I love baking groups and I'm constantly searching for new groups to be a part of. The most recent group I joined was You Want Pies With That? What I love about this group is that you are baking pies (obvious, right?) with themes. Last month's theme was favorite movie. This month's theme is fashion. I rattled my brain trying to figure out how to express fashion in a pie. I had initially wanted to do a wedding fashion pie so I chose a pie that would be white. Since, you know, brides wear white.
I had the pie and all I had to do was decorate it. The pie itself was perfect. I wish I would have stopped at just making a pie. But no, I had a fashion theme to work with. So I took out my handy dandy bridal dress cookie cutter and silver shimmer stuff. But, because I am a genius I only made one bridal dress cookie. As I was decorating the cookie it broke. In trying to reattach the part that broke I messed up the decorating that I had done. The only frosting I had leftover was light orange. At this point I was so frustrated with my broken orange dress that I threw pink sugar on it. Why? Because pink stuff always makes me feel better. I finally got over my dress mishap and, as if the dress breaking wasn't bad enough, I dropped the pie. There was pie all over my stove. Some even made its way inside my stove. It was a disaster and I was incredibly bummed. I managed to save a piece of pie that looked decent (or decent enough with a decapitated dress on it).
Now I had to figure out how and if I even could make this disaster relate to fashion. I came up with something but you will have to be creative and just go along with me. My pie is a fashion disaster. It represents all those days where you feel like nothing looks or fits right. It is a pie for those days where you stand in front of the mirror trying on a million different outfits. It's for those days when you stand in front of your closet full of clothes and still feel like you have nothing to wear. But mostly it's for those days you wish you could go out into the world naked. The pie represents the human body. It was perfectly fine being naked. It tasted and looked great. The moment I tried to dress it up, things went wrong. No matter what I tried to put on it, it just didn't work. The orange frosting on the dress was all wrong. It didn't go with the white pie at all. Pink sprinkles didn't go with silver shimmer. It was just wrong. It was a horrible mix and match of things. At least it tasted good! At least...
This is a stretch right? Oh well. If you can think of something better please let me know because that's all I could think of. Hopefully my pie fare better next month.
Coconut Cream Pie with Cookie Crust
Source: Carole Bloom's The Essential Baker
7 ounces (about 30 cookies) vanilla wafer cookies
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
3 ounces (6 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Place the wafers and sugar in the food processor and pulse until the wafers are finely ground. Transfer the crumbs to a medium bowl and add the butter. Use a rubber spatula to toss the mixture together to moisten all the crumbs. Using your fingers, press the crumbs evenly into the bottom and partway up the sides of the pie pan. Chill the crust in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the pie pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 15 minutes, until set. Remove fom the oven and cool completely on a rack.
Filling and Topping
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 recipe vanilla pastry cream (see below)
1 ½ cups sweetened, shredded or flaked coconut
Place the cream in a chilled bowl and whip on medium speed until frothy. Add the sugar and whip on medium-high speed until the cream holds, firm but not stiff peaks. Remove 1 cup of the whipped cream and set aside (used for topping)
Whisk the pastry cream to break up any lumps. Fold the remaining whipped cream into the pastry cream and blend well, then fold in the coconut. Spread this mixture evenly in the cookie shell. Spread the reserved whipped cream over the top of the filling.
Chill the pie in the refrigerator for up to 3 hours.
1 cup whole milk
1 vanilla bean
3 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. sifted cornstarch
Place the milk in 3-quart heavy-duty saucepan. Use a small knife to slice the vanilla bean open lengthwise. Use the back of the knife to scrape out the vanilla seeds and add the vanilla bean to the milk. Warm over medium heat until tiny bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes.
Place the egg yolks in a large bowl. Whip the eggs on medium-high speed until they are frothy. Add the sugar and whip together until the mixture is very thick and pale colored and holds a slowly dissolving ribbon as the beater is lifted, about 3 minutes.
Turn the mixer to low and add the cornstarch. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixture. Return the mixer speed to medium and whip until the cornstarch is thoroughly blended.
Turn the mixer to low again and add ¼ cup of the hot milk to the egg yolk mixture. Whip together to blend.
Transfer the egg mixture to the milk in the saucepan. Stir the mixture constantly with a whisk so it doesn’t burn. Cook until the mixture starts to bubble and pop.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and immediately transfer the pastry cream to a bowl. Cover the top of the cream with a piece of wax paper to prevent a skin from forming. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place the bowl on a cooling rack. Let it cool to room temperature then refrigerate until cold before using.