What do you do when you’re bored?
Here’s what I do:
- Instagram until I get to the last Instagram post I remember
- Facebook until I get to the last Facebook post I remember OR until I get to the kind of posts that are like these that I find so annoying:
- Dan, babe, you are the most perfect, special, amazing human being and I can’t imagine my life without you. I would literally die if I didn’t wake up inside your loving arms every day, babe. Our wedding day was the best day of my life and every other day has been the best day too and every future day is the best day of my future life. I eat drink and breathe you babe. XOXOXOXOXOXOX Amy
- Geez, Amy. There are a lot of feelings and thoughts and emotions there (and very few commas). Maybe put some of those those in a card to Dan. He’d probably appreciate it in a way that I would not.
- JK I NEVER DO THAT WHEN I’M BORED
- Make a pie
I didn’t have much to do one recent Saturday and I had all my chores done (I am very cool!). I had nowhere to be, a full fridge and a full pantry. Huh. Ok. WEIRD.
The next day was Easter. I was planning a meal at home by myself (again, I am VERY cool). I had nothing planned for dessert. It seemed perfectly appropriate to make a whole pie for one person.
For me, the most challenging and most rewarding baking projects have been pies. I am always proud of what I accomplished. But, I always can find something I would have done differently or could have done better. There’s always room to grow.
If you’re moderately experienced baker and you want to take your pie baking to the next level, please do yourself a favor and get the Four & Twenty Blackbirds cookbook. Their innovative twists on classic flavors satisfy me on a deep, soulful level.
On that lazy Saturday, where time and space no longer mattered, I decided on the Pistachio Coconut Cream Pie. Why that pie? Well, I love coconut cream pie. Plus, I had most of the ingredients for the pistachio coconut cream pie at home. Sometimes, the decisions are made for you.
This pie is worth the effort that is required to make it. Is it horribly, terribly difficult to make? No, not exactly. But it’s also not easy; it’s labor intensive. You will need a couple of hours. You will need a bit of patience and a bit of chutzpah. I was particularly nervous when I was making my custard, as the only other time I made one I scrambled the eggs when I added the hot milk. Not remotely tasty.
This pie, however, turned out to be quite delicious.
The pistachio adds an subtle earthiness, and since I used the salted pistachios I had on hand, a pleasant saltiness to balance the sweetness of the cream and sugar in the pie. The area that I’m going to try to work to improve next time is the crust. It was quite loose and crumbly, I think largely due to the fact that my shredded coconut was very dry. But the flavor was spot on. And bonus, it’s gluten-free and no-bake. So lah di dah!
The moral of this story is when you get a little bored, delicious things can happen. Put your phone down and make a pie.
Dan and Amy will probably thank you. Publicly. In an Facebook post.
Four & Twenty Blackbirds pie is available at their Pie Shop in Brooklyn and on countless other menus in New York.
439 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Phone (718) 499 2917
MONDAY – FRIDAY 8am – 8pm
SATURDAY 9am – 8pm, SUNDAY 10am – 7pm
Buy their book here.
Pistachio Coconut Cream Pie from The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book
Makes one 9-inch pie crust
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon shelled pistachios, raw and unsalted
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ kosher salt
In a dry medium-size skillet, toast the pistachios over a medium heat until fragrant, 7 to 9 minutes; shake the pan or stir frequently to prevent burning. Pour into a shallow dish and allow to cool about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, toast the coconut in the same skillet over medium-low heat 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly golden and fragrant. When finished, immediately add to the pistachios.
Once cool, pour the toasted pistachios and coconut plus the sugar and salt into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Process until the pistachios are finely chopped and the mixture looks homogenous, scraping down if necessary; the crumbs will stick together slightly when ready.
Pour the crumbs into an ungreased, preferably metal 9-inch pie pan. Spread evenly over the bottom; then create a circle about 1 inch in to separate the crumbs for the sides from the crumbs for the bottom. Start pressing the outer ring of crumbs evenly up the sides and into the corner (where the side meets the bottom) of the pan. Press the remaining crumbs evenly over the bottoms to meet the sides; use a flat-bottomed cup to smooth out bumps. Freeze until solid at least 10 minutes, before filling.
- 2/3 cup shelled pistachios, raw and unsalted
- 2 ½ cups whole milk
- 5 large egg yolks, whisked
- 6 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ¼ cups coconut milk | I used full fat. Because fat is flavor.
- 2- to 3-inch strip lime zest
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
Chop the pistachios in a food processor fitted with a blade attachment until chopped into medium to find pieces. Add the chopped nuts to a heavy-bottomed saucepan along with the whole milk. Bring just to a boil over medium heat, remove the pan from the heat, and cover. Set aside to steep for 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, have the whisked egg yolks ready in a large bowl. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch, granulated sugar, and salt. Whisk in the coconut milk and add the strip of lime zest. Strain the pistachios from the milk, then add the milk to the saucepan and whisk until combined. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until bubbling and thick, about 5 minutes. Once the mixture boils, cook for about 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.
Slowly and carefully stream one-third of the hot milk mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly to prevent the yolks from cooking. Stream in the remaining hot milk, and then return the mixture to the saucepan.
Have a large bowl ready for cooling and a fine-mesh sieve to strain the mixture through. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture just returns to a boil, 1 to 2 minutes. Strain through the sieve, using a spatula to push the mixture through and to scrape the filling clinging to the bottom of the sieve. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.
Sir in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, fully incorporating each addition before adding the next. Stir in the lime juice. Pour into the prepared crust and press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the filling. Refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.
In the chilled bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating on medium-low speed just until the cream holds stiff peaks. Remove the plastic wrap from the surface of the filling and spread the cream over the pie. Slice and serve.
The pie will keep refrigerated for 2 days.