Thursday, November 28, 2013


This year for Thanksgiving I had it pretty easy. My sister was gracious enough to host it at her house, and my only assignments were mashed potatoes and pie. In reality, however, my only assignment was pie because Sam has reserved the right to always make mashed potatoes. He claims that they are his specialty, and I fully support him in any cooking endeavor (especially when he does a great job-- it's one less thing for me to worry about). With such a light load I decided to try something really special for my one contribution to tonight's feast. I chose...

strawberry coconut cream pie !
(gluten free of course to suit my own gluten intolerant needs)

It was a little tricky procuring (good) strawberries this time of year, but once I found them I knew I had to give it a go. My friend Brittney brought it for a dinner party a few months back and it was so good I asked for the recipe. I've been meaning to make it for awhile now, and I felt like the fresh, light pastry would be a nice addition to the richer, heartier desserts that were sure to be in attendance this turkey day.

This recipe didn't disappoint. It turned out to be so pretty that it literally made me giddy. Once I finished the pie and was able to admire it, I had a moment where I didn't really care how it tasted because it looked so nice. Yet, luckily, it tasted amazing as well. Everyone loved it, including my 3 year old nephew. In fact, as soon as he spotted it he claimed it was his and became visibly upset when anyone took a slice...

I'll definitely be making it again soon. Actually, come to think of it, the vibrant red topping would look lovely on a Christmas dinner table... hmmm :) 

The pie crust recipe.
(recipe by
1 cup Bisquick® Gluten Free mix
5 tablespoons cold butter
3 tablespoons water

Heat oven to 425°F. Grease 9-inch glass pie plate with shortening or cooking spray. Place Bisquick mix in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or fork (or pulling 2 table knives through mixture in opposite directions), until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in water; shape into ball with hands. Press dough in bottom and up side of pie plate. 2 Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned; remove from oven. Cool while preparing the pie filling and topping. 

The pie recipe.
(recipe by
Coconut Cream Filling Ingredients:

1 can (14 fluid ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch kosher salt
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup whipping cream

Topping Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
red food coloring (optional; I skipped this)
mint leaves or whole strawberries for garnish (optional)

To make filling: Heat the coconut milk, sugar, salt and vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium heat. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and corn starch. Add 1/2 cup of the hot cream slowly to the yolks, whisking as you add. Then pour the yolk mixture into the pot of hot cream and whisk. Continue to whisk with heat on medium-high for 3 more minutes. The mixture will turn thick and bubble. You need to continue to whisk for the full 3 minutes or the pastry cream will separate once it is cool. After the 3 minutes, whisk in the butter. Add the coconut flakes. Pour into a shallow dish to cool.

Cover with plastic wrap pressed right against the pastry cream. This will prevent a thick skin from forming on the surface. Refrigerate for at least an hour or freeze for 30 minutes. Once it is cold, stir the pastry cream to loosen. Whip the 1/2 cup cream to medium peaks. Stir in 1/3 to the pastry cream to lighten. Fold in the remaining cream until the pastry cream is nice and light. Fill baked, cooled pie crust with your coconut filling.

Slice 1 cup of strawberries in thin slices lengthwise and layer the slices in pretty concentric circles around the top of the coconut cream. Set this in the fridge to chill while you make your glaze.

Make the glaze: Crush remaining 1/2 cup of strawberries and boil with water in a saucepan over medium-high heat for two minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and discard the pulp. Add the juice back to the saucepan over medium-high heat and gradually whisk in sugar and cornstarch. Cook until thickened. If you have lumps of corn starch just strain it again once thickened. If you want, you can tint this glaze with food coloring to desired hue. I used one drop of red food coloring and it was beautiful!

Cool the glaze slightly and then pour over top of strawberry slices on your pie. Garnish with big mint leaves, if you’d like, or whole strawberries. Chill entire pie for at least a few hours for best results; cut with a knife held under hot water and then dried. It will still have the consistency of pudding, so it works well to serve it up in a pretty little bowl.

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