For the pie filling, I have chosen to use coconut in several different forms to create a contrast in the flavours and textures.
My version of this pie has a rich coconut flavour and an Aussie twist or two. Instead of a pastry base, I have decided to use biscuits, Anzac biscuits of course.
- 250 g Anzac biscuits
- 25 g desiccated coconut, lightly toasted
- 80 g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup coconut cream
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup (225 g) sugar
- ½ cup plain flour
- 1 cup (60 g) desiccated coconut
- 300 ml thickened cream, whipped
- 70 g coconut flesh, chopped into strips (see Note)
- 1 cup flaked coconut
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time (base) 1 hour
Chilling time (filling) 1 hour
Chilling time (pie) 4 hours or overnight
Use a 20 cm pie tin
To make the base, toast the desiccated coconut. Spread it on an oven tray and put it in a 200°C oven for 3 – 5 minutes until it is lightly golden.
Blend the biscuits in a food processor. Mix in the toasted desiccated coconut and melted butter and then press the mixture to evenly cover the base of a pie mould. Allow this to set in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
To make the filling, whisk the yolks and sugar together by hand in a large bowl,
In a saucepan, bring the milk, coconut cream and salt to the boil. Slowly pour the hot milk mixture over the yolks and sugar while whisking constantly. Once combined, pour the mixture back into the saucepan, add the desiccated coconut and flour and bring back to the boil while continually whisking.
Once this mixture comes to the boil, remove it from the heat and transfer the coconut custard mix into a mixing bowl. Allow it to cool initially on the bench and then cover it with plastic wrap to stop a skin from forming and place it in the refrigerator to cool completely (approximately 1 hour).
Meanwhile, toast the flaked coconut in a 200°C oven for 3 – 5 minutes until the flakes are golden. Reserve the flakes for garnish.
Once the base mixture has cooled, pour the cream into a mixer and whisk until soft peaks have formed. Place the whipped cream into a separate bowl and put aside.
Spread a quarter of the coconut custard mixture over the base of the biscuit crust. Place the remaining ¾ of the mixture in a mixing bowl and beat with the whisk until soft.
Add the whipped cream to the coconut custard mixture in 3 lots, beating well between each addition. Once the cream is well mixed into the mixture, stir through the coconut flesh.
Pour the mixture into the pie base and spread into a pleasing shape, ensuring that the mixture is evenly spread over the base and sides of the pie. Sprinkle the cooled toasted coconut flakes over the pie and place in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight to set.
• You can use fresh young coconut flesh that you scrape out, or alternatively you can purchase coconut juice with the flesh from any Asian grocer.
• Make sure you separate the coconut juice rpior to cooking. You can drink the coconut water or reserve for another use.
Photography by Mark Roper. Styling by Vicki Valsamis. Food preparation by Merryl Batlle.