Tag: coconut

Convenient Conconction

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It all started with meringue.  I had a test batch of honey meringue and I did not want to simply throw it away after I assessed its success (or not).  So here I am, left with a the smallest batch possible of meringue (which is 1 quart- no less can be made while using a kitchen aid, trust me), not wanting to simply wash it away as it was still perfectly delicious. The only answer was use it to make a dessert for staff lunch. Contemplating the deli of fluffy pale yellow foam, I thought to myself, what goes great with honey meringue?

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My first thought was cream pie, and my mind went right to coconut.  So coconut cream pie and honey meringue it is.  Pie is typically made with pie dough ( you have to make it, let it rest, roll it out, let it rest, bake it- all of which was too much work) or a graham cracker push crust (super easy and fast, my method of choice for this extra credit project).  We do not have graham crackers or the store-bought crumb lying around the kitchen, so I decided to improvise: we have some extra streusel, why not grind it up and add butter just like the graham cracker crust concept?  So  I ground it up, added butter, and made a push crust.

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Next was the coconut cream- a standard pastry cream made with half milk and half coconut milk, with toasted coconut flake added it.  Pour this into the crust, and set in the refrigerator for 3 hours, top with that infamous meringue, and then, of course, torch the meringue with a flame gun (because of course, because of brulee).

Coconut Cream Pie with Oatmeal Streusel Crust and Honey Meringue

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Cool, Creamy, and Charred

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Tres Leeches de Coco.  A coconut lime cake soaked with 3 coconut milks, pistachio crunch, charred tequila pineapple, blood orange purée, toasted flake.

It’s about representing winter, and focusing on the wonders of natural ingredients.  It’s about representing the elemental forces in a dish, it’s about highlighting the flavors and textures of the season.  It’s about capturing the essence of fire and exploring everything that the coconut has to offer.

The cool and creamy coconut milk mimics the fresh snow both visually and texturally, the pistachio cookie mimics the crunching of the frozen snow underfoot, the charred pineapple is reminiscent of the flame produced by fire, reconnecting the consumer with the power of this primal tool.

The coconut is represented in all ways: the fresh grated flesh forms the base of the cake, the coconut milk is soaked throughout, the lightly toasted desiccated flake adds another texture and reminds the eater of warmth.  This is paired with a blood orange purée, a slightly bitter flavor that rounds out the sweet, the char, the toast, and the nut.

Together this creates a harmony, a refreshing taste after the hot and obnoxious summer.  This dish highlights the integrity of a few ingredients with minimal processing.  Nature steals the show with this dessert.