Tuesday, May 13, 2008

TWD Florida Pie

Posted by BAKE-EN at 10:28 AM
Dianne of Dianne’s Dishes chose Florida Pie as the TWD recipe for this week.

On first inspection of the recipe, I knew I had to tweak it. I’m not a fan of shredded coconut. I was the kid who two months after Halloween had a bag full of Mounds and Almond Joys, and nothing else left. I would end up giving my coconut tainted candies to my Memere because she loved them. I do love the flavor of coconut though. I love sticky rice and pina coladas. When I was first going over the recipe I considered boiling the cream with the coconut, and then straining the coconut out. After much internal deliberation, I decided to skip the step all together because I love the flavor of Key Limes, and I knew the pie would be tasty without the coconut.

I debated buying Key lime juice over juicing them myself, but I find bottled Key lime juice to be sulphery. Wow, I never could have anticipated just how fun juicing Key Limes is! That was tedious, but those little limes actually contained a lot of juice. I bought a one pound bag of Key Limes, and used all but 5 of them. Key limes are so cute!

After juicing the limes, things started to get a bit hairy. As directed, I bought a premade graham cracker crust. As I opened the container I realized it was broken in several places. Taking this as an opportunity to try the crust (it was broken anyway), I determined it was flavorless and unimpressive. Turning a lemon into lemonade, I knocked the crust out of the tin, crushed it, and then added ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and some melted butter. Then I baked that crust in a pie plate for about 10 minutes at 350.

The key lime filing was a breeze to make. Three ingredients: juice, yolks and sweetened condensed milk.

It doesn’t get much easier than that... until...


Well, it wasn’t all the power. Actually, the outlets still had power, but we had no lights in our apartment at all. Ugh, we live in a very old house in Somerville, and it’s “charm” is wearing thin with all the problems we’ve had here!

By candle light, I filled the pie and put it in the oven. Then as directed, I set it out to cool for a bit, then put it in the freezer.

Oh, one side note. We were having friends over for dinner that night! Yes, that’s right. No power and the guest were about to arrive.

While the pie was cooling, I made risotto to go along with the short ribs Joe had been braising all day. I discovered cooking by candlelight is fun as long as you have a good bottle of wine by your side.

Back to the pie. After the pie was in the freezer for an hour, I took it out and made the meringue. I really did not care for this meringue recipe at all. I made it as directed and I found it to be overwhipped before it cooled. It looked broken and all together aweful. Into the garbage that meringue went, and I made my standby Swiss Meringue recipe from Martha Stewart.

Our guests arrived with candles. We ended up having a great night with them. We sat in our living room discussing the food, the wines, places to live and visit in the future. The pie was excellent the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

Here are final pictures of the pie. Sorry the lighting is a bit off, there was none!

Here’s the recipe. Keep in mind that I didn’t used the meringue recipe listed below, nor did I make the coconut cream. If you would like to make the meringue I did make, it can be found here:


Florida Pie
1 9-inch graham cracker crust (page 235), fully baked and cooled, or a store-bought crust
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
4 large eggs, seperated
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh Key (or regular) lime juice (from about 5 regular limes)
1/4 cup of sugar

Getting Ready:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the pie plate on a baking sheet lined with parchment of a silicone mat.
Put the cream and 1 cup of the coconut in a small saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring almost constantly. Continue to cook and stir until the cream is reduced by half and the mixture is slightly thickened. Scrape the coconut cream into a bowl and set it aside while you prepare the lime filling.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl beat the egg yolks at high speed until thick and pale. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the condensed milk. Still on low, add half of the lime juice. When it is incorporated, add the reaming juice, again mixing until it is blended. Spread the coconut cream in the bottom of the graham cracker crust, and pour over the lime filling.
Bake the pie for 12 minutes. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and cool for 15 minutes, then freeze the pie for at least 1 hour.

