Coconut is a divisive ingredient. A little like coriander or anchovies in the way that people seem to either adore it or despise it. Coconut is a magnet to me. In a bakery, if something has coconut in it, I will find it and I will want it. Add chocolate and I will want it even more. So it’s no surprise that this pie called to me, because it is really like a macaroon’s more sophisticated cousin. Once you’ve tasted it, you will know that it is hard to classify this pie. It’s a little bit like the best chewy chocolate macaroon you’ve ever tasted, and a bit like a Bounty bar, and a bit like a fine dark truffle. All. At. Once.
To make this scenario even more perfect, I am happy to report that it is dead easy. Probably the easiest pie I’ve made so far in this venture.
So go make one.
There are pies I can eat for breakfast. There are pies I could eat every week. This week I have learned that Coconut Cream Pie does not fall into either of these categories. Coconut Cream Pie is not for wimps. It is not for vegans. (At least not the one I made. No indeed). It is also not for people who like to accomplish things after dessert. It is tasty though. Tasty verging on naughty.
Confession: before Saturday, I had never eaten coconut cream pie. This is surprising because coconut is one of my favourite tastes and I’ve not been known to say no to creamy, vanilla-scented pastry cream. When I worked (read: slaved) in the kitchen at the schmancy Belgian bakery here in town, one of my secret walk-in refrigerator treats was a spoonful of pastry cream with a raspberry plopped on top. One bite of cold vanilla fruitiness, and then back to work!
The thing is, I think I’d probably choose a fruit pie over a cream pie nine times out of ten. Is this because I delude myself into thinking that I’m getting something remotely “good for me” with a fruit pie? Perhaps. Blueberries = antioxidants. Peaches = fiber. I think it’s more about the contrast, of flaky crust to syrupy fruit, the sweet tang against slight salt of butter. A cream pie is really… creamy. And this one was mostly sweet, and sweeter. You can’t pretend it isn’t decadent, maybe even a touch insane, to be eating all that cream. I admit I felt a little giddy as I scooped up my last forkful of this week’s indulgence. When I was done, I lay on the couch in a coconut cream stupor and vowed that tomorrow I would run. I would run far and fast.