I have been getting weird and intense food cravings lately. I usually hold off on them for a while, see if they pass. But the Coconut Cream Pie craving, a pie worthy of my childhood memories, I could not shake off. I recall a very young Evelyne having this pie on a regular basis at the now-gone local restaurant of the village where our cottage is (yes we still have the cottage…59 years in the family). I also had lots of grill cheeses, jello cups and rice pudding at the 48 Nord restaurant.
It took about 2 months for me to get around to actually making the pie but it was so worth the patience. It was even better than I could imagine. I know this is not a typical holiday dessert but it is definitely a crowd pleaser. So for this month’s Creative Cooking Crew challenge – bringing new ideas for the American Thanksgiving dessert table – I though my Coconut Cream Pie was quite fitting. Enjoy our last challenge of 2014 and we’ll be back with more in the New Year.
A Coconut Cream Pie is a pie filled with a cooked custard and slathered with a whipped cream topping. Little known fact: coconut cream pies cannot be called custard pies, unlike the traditional Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie. The difference is that a custard pie is a uncooked custard finished in the oven in a uncooked or partially cooked crust.
Another fact about custards: they are defined as a mixture of milk, sugar and vanilla extract which is thickened with eggs. Twist my arm for one more fact? The Romans were the first to make custard. One can find a recipe for Custard in the In De Re Coquinaria, a collection of Roman cookery recipes believed to date back to the late 4th or early 5th century.
Since I wanted to recreate a childhood memory I looked for the most traditional recipe I could find. I settled on this recipe from Epicurious, originally from Bon Appétit Sept 2002. I did one slight adaptation: I cut out the coconut extract (since I had none) and replaced the regular milk in the custard with coconut milk.
What childhood food have you been craving lately? And do you have a ‘must-have’ holiday dessert?