To Finish the Pie with Meringue:
Put the 4 egg whites and the sugar in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, whisking all the while, until the whites are hot to the touch. Transfer the whites to a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, or use a hand mixer in a large bowl, and beat the whites at high speed until they reach room temperature and hold firm peaks. Using a rubber spatula, fold the remaining 1/2 cup coconut into the meringue.
Spread the meringue over the top of the pie, and run the pie under the broiler until the top of the meringue is golden brown. (Or, if you've got a blowtorch, you can use it to brown the meringue.) Return the pie to the freezer for another 30 minutes or for up to 3 hours before serving.

24 comments on "TWD Florida Pie"

kim on May 13, 2008 at 11:15 AM said...

i can't believe the power went out... good job soldiering on! the pie looks delicious!

bakingwiththeboys on May 13, 2008 at 11:22 AM said...

I don't care for coconut either but that meringue looks delectable. Great job, especially considering your lighting handicap.

Cheryl on May 13, 2008 at 11:23 AM said...

Your meringue looks absolutely incredible. That was my only frustration with the pie, but it was still delicious, chunky meringue aside. ; )

Nice work! And in the dark!

Bridget said...

Wow, cooking by candlelight, that's certainly an adventure! I thought the meringue recipe was a little off too. I'm glad you had a standby to replace it with!

rainbowbrown on May 13, 2008 at 11:38 AM said...

Wow, what a story that goes along with your pie. Kudos on over comming your difficulties. It sounded fun!

mimi on May 13, 2008 at 11:46 AM said...

wow, for someone with no power, your pie looks great! that last slice photo looks so yummy!

CB on May 13, 2008 at 12:43 PM said...

Thats crazy about the power! Its a good thing that us bakers know how to improvise well. Great job!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

Nina on May 13, 2008 at 1:04 PM said...

What a trooper, cooking the pie even with no lights! Nina @ Love Sweet Love

Engineer Baker on May 13, 2008 at 1:08 PM said...

Cooking by candlelight sounds like a lot of fun actually! Very nice pie, and thank goodness the rest of your electricity worked!

Melissa on May 13, 2008 at 1:14 PM said...

Congrats on cooking by candlelight!

Heather on May 13, 2008 at 1:40 PM said...

wow! Great job! It looks amazing and you did it by candlelight! Mine would have been a huge mess!

Jayne on May 13, 2008 at 1:49 PM said...

Beautiful job! And I'm so glad you were still able to complete the mission by candle light! And that meringue - I thought I'd let it go too long, but now I kind of think it was the recipe and NOT me.

Bumblebutton on May 13, 2008 at 4:20 PM said...

Your meringue recipe substitution looks to be a good one...I'll have to try that version next time!

steph- whisk/spoon on May 13, 2008 at 6:31 PM said...

nice meringue!

Tracey on May 13, 2008 at 10:48 PM said...

Your meringue looks so cool!

Gretchen Noelle on May 13, 2008 at 11:10 PM said...

Cooking by candlelight? Sounds fun! Lovely job and hope the guests enjoyed it!

Annemarie on May 13, 2008 at 11:52 PM said...

Power outage...no big deal for you! I have meringue envy.

ostwestwind on May 14, 2008 at 8:34 AM said...

Candlelight cooking is an experience you really should want ;-)

Nice looking pie

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

Mevrouw Cupcake on May 14, 2008 at 9:28 AM said...

Well done for getting this beautiful pie done in the dark!

Sharon on May 14, 2008 at 11:02 AM said...

Looks great!

Dianne on May 14, 2008 at 1:40 PM said...

Your pie looks great! What and adventure you had in the process of making it too. :)

Jaime on May 14, 2008 at 10:24 PM said...

wow, baking in the dark! kudos to you :) your pie looks great and your meringue fabulous. i had trouble w/the meringue as well, maybe next time i'll try your recipe

Lisa Thibault on May 15, 2008 at 12:27 PM said...

Your pie looks fabulous - the meringue is so fluffy and high! I'm going to have to try that meringue recipe.

Helen on May 16, 2008 at 4:57 AM said...

What a great idea to salvage the crust! Looks great! Hx


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