Monday, May 12, 2008

TWD: Florida Pie

This week’s TWD recipe was chosen by Dianne of Dianne’s Dishes. Using one of my favorite foods (limes), our task was to make Florida Pie, a version of key lime pie.

Now, lately, I’ve either been inundated with desserts or been dessert-less, so I decided to make tarts with half a recipe of filling to curb my ever-expanding waistline. And, after studying the recipe, I made a few other changes.

First, I used unsweetened grated coconut (from Trader Joe’s). While I love fresh coconut, I’m not a big fan of the sickly-sweet sweetened version, so I wasn’t about to go out and buy any when I had the unsweetened stuff in the freezer.

Second, for the meringue, I toasted the coconut before folding it in which added to the depth of flavor.

The choice of unsweetened coconut was perfect, because the finished tarts were not overly sweet and the coconut added a nice texture to the smoothness of the lime filling. If you use a low-fat version of condensed milk, the calorie count will be much lower without affecting the final result.

For more luscious Florida Pies, check out the other Tuesday with Dorie bakers.

Florida Pie

1 9-inch graham cracker crust (page 235), fully baked and cooled, or a store-bought crust (6 small tarts)
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
(6.2 oz)
1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
(3/4 cup)
4 large eggs, separated
(2 eggs)
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
(1/2 can, eyeballed)
1/2 cup fresh Key (or regular) lime juice (from about 5 regular limes)
(1/4 cup)
1/4 cup of sugar
(2 tablespoons)

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. (This took me about 7-8 minutes.) 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 remaining 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.


steph- whisk/spoon said...

we were thiniking along the same lines--i did a little half-recipe pies with low fat condensed milk, too. so many sweet little room in my jeans.

Peabody said...

Toasted coconut was a good idea.

Engineer Baker said...

Lovely little pies! And I agree - toasted coconut is a very good idea.

ostwestwind said...

Next time I'll toast the coconuts, great idea!
Ulrike from Küchenlatein

Anonymous said...

Great idea to toast the coconut. I don't like the sweetened kind either. Looks great!

mimi said...

great looking pies! i wish i had thought about toasting the coconut first. i didn't mind the flavor, but i didn't like the chewiness. i think toasting would have given a nice texture.

Heather B said...

yummy looking pies! Great idea to make it healthier!

Christine said...

Next time I will toast the coconut. Great idea! Pie looks delicious

Lori said...

I also used unsweetened coconut and was glad I did. I like your idea of toasting the coconut before hand. I think coconut is much better this way. Great job on the pie.

CB said...

Great tip about lo-cal condensed milk. Pie looks yum. Pie-tastic job!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

marae said...

i love that deep crust!

i also used 2% condensed.

The Food Librarian said...

This looks fantastic! Yes, librarians are good cooks! :) Your meringue has a lovely brown color!

Jayne said...

Such cute little pies!

Anonymous said...

The mini version look fabulous! Toasting the coconut was a wonderful idea.

Melissa said...

Cute tart! My waistline is ever expanding too unfortunately!

Jaime said...

so cute! i like the idea of toasting the coconut before adding it to the meringue too