I'm baking three pies for Easter. I'm baking a coconut cream pie, a peanut butter-oero chiffon pie, and of course, an Italian Easter Pie (pizza rustica if you must).
First pie of the day is the coconut cream as it's the most time-consuming. The recipe comes from Elaine Corn's book Gooey Desserts, the best dessert cookbook ever. I believe it's out of print though.
The problem is it completely fell apart when I put it in the plate. I've been known to completely patch together a crust in the plate when it refuses to be cohesive, but this defied even patching. I'm not sure what was wrong. I've made this crust recipe many times. I became frustrated enough to just mush it all back together and re-roll it. I knew this would sacrifice texture, but I just couldn't get it together the way it was. It still wouldn't stay together. I ended up growing really frustrated, scrapping the dough and starting over.
My next round was only slightly more successful. I did something that Corn advises in her book, but no other pastry chef ever says is okay. When I added the water to the dough in the food processor, I pulsed the dough until it formed a ball on its own instead of forming it into a ball myself. I knew this would sacrifice texture too, but at this point, I didn't care. I was making this pie for my family, not judges at the state fair. My delicious coconut filling was supposed to be the star, not the crust.
I pierced that sucker like crazy and weighted it down with every dried starch in my pantry. I was not going to stand for any shrinkage. (Huh huh. I said shrinkage.)
Could be worse. I painted the inside of the crust with melted chocolate to keep the bottom from becoming soggy and to add a little extra treat to the taste.
Filling is the best coconut filling ever. You mix the milk in the custard with coconut milk and rum. Then you fold in whipped cream and grated coconut.
The recipe calls for a meringue topping. In the past I always skipped that and used whipped cream. I'm beginning to realize that's a waste since the custard uses 5 egg yolks. I need to do something with the whites.
You will have to wait for the next blog to see the pie properly topped.
I paused for lunch. I ate Beth's leftover mac and cheese from last night. I decided to enhance it with a few good shakes of sriracha. Thanks to Emily's stint on the Ultimate Recipe Showdown, I really was craving some hot sauce in my mac and cheese.
On to the next pie. Get started on the Peanut-Butter-Oreo pie. This is a pie of my own devising that adapts a Williams Sonoma chiffon pie recipe to be a bit more fun.
Start with a basic crumb crust of Oreo cookies and butter. So much easier than rolling out pastry dough!
Peanut butter is mixed with milk,sugar, and eggs and simmered into a custard. Then came some softened gelatin.
Duckie, this one's for you.
I whipped cream and egg whites and then folded into the peanut-butter Jello. Then pieces of cookie that I had been keeping firm in the freezer were folded in. Garnish the top with whole cookies and you're good to go.
Our last pie is the Italian Easter Pie (Pizza Rustica if you must). This is the recipe my BFF rescued for me a couple of years ago.
I cut up three kinds of meat.
The meat is tossed with ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan and eggs. The original recipe doesn't call for parmesan, but I added it instead of salt. I like the pop of flavor it gives.
The bread-like crust seals the whole thing in. I use an old-fashioned Corning Ware dish like the kind every family has tucked away somewhere.
More on the pies after Easter.