I’m guessing there are recipes in Dorie’s book that aren’t obscenely rich. In fact, there’s a whole section on muffins! But the TWD recipe choosers have thus far gravitated toward the decadent side of the book, at least since I joined. This week is no exception, as Dianne’s choice of Florida Pie has well over a cup of cream in addition to the can of sweetened condensed milk, the butter in the crust, and a fair amount of coconut.
Fortunately, it’s all worth it because I love citrus desserts, especially Key lime pie. I only recently realized that I liked coconut, so this was a fun way to incorporate it into a favorite dessert.
I didn’t follow the recipe quite as closely as I normally do. I did make the coconut cream the recommended way, by simply boiling heavy cream and sweetened shredded coconut together until they reduce and thicken. For the lime filling, however, I was surprised that Dorie didn’t call for zest, and since I like my citrus desserts on the puckery side, I added about 2 limes worth. Where I strayed from the recipe the most was in the freezing steps, of which Dorie has two – one after the filling is added, and one after the meringue is toasted. I’m not sure what the purpose of either of these freezing stages is – perhaps to keep the filling cold while the pie is broiled? I used a blow torch to brown the meringue, and I didn’t want my pie frozen, so I skipped both visits to the freezer.
Overall, the pie (or in my case, tartelettes) were good. I do love lime. I have to admit that I consider the coconut more of a distraction than an improvement, but I enjoyed the dessert regardless.
Florida Pie (from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours)
1 9-inch graham cracker crust, fully baked and cooled, or a store-bought crust
1⅓ cups heavy cream
1½ cups shredded sweetened coconut
4 large eggs, separated
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup fresh Key (or regular) lime juice (from about 5 regular limes)
¼ 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 or 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 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 ½ 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.