TWD :: Florida Pie

It’s time for another Tuesdays with Dorie challenge, compliments of Dianne of Dianne’s Dishes.

If you are like me, the name Florida Pie sparks an interest, but knowing it must be a citrus of some sort. You got it—an upgraded Key Lime Pie. This pie is definitely taken to the next level, though, with a creamy-coconut base. Unfortunately for you, dear reader, I cheated and made up my own version—so, you get to read about my special way of making the pie, the easy way. :D 

The original recipe (as listed below) calls for a boil of heavy cream and coconut on the stove, until the cream is half-reduced. Then, this serves as the base of the pie (on top of the crisp graham cracker crust), topped by the key-lime topping. I was out of heavy cream at the moment, and though I tend to use evaporated milk as a substitute for heavy cream in many cases, I was happy to omit just a teeny bit of calories from the pie–I knew it was going to be good and that I was going to want two pieces. 

For my cheater’s version, I simply beat egg yolks and lime zest together until the yolks took on a pale yellow look, then I added fat-free sweetened condensed milk and a handful of sweetened coconut and mixed thouroughly, then added some lime juice, mixed, and allowed to sit. Super yummy and easy. 

As for the fat-free sweetened condensed milk, this normally goes against all baking mantras to use full-fat milk, as the fat is what serves a basis for the texture of the goods. However, in the case of sweetened-condensed milk, the milk is reduced by half and then given an equal portion of sugar. Thus, in the end, the texture and thickness will react the same in most (I haven’t found a failure, yet, but I must add that disclaimer) baked goods as would the full-fat version.

Of course, I did a small-batch version, but did a half-version because I have a guest with me at the time. So, we each got our own mini pie. As usual, small-batches are perfect, with no leftovers (which works great if you’re easily tempted by the leftover baked goods to be eaten for breakfast).

Tools Used

Florida Pie by Dorie Greenspan’s Book, Baking: From My Home to Yours

1 9-inch graham cracker crust (page 235), fully baked and cooled, or a store-bought crust
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
4 large eggs, seperated
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh Key (or regular) lime juice (from about 5 regular limes)
1/4 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 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.  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 reaming 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.


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