaked sweetened coconut

1.  Arrange the slices of bread in a single layer in a 13″ x 9″ bake pan,  or 12″ x 8″ pan coated with cooking spray.

Arrange Bread slices in baking pan.

2.  Combine the coconut milk, eggs or egg substitute, sugar and vanilla, stirring with a whisk, and pour evenly over the bread slices.  Turn the bread over to coat both sides.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Pour egg and milk mixture over bread slices.

3.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4.  Remove bread from refrigerator, and uncover.  Turn bread slices over, and sprinkle evenly with  flaked coconut.  Let it stand at room temperature 15 minutes.  Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 30 minutes or until coconut is golden.

Turn bread over and sprinkle with coconut before baking.

Serve warm with a fresh fruit compote to complete a very enjoyable breakfast or brunch.

Serve with fresh fruit compote.

SOURCE:   Unknown