A Coconut Cream Pie with Pineapple and Lime? Absolutely!
Pie sits at the head of the class for me when it comes to desserts. I love some and like others. Coconut cream pie has always fallen into the “like” category. I fully understand its appeal, but it has always struck me as one note. As I said, I still liked it, but I didn’t love it.
So, when I decided to bake one, I knew I was going to change things up. I started out by deciding to add some pineapple for some brighter notes. My son suggested taking a can of crushed pineapple and cooking it and its juices down until it had almost caramelized. The flavors changed profoundly. It was deeper and the tropical flavor was more pronounced.
Then as I was getting ready to heat up the coconut milk and whole milk, we were throwing around flavor ideas and he suggested adding some whole black peppercorns to the milks. After letting them steep for a few minutes, I strained them out and a subtle peppery bite was left behind. I knew we were on to something really good.
At the end of the custard making process, I added the pineapple, a couple tablespoons of fresh lime juice, along with vanilla and a little coconut extract. This provided the hit of tartness it needed. Now it was only a matter of letting the custard cool and chill to see what I thought of the overall flavor and texture. I intentionally made the custard extra thick because I knew what texture I wanted and that I was going to fold in some lightly whipped cream. I thought a half cup of cream would do the trick, but it didn’t. It required a full cup of cream before the taste and texture were what I had in mind.
I then spooned it into the baked and cooled pie shell and chilled it for a couple of hours. I topped it with some more lightly sweetened whipped cream, toasted coconut shreds and freshly grated lime zest. My friends, I now have a pie that ranks in the “love” category. The taste testers in my home declare it one of the best pies they’ve ever tasted and I wholeheartedly agree. This pie is ridiculously good. And seeing as it’s made in a deep dish, only a small slice is needed to satiate my sweet tooth.