This is the coconut dessert I was going to make originally, but with a busy work week I didn’t have the energy to make the filling, crust and topping needed. I found it online and rewrote the amounts and instructions to reflect the pastry making technique I used.
Mini Coconut Cream Pies
Pie Crust – makes enough pastry for a single 9 inch diameter pie top and bottom, or 6 x 5 1/2 inch diameter bases
1 cup very cold unsalted butter**, cut into small cubes
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup to 1/3 ice water (use just enough to allow the pastry to hold together
** I used half butter and half lard
Using a food processor, or a pastry blender in a large bowl, cut the cold butter (and lard) into flour and salt until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Small pieces of butter should still be visible.
Pour cold water over the mixture through the feed tube, pulsing until the mixture begins to clump together. If using the bowl, sprinkle a few tablespoons of water over the flour/butter mixture and toss with a fork until dough begins to form. Take a handful of the mixture into your hand and squeeze gently. If it holds together, stop adding any more water. (Use your hands as little as possible as the heat will melt the butter and work the dough as little as possible as it will develop gluten and your pastry will toughen.)
Divide the dough into 2 even sized balls, flatten into 2 round discs, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rest for a minimum of 20 minutes. You can freeze the second disc for another time. (My pastry weighed about 600 gm.)
For the 5 1/2 inch mini bases, roll the pastry out about 1/8 of an inch thick and about 8 inches in diameter. Drape over the aluminum pie dish leaving some overhang. Finish the edges as desired. With the tines of a fork, prick all over the pastry and bake in a preheated 375 deg Fahrenheit oven until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
Cool the pie shells thoroughly.
Coconut Cream Filling – makes 2 cups of filling, enough to fill 3 of the 5 1/2 inch diameter bases above
1 1/2 cups milk, scalded
5 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/3 cup of sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, finely ground**
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
** I ground the coconut in my coffee grinder with about 1 tbsp sugar
Scald the milk in a sauce pan or in the microwave.
Whisk together the flour, sugar and salt In a medium sized sauce pan. Pour in half a cup of the scalded milk and whisk until smooth. Make sure that you don’t leave any dry flour/sugar in the corners by using a large soup spoon. Place on the stove over medium/medium-low heat and cook, whisking all the while, until the mixture starts to thicken. Add another half cup of the milk and continue cooking. When thickened, add the last of the milk and continue cooking until it has thickened again. Take the sauce pan off the stove and reduce the heat to medium-low, if needed.
In a small bowl lightly beat the egg yolks. Add about 1/4 cup of the hot custard mixture to the beaten eggs and whisk in to temper the eggs. Add another half a cup of the hot custard mixture to the eggs and whisk well. Pour the egg/custard mixture into the custard in the sauce pan. Whisk well and return to the heat. Cook while whisking until the custard mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat.
Whisk in the butter and the vanilla and almond extracts. Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Whisk a final time and fill the cooled pie shells. You’ll need about 2/3 cup of filling per mini pie shell.
Lay a sheet of food wrap on top of the surface of each pie and refrigerate for 4-6 hrs or, optimally, overnight, before topping.
Vanilla Whipped Cream – makes enough whipped cream to top 3 x 5 1/2 inch diameter mini pies
1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tbsp icing/powdered sugar, sifted
3 tbsp toasted shredded coconut for garnish
Combine the whipping cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract in a medium sized bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Spread on top of the cooled coconut cream filling. Garnish each mini cream pie with toasted coconut and serve.
Just a quick review … the filling was very tasty and I’d make it again but I’d use one of my other pie crust recipes for the shell. I may have rolled the crust too thick, and I certainly under-baked it, but I found the resulting crust heavy (not flaky) and bland. NOTE: I did substitute half the butter with lard so that may also have affected my results.