Remember a few days ago, when I swore to make a pie because I was having DREAMS about making pie? Well. Check and check. I have now made TWO pies over this holiday weekend. The first was delicious and is almost gone (what’s left is more like a pile of mush all scooped into a storage container – note that creamy pies do not cut prettily); the second is setting up in my refrigerator, to be unveiled at dinner tonight. I still have not made regular pie crust from scratch, so that is another challenge that awaits me some other pie-making day, but I think both of these turned out quite well!
Pie 1 – Banana-Caramel Coconut Cream Pie with Dark Rum
Made for a 4th of July cookout we were going to, chosen because it sounded unusual and delicious. The recipe begins with a homemade crust of crushed animal crackers, coconut, sugar and butter.
Then you have to make homemade caramel, which I’d never done before. I think I overcooked it JUUUUUST a hair, but it still tasted delicious and looked lovely.
The next step was to put banana slices into the caramel in the crust, but I forgot to photograph that one so…use your imagination! Next came making the coconut cream filling, with rum. There were a lot of fast steps where you had to be stirring or whisking with one hand and dumping in new ingredients with the other, so I premeasured everything and didn’t get to take many photos along the way – just the ingredients and then the filling in the pie!
The recipe said I’d have leftover pie filling and I definitely did – I made little cups of pie filling and sliced the half a banana I had left on top of them, and David and I had them for dessert the night before the party when I was making the pie. The next morning, I whipped up fresh whipped cream and toasted some coconut in a skillet to add to the top for garnish. And the pie was super-yummy!
Because the caramel was so sticky, it was hard to cut and there were no pretty pieces of it out of the dish. That was slightly annoying, but it still tasted awesome (which is the most important part!).
Pie 2 – Summer Berry Pie
I made this one this morning as dessert for a dinner party we’re hosting tonight. Chosen because we had an insane amount of blueberries and blackberries from our produce co-op this week, so I just had to buy raspberries at the store. This one begins with a homemade graham cracker crust.
Here are the ingredients for the pie and a lovely close-up of the berries themselves.
This pie was interesting, because it doesn’t use a gelatin base at all. It calls for pureeing about half of the berries and then straining them to get the seeds out, then adding some sugar and salt and cornstarch and stirring constantly over heat until your arm falls off, then adding some lemon juice to preserve the color.
Then you put the thickened puree into the crust, heat some currant jelly and mix it over the remaining whole berries to give them shine, then gently press the whole berries into the puree and refrigerate it so it will get firm. Which is what is happening now. Then I washed all the dishes – this is the one thing I hate about baking; I think I’ve done the dishes 5 different times this weekend – and discovered that my wooden spoon, which I used to stir the puree constantly because the recipe specifically said to do it with a wooden spoon, is now fuschia. It looks kind of pretty, yes? 🙂