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A young and slightly ignorant woman who has always loved baking and cooking, I want to make people happy with food as often as I can. I'm here to whisk away and explore!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Fruit of the Spirit: Coconut Citrus Meringue Pie

Remember a few days ago when I vaguely promised that there would be more pie before the month of July was up? Yeahhhhh...here's me delivering on that promise.
It was a toss up regarding flavors. It's summer, so something heavy and rich wasn't my favorite choice. Wasn't in the mood for chocolate, but I had made a few fruit pies already this month.
I was really going for strawberry pie, just because I hadn't eaten it in about six years or something, which is an absurd amount of time to go without strawberry pie.
But I had just made mint syrup that I wanted to use so I added Grasshopper Pie to the options. Whoohoo, it was getting better by the minute.
And then I knew that I had two cans of coconut milk in the pantry that had been sitting there forever...and who could say no to creamy coconut?

A Poll was organized, family members and twitter followers were surveyed anddddd. Coconut won out in the end. Go coconut! (It is an astounding nut, I have to say.)
But even in its astounding state, I didn't want to make plain old super delicious coconut cream pie. Depth and dynamic was needed. *hunt around the kitchen ensues* I considered putting the strawberries in, but that might not be the best flavor combo. Raspberries? Better...tart and sweet would be nice.

But then when lemons and limes were found in the bottom of the veggie drawer, I was sold. (I'm always sold when it comes to lemon lime. Citrus is kind like my spirit animal, except it isn't an animal, it's a fruit. So it's my spirit fruit? Fruit of the Spirit? Citrus is love and joy and peace. YES! Wait, no...confused.)
So, zesting and juicing and boiling, whipping, and folding. Hours later I sneak down to the kitchen to eat my appropriately chilled citrus coconut meringue pie and this happened.

I smiled. Someone had taken a slice already. It's good news when your family eats pie in the middle of the night.
So yes, you can practice your fruit of the spirit (mainly self control) while waiting for your pie to chill properly. Or you can just get straight down to "goodness" and slice into it early. No harm done. :D

Coconut Citrus Meringue Pie
1 pie crust, blind baked
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
5 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
Juice and zest from one lemon and one lime
For Meringue:
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
6 Tablespoon sugar

Pour coconut milk, half-and-half, and lemon and lime juices into a large bowl with the egg yolks. Whisk together until smooth. Add sugar and cornstarch to a saucepan over medium heat. Slowly pour the milk and egg mixture into the pot, whisking as you go. Bring this custard mixture to a boil while whisking. Switch to a wooden spoon and boil one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, coconut, and lemon and lime zest. Spread the custard into pie crust. 

For Meringue:
Beat egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed in a stand mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar one tablespoon at a time on high until stiff glossy peaks form and the sugar is dissolved. Spread over the pie filling, sealing the edges to the crust. Sprinkle the top with flaked coconut and a teaspoon of citrus zest. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until the meringue is golden. Cool on a wire rack for one hour, and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. 

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