Recipe Hour: Coconut Curry Pie with a Side of Fail

I decided that, although this blog is largely focused on writing, I’d share something about my personal life as a change of pace. Namely, my ability (or lack thereof) to bake. This particular recipe was written a long time ago so I’m no longer taking classes. I still have lots of other reasons to slack and bake pie, however.

Warning: as with any time I cook, there may be mild profanity involved in the recounting of this process.

For me, baking and slacking are synonymous. This is why I like baking pies. They require minimal effort (unless I’m making the “Dark as Your Soul” pie- that recipe for another day) and generally come out alright for me. If sometimes lopsided.

This particular pie, originally dubbed “The I Hate Statistics and Am Totally Slacking Pie” ended up being completely different from the original recipe since I didn’t actually check for ingredients before I started making said pie.

As a happy side effect, however, the leftover pie filling can be used to make a lovely nectarine curry! (Yes, you heard that right. Nectarine and curry.) So I’ll include that recipe at the end – think of it as a special bonus.

The “I Hate Statistics and Am Totally Slacking” Pie
(aka Thai Coconut Cream Pie. Or something along those lines.)

2 cans of coconut milk, inadequately shaken
5 tbls sour cream
3/4 c. white sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/4 ts. salt
1 tbl. golden brown sugar
1 c. barely-toasted-due-to-chef’s-incompetence coconut
1 ts. Mexican-because-its-what-I-got-your-mileage-may-vary vanilla
1 baked pie shell

The Basic Instructions

1. Combine coconut milk, sour cream, sugars, flour, and salt in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over low heat.

2. Remove from the heat. Stir in coconut and vanilla.

3. Pour into a pie shell and chill 2 to 4 hours or until firm. At some point, you probably should’ve baked the pie shell. I don’t know what happens if you don’t given that I’ve been telling people for years that eating uncooked cookie dough will make them sick and it never does.

4. (optional) Can top with more coconut.

What Really Happened in My Kitchen

1. Because I was shirking homework, I deliberately chose a pie that looked rather complicated or at least, not one I’ve ever made. It involved toasting coconut which I’d never done. (At the conclusion of this recipe, I think I can say that I still haven’t actually done this.)

2. Bake the pie shell. The pie shell cracked instantly-at which point, I decided to shove the sides together in the hopes that it would grow back. This does, after all, work with fingernails sometimes and assorted medical emergencies- it stood to reason that it would with pie.

3. Forget to prick the pie shell with a fork. Open the oven, nearly trapping the curious cat inside, and prick said pie shell. Close oven and wonder exactly what the phrase “golden brown” means.

4. Do dishes.

5. Look at recipe. I realized that I didn’t actually know what a heavy saucepan was. Chose to evaluate this by weight of pan. Chose one that seemed appropriately heavy and set it on the oven.

6. Peek in oven and notice that crust is bubbling. Pretend this is normal behavior and go on with life.

7. Gather ingredients while waiting. Get impatient with crust and put it on the counter because it looks golden enough.

8. SHIT. No eggs.

9. Look up possible substitutes for eggs on the internet. Mayonnaise is recommended. I hate mayo. I decide instead to substitute 3 tablespoons of sour cream for one egg (same ratio as mayo). After all, sour cream looks like eggs. This will work.

10. Realize that don’t have a lot of sour cream anyhow. Make it 5 tablespoons instead (in retrospect, could’ve probably even done 4).

11. Have been banned from using toaster oven this week and as a result, in the meantime, have put coconut in pan in the oven to “toast” it. Stare at its downy white flakes, thinking it would be much more awesome lit on fire.

12. Look at the crust which is actually quite pretty.

13. Start working on putting all the ingredients in the newly dubbed “heavy saucepan.” If you really want to replicate this exact recipe, I suggest you do a really crappy job of shaking the coconut milk. After you see the crappy job you did with the first can, just dump the second can right in without shaking it at all. You’re going to stir it anyhow.

14. Stare at coconut again. White, white coconut. Make decision that you will never make macaroons.

15. When daughter tells you that you need to add one tablespoon of brown sugar to cut the recipe and counter a mild salty flavor, obey.

16. Take coconut out of oven because it’s just been forever. Applaud self for the two strands of golden brown texture.

17. Stir mixture in saucepan. Realize that leaving it on low heat will never actually get it to boil. Crank the heat up. Then realize that it must be on low so as not to burn something. Turn it down. Wait.

18. Wait a LOT.

19. Get it to boil. Put in your coconut and vanilla after taking it off to cool, then pour in pie crust. Chill in freezer until it’s nice and hard.

20. Applaud self when family doesn’t die upon eating. (Though they are offended that the leftover was used to make curry for lunch.)

As mentioned above, the great thing about this recipe is that you’ll have leftovers. You can take it and make an awesome vegetarian curry! This would be great for anyone who likes a creamy, very mild sauce with a sweet flavor. I think that it would work well with pork but I didn’t have any.

The “I Have Leftover Pie Filling, Of Course I’ll Make A Nectarine Curry” Curry Recipe

Leftover pie filling from the above
1-1/2 tablespoons of curry powder
A pinch of tumeric
the juice of 1 lime
1 nectarine, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
a handful of green cabbage, sliced thin
1 cup water
a sprinkle of dried red pepper

Just leave your pie filling in your heavy saucepan and throw the other stuff in. Mix up and heat to a slow boil on medium heat.

This is actually a strangely pretty curry- yellow with rosy red from the nectarines and specks of color from the red pepper. My daughters who never eat curry loved this one so, oddly, I might be doing this recipe again. (I’d like to substitute some lower-fat ingredients though.)

I just served it over noodles but it’d probably be great over jasmine rice.


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