Sunday, March 4, 2012

Magazine Munchies: Impossible Coconut Pie

I love food magazines. I love food magazines the way some folks get addicted to fashion & celebrity mags. I get a bit giddy every time the latest issue drops into my mailbox. Currently, I subscribe to 4. Each has its own personality, each I love in its own way.  Which magazines, you ask?


1. The Socialite: Food & Wine. Recipes ready for a party. Ample wine features. Advertisements for exotic locales. Shameless celebrity plugs.
2. The Sophisticate: Bon Appetit. Receive is as a subscription from my 94-year-old grandmother. Recipes are classic, and often upscale. Valiant attempts to elevate comfort foods (e.g. pizza, fried chicken) into haute cuisine.
3.The Nerd: Cook's Illustrated. Everyday recipes advanced to extremely impressive meals thanks to exacting, precise measurements and step-by-step execution of recipes. Attempts to woo you with its knowledge of the pH of various brands of canned tomatoes. If feasible for a standard kitchen, would time recipes to the nanosecond.
4. The Rebel: Lucky Peach. Devotes its debut issue to the ramen noodle, both the 19-cent staple of college students of America, as well as the cultural pride and gourmet noodle of Japan. Recipes include gnocci, make with ramen noodles, as well as outrageously complicated instructions for homemade noodles.

Now that I've chatted on and on about my favorite food magazines, let's talk about a recipe from one. Impossible Pie comes from the March 2001 issue of Food & Wine. I've made this decadent, easy to assemble pie many times now, and I love it. It's called an impossible pie because it's crustless, but the ingredients develop a crust as it bakes. The original recipe calls for more sugar, sweetened coconut, and no vanilla extract. I prefer a little less sweet with my dessert.

Impossible Coconut Pie (makes 2 9-inch pies)
  • 1 stick butter, melted, plus a bit extra
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 AP flour
  • 2 C unsweetened, finely shredded coconut
  • 2 C milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease 2 glass or ceramic pies plates with a bit of butter.
2. Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Add the eggs and beat til well-combined. Add the flour, coconut, milk, vanilla and salt. Stir together. 
3. Carefully divide the mixture between the 2 pie plates, ensure that mixture is well-combined.
4. Bake for 1 hour on the lowest rack, until the pies are golden brown. Allow to cool completely (if you can) before eating. 

Kitchen Notes: This pie can be mixed together in advance and stored in the fridge til ready to bake. Toward the end of baking, the top of the coconut can burn easily, so watch carefully.

Verdict? Lovely if you like coconut. Make this at least once, the top is crispy and delicious, the middle is custardy, and the bottom is a bit cake-like. This would be delicious as an Almond Joy pie, with drizzled chocolate and toasted almonds on top.