The Best Coconut Cream Pie Ever….no really….

My wife is a huge coconut fan, so I gave her a choice of whether she wanted a coconut cake or a coconut cream pie. She decided on coconut cream pie. So this week I’m going to share my recipe for super coconutty coconut cream pie. My goal with the pie is to infuse rich coconut flavor in each layer of the pie. With that said, I use my graham cracker coconut crust recipe as the base. You can  find the recipe here. Next comes the filling which is a rich coconut custard, that’s not only flavored with vanilla but also coconut extract and toasted shredded coconut. And finally, I make a vanilla and coconut flavored whipped cream and finish the whole thing off with toasted coconut chips. Here’s the recipe:

Coconut Cream Pie Filling

1 prepared graham cracker crust

1 13.5 oz can coconut milk

1 12 oz can evaporated milk

4 large egg yolks

¼ cup corn starch

½ cup granulated sugar

1 cup toasted unsweetened shredded coconut (plus extra for garnish)

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp coconut extract

pinch of salt

In a large bowl, thoroughly combine eggs, salt, corn starch and sugar with ¼ cup of the milk and set aside. Heat the coconut milk and evaporated milk in a heavy bottomed pot until it comes to a slow bowl and turn the heat down to medium low. Slowly drizzle 1 cup of the heated milk mixture into the egg and starch mixture while continuously stirring with a wire wihisk. Now add the egg and starch mixture into the pot and stir until it thickens into a pudding like consistency. Add in 1 cup of the toasted shredded coconut. Fill the pie shell with the custard and chill for at least 4 hours before serving. Finish with sweetened whipped cream and garnish with toasted coconut chips.

 

Enljoy

Coquito – aka Puerto Rican Egg Nog

So what the heck is Coquito? Well, its a popular drink in Puerto Rico and with the Puerto Rican diaspora. Its a coconut based rum drink that’s seasoned with cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg similar to egg nog. Coquito iss popular during the Christmas Season and is frequently given as a gift to loved ones, friends and co-worker

Some claim that its roots stem from Spanish sailors that were familiar with egg nog and decided to use the local coconuts to make a similar drink. I personally (based on zero research) think that its probably a coconut based boozy version of  turtle-nut horchata which is something that Spanish sailors were familiar with and  some home-sick sailors probably thought the fatty richness of coconut would be a good substitution for rich, meaty, turtle-nuts.

Coquito doesn’t require any specialized equipment to make, though I’d suggest a funnel which makes getting the fairly thick drink into narrow mouthed bottles.  It’s fairly common for folks to save up all their rum and wine bottles through the year to use for their coquito gifting. TJ Maxx (who had some for $1.99 the other day) , Micheals and 2nd hand shops are my go to for looking for nice flip top bottles for gifting.

Recipe

1 can full fat coconut milk (preferably Goya)

1 can Creme de Coco such as Coco Lopez

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 can evaporated milk

¾ cup white Puerto Rican Rum such as Don Q*

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground clove

½ tsp ground allspice

½ tsp ground nutmeg

1 cinnamon stick

Mix all the ingredients together in a pitcher or bowl and then divide amongst bottles. This recipe will make enough to fill 1 750ML bottle with a a little left over. Served over ice with a cinnamon stick for garnish.

*my preference is for Don Q because it is a true Puerto Rican Rum from Ponce, PR. Though Bacardi is labeled as such and widely used for Coquito, it is a Cuban rum and is just distilled in Puerto Rico for the North American market.

Ube love

 

Ube Ice Cream with Mango Coulis and garnished with Fruity Pebbles cereal, whipped cream and lychee, mango and coconut flavored jellies.

What the heck is ube? Well, ube is an extremely bright purple sweet potato that’s widely used in Filipino cuisine, it’s an extremely popular flavor for desserts. It’s often confused for taro but they are in fact entirely different. I love it, not only for its sweet taste, but also the intense vibrancy of the color makes for really colorful and striking photos. Today was National Ice Cream Day (I’m not sure who got to decide that) in the States. To celebrate, I made Ube Ice cream (I also made Coconut Matcha Ice cream which I’ll post another time). Here’s the recipe:

Ube Ice Cream

4 cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup ube jam such as ube halaya

½ cup sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp ube extract*

Whisk all the ingredients together until they ube jam and sweetened condensed milk are thoroughly incorporated then chill the mixture for at least 2 hours. Churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturers directions. Then place ice cream into freezer safe container and freeze. I usually try to let this freeze over night. Then serve.

 

*Ube extract is both ube flavoring as well as food coloring. I get mine from my local Filipino grocery store (shout out to Island Pacific in Bixby Knolls). You can order it online through Amazon.

Here’s a bonus video showing what happens to the ice cream base when I add the ube extract.