I have felt like I've needed to take some big breaths lately. I've been sleepy, and though I'm super excited to transition into a new season and share with you some really exciting things that I have planned for my little section of the Internet that you all so graciously visit, I just need to take a little nap first.
In my sleep-deprived stupor inspiration had been annoyingly out of reach. Sometimes my food brain gets tired and then in a week or so it's spinning full speed ahead and dreaming up recipes with more butter and caramelized onions then ever.
Luckily, I have thoughtfully armed myself with inspiration helpers, small things that evoke innovation when I need a little push. Magazines are one of my favorite sources of inspiration, and so, I began flipping through the pages of this month's issue of Bon Appetite Magazine in hopes that something amazing would jump out at me.
My heart was won with the words "Macaroon Crust" - I knew good things were about to happen.
Of course, I couldn't just follow the recipe because my foodie brain had already started churning out ideas of how to put my own twist on this killer concept.
I wanted this pie to taste like a Samoa cookie and let me tell you that the final result tasted about fifteen times better than those boxes of cookies. This pie is kind of insane.
The crust is chewy and taste exactly like a coconut macaroon, because, that's basically what it is. It's perfect but because we are foodies we unashamedly paint it with melted chocolate. Ridiculous, I know, but oh-so-wonderful.
This pie is topped with a combination of almonds and coconut that have been liberally coated with dark, rich chocolate.
A perfectly smooth and rich almond custard is whisked into creation and poured into our crust before entering the fridge
Try to resist the urge to eat all the almond coconut bark while the pie is chilling. It's going to be tough but I can promise you that the end product will be totally worth the several hours of waiting.
This pie... It really ought to be ashamed of itself. It's audacious, it's gratuitous, it's just plain excessive - and it's so incredibly wonderful.
Oh, and did I mention that it's completely gluten-free?! Make this for you gluten-intolerant friends and they will love you forever.
It seems that my lack of inspiration was actually a good thing. I have made too many pies to pick a favorite, but this one is definitely in the top five.
Chocolate Covered Almond Macaroon Pie
serves 8 / recipe adapted from Bon Appetite Magazine
for the crust
- 2 large egg whites
- 3 1/4 cup finely shredded coconut, I used a 50/50 mixture of sweetened and unsweetened
- 1/4 granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 7 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl whisk egg whites, sugar, and salt. Use a spatula to work in butter and coconut. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of your food processor and pulse several times. Do not over mix! We don't want to turn it into a paste, we just want to bring it together a bit.
Grease a 9-inch tart pan liberally. (Seriously guys, don't skimp on the nonstick spray. If this pan isn't slick the crust will stick and it will make serving extremely difficult, trust me.) Gently press the crust into the tart pan, working the mixture up the sides of the pan. I like to use the bottom of a heavy glass to get a smooth bottom crust.
Bake the crust for 20 minutes, until the edges are golden and the bottom is set and beginning to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature.
When the crust has cooled completely. Melt chocolate over a pot of simmering water or in the microwave until just smooth. Use a pastry brush to paint a thin layer of chocolate on the crust. Transfer the pie to the refrigerator to set while you prepare the filling.
for the filling
- 1 3/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
In a large saucepan combine coconut milk and 1 cup whole milk. Place over medium heat and cook until steaming.
In a medium bowl combine egg yolks, corn starch, sugar, salt, and 3/4 cup whole milk. Whisk to combine.
When the milk mixture is steaming, slowly stream in about half of the milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to temper the eggs.
Pour the tempered egg mixture into the saucepan and return to heat. Cook for 5 minutes or until the mixture has thickened and has a custard-like consistency.
Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer. Stir in almond extract and butter and pour the custard into the chilled pie crust.
Place the pie in the refrigerator and allow to chill for 4 hours, or until the custard has set completely.
While the pie is chilling, prepare the toppings.
for the toppings
- 3/4 cup salted, roasted almonds, roughly chopped (skin-on, if available)
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
In a small frying pan placed over medium heat toast coconut until golden and fragrant.
Melt chocolate over a pot of simmering water or in the microwave until just melted. Add almonds and coconut to the chocolate and stir until all the almonds are evenly coated. Pour the mixture out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and place in the freezer to set for about 20 minutes.
When the chocolate has set, remove from the freezer and chop roughly with a sharp knife. Reserve for later use.
In a large bowl whip heavy cream and confectioner's sugar with an electric hand mixer until soft peaks form.
When the pie has set, top with whipped dream and sprinkle with the chocolate covered almond mixture. Allow to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving, this will make it much easier to slice. Enjoy!!!