10.23.2006

Coconut Cream Pie and Pâté Brisée

My boyfriend's favorite dessert is without a doubt coconut cream pie or anything creamy and coconuty. He spotted a coconut cream pie at the local grocery store one afternoon and exclaimed that he would purchase it on Monday to eat. I told him that would be ridiculous - of course I would make one! Any opportunity to work on baking is more than welcomed into my daily activities, especially something I don't have much (or any) experience in, pies and pie crust.

I knew my woman, Martha, would have a perfect recipe for me in her Baking Handbook where her decadant, classic recipes enchant my baking soul with elegant photos and wonderfully written pre-recipe descriptions and stories. The first task was crust. I was bit intimidating having never solely made a scratch crust; pie crusts have a notorious stigma attached them of being difficult to work with. I chose (as suggested by Martha) Pâté Brisée, a classic french pastry crust for pies, simply contain unsalted butter, salt and ice water.


Simple, right? I followed the directions trying to use not too much water because I didn't want the crust to be tough but in the end more would have been better.

When I went to roll out the crust the next day; it crumbled on the counter top. Although alarmed, I kept my composure and just added more water and continued to roll it out, hoping for the best. Of course after adding the water it was a bit too sticky so, I added a bit more flour as I rolled. Nothing close to perfect, I folded the pie dough into my pan; some of the ends on the round were thicker than others causing a shotty looking design as a I pinched the edges.

I remained persistant and turned out the coconut custard with ease and it was quite fun. I whipped my cream which I thought was kind of bland and a bit soft. I wanted it to be thick, tasty and bountiful but it just was kind of, cream, that was whipped.

Well, all and all, I know Martha's the queen of baking so it was my lack of expierience that rendered this pie to our eyes and taste buds as good and not earth shattering-orgasmically-amazing. I followed the recipe exactly (minus brushing the bottom with metled chocolate) and it is quite long ,so I won't post it. You can easily find this recipe in Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook or on her website. Next time, I think I'll try a more traditional diner style cream pie recipe (although I'm not sure of the differences) because I think that is style I'm looking for in this pie. I'll also be practicing my Pâté Brisée technique in the meantime.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I fell in love with Coconut Cream Pie when I moved to the U.S and yours look delicious! Than you for sharing, and welcome to the world of blogging!
I can't believe you were just in CHarleston, I am 10 minutes away from downtown and I was the pastry chef for Mistral, the French restaurant across from Kaminsky's (almost right across), my friend C. is their pastry chef.
I hope you will come back and visit!

Brilynn said...

Pie crusts are so fickle! Sometimes mine are great, other times, not so much.

Natalia said...

Ok, I love Martha and her Baking Handbook is one of my favorite cookbooks, but you have got to go with Shuna's (of Eggbeater) pie crust. I was having all sorts of trouble with pie crust. I tried all kinds of different recipes and techniques. Then I tried this one and have never looked back. It's the best!

Anonymous said...

Helene - thank you : ) That is crazy! Charleston was great... we really enjoyed everything there - it's character is so unique.

Brilynn - I know, it can be frustrating but I'll keep truckin..

Natalia - I had just checked the out after I made my pie crust - I can't wait to try it now.. thanks!

veuveclicquot said...

wow. I've never made coconut cream pie. I didn't even notice it in MS's baking handbook (well... i never get farther than the cookies ;))! Definitely something to try. :) thanks for the review.

breadchick said...

I just picked up the Martha Baking Book and after your review will have to give this a try.