Whew--it's been a busy week and it looks like it's only going to get busier. Hope you had fun yesterday with Cinco de Mayo and now it's on to Mother's Day--you do know that it's coming up on Sunday and you do have lots of wonderful gifts and surprises for your dear mothers already, right? Hint, hint...Don't say I didn't warn you! Anyway, if you're trying to figure out what to serve in the dessert category for Sunday, my Famous Fridays honoree of the week, Icebox Pies by Lauren Chattman, has got you covered with over "100 Scrumptious Recipes for No-Bake No-Fail Pies". Today I'm featuring her Piña Colada Pie and it is dreamily, tropically terrific and a breeze to whip up!! And even better, you can make it a day ahead and keep it refrigerated until you're ready to serve it. Exactly the right ingredients to make a mama smile!
I've said it many times on this site before, but I'm often late to the party. That's the only reason I can explain for not knowing about this handy little book. Well that, and having a baby shortly before the book was published and I was still lost in that when-is-someone-going-to-pick-up-these-kids-that-it-seems-I've-been-eternally-babysitting-for kind of feeling? Because guys, this book is just chock full of all different sorts of uncomplicated recipes for classic pies like Lemon Cream and Chocolate Mousse and some more unusual offerings like Raspberry and Cocoa Mascarpone Cream Pie, Cranberry Cream Pie (a must make for Thanksgiving) and this little tropical beauty with its winning combination of pineapple and coconut!
You start with a 'Nilla wafer-based crumb crust which perfectly complements the delicately flavored filling.
And once you've whipped up that filling, you let it chill over ice to thicken a bit before folding in some whipped cream. That's it! The chilling in the fridge does the rest of the work.
Each bite is creamy but not overly heavy or sweet. My husband said it reminded him of our lifetime ago honeymoon in Barbados in which we neither ate pie nor sipped piña coladas, but I kind of know what he means. With each bite of this pie, the smell of coconut suntan lotion tickles your nose as you dig your toes into the sand and almost drown on jet skis! Ah, memories...
And with the warm weather coming (hopefully, as I just turned the heat up again!) I can't think of a better time to pick up a copy of Icebox Pies and start churning out those easy, light, fun summer desserts. So have a great weekend, spend time with those you love sharing some good food and to all the mamas out there, have a very happy Mother's Day!!!
Icebox Pies' Almost No-Bake Piña Colada Pie-Famous Fridays
Makes one 9-inch pie
You will need a candy or instant-read thermometer for this.
Prep Time for Crust: 10 minutes; Bake Time: 6-8 minutes; Prep Time for Filling: 20 minutes (plus several hours of chilling time and you can definitely make this a day ahead)
For the Crust
- 50 'Nilla Wafers or about 1 1/2 cups of crumbs
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Filling
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 6 ounces pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk, well shaken and stirred (I used light)
- 3/4 cup chilled heavy cream
For the topping
- A large handful of unsweetened, coconut flakes, toasted, to use as a garnish (optional)
1. For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Process the cookies in a food processor until they are finely ground and powdery. (Conversely you could put the cookies in a ziploc bag and pound on them with a rolling pin or hammer until they're ground up.) Combine the cookie crumbs, butter, salt and vanilla in a medium bowl and stir well until all the crumbs are evenly moistened.
2. Press the mixture into the bottom and all the way up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate, pressing it down with your fingers so it is stuck into place.
3. Bake for 6-8 minutes until the crust is crisp and golden and set. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before filling it.
4. To make the filling: Place the water in a small stainless steel bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let the gelatin dissolve while you prepare the rest of the filling.
5. Place a couple of inches of water in the pot of a double boiler and bring it to a simmer. Meanwhile fill a large bowl with ice and set it aside. In the bowl of the double boiler, whisk together the sugar, eggs, pineapple juice, and coconut milk and place the bowl on top of the simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Whisk the mixture constantly, until the candy thermometer reads 160ºF. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture. Place the bowl on top of the ice in the larger bowl and let the mixture stand for about 10-15 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the mixture has thickened slightly.
6. Use an electric mixer to whip the cream until it holds soft peaks. Then, gently fold it into the pineapple mixture and pour the filling into the cooled crust. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours to let it set and up to 24. When ready to serve, garnish with the toasted coconut if desired.
Note: Recipe adapted from Icebox Pies by Lauren Chattman.