Right or wrong, my husband and I are waaaaay past the getting-each-other-something-special-for -Valentine’s-Day stage. We had been growing more and more apathetic each year about our V Day gifts for one another and then a couple years ago, my husband put the final nail in the coffin when he came home with an arrangement that
included featured fluorescent dip-dyed carnations. I about lost it and BEGGED him not to buy me anything for Valentine’s Day ever again. He has complied and I am happy to report that our marriage has recovered from the incident.
Anyway, while we don’t buy gifts for one another, I do try to go out of my way a little bit to show the guy that I love him, and usually that takes the form of cooking for him. His all time favorite dessert is the coconut cream pie at the Capital Grille. He loves it so much that we’ll sometimes make a special stop there after dining elsewhere to pick up this decadent dessert to take home. We’ll sit in bed, put on some crap show and chow down on the most coconutty pie you’ll ever taste. That’s romance right there.
I could have made the trip uptown to our local Capital Grille to pick up one of the aforementioned pies. But uptown isn’t exactly close, plus I’d have to find a parking spot, plus I’d have to drag my 3-year old along for the ride. And, since I was going more for “make an effort” v. “blow his socks off”, I decided the pie was not worth that kind of logistical challenge and sacrifice. So I decided to DIY it.
I found bits and pieces of the recipe on the web, but ultimately devised my own recipe based on a couple of ingredients I had on hand that I wanted to use. I had incidentally just picked up some Voortman’s Coconut Cookies and knew that I could use those to make my crust. And I didn’t have any coconut milk on hand, but did have some cream of coconut that we buy to make the occasional pina coladas (don’t judge…they are delicious).
Capital Grille – Inspired Coconut Cream Pie
Makes 4 tarts
8 oz. Voortman’s Coconut Cookies (could use shortbread instead)
3 tbsp melted butter
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cream of coconut (available at most groceries, or on Amazon)
1 tbsp Malibu rum
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
pinch of salt
6 oz. heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tbsp Malibu rum
1/4 cup toasted coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a food processor, process cookies until crumbly.
Melt butter and incorporate into cookie crumbs. Press mixture into 4 small tart pans.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
Beat egg, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and flour in a medium bowl.
Beat the egg and egg yolks in a medium bowl. Add the sugar, cornstarch and flour.
In a small saucepan, combine the milk, heavy cream, cream of coconut and the Malibu rum. Heat to a slow boil and then remove from heat.
Now, you’ll need to temper the egg mixture with the hot milk mixture. Slowly add the milk mixture into the bowl containing the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Once they are incorporated, return the mixture to the saucepan over low to medium heat and, continuing to stir constantly, cook for 4-5 minutes, until mixture thickens to a custard-like consistency.
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour warm custard mixture into prepared tarts. Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
Chill a metal bowl in the fridge for about 5-10 minutes prior to starting this step. Then combine the heavy whipping cream with the powdered sugar and Malibu Rum and beat with a mixer until stiff peaks form. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge.
Next, toast some shredded coconut. I used sweetened, because it’s what I had on hand but you could really use either. I melted a little bit of butter (1-2 tsp) in a small skillet, added the shredded coconut and toasted until lightly browned.
To assemble, top the filled tarts with a generous dollop of the whipped cream, then sprinkle generously with the toasted coconut.
So stinkin’ good. Enjoy!