Sunday, March 16, 2014

Inch One: The Pie

March 14 was Pi Day, not to be confused with National Pie Day, which is January 23.

The point of Pi Day is the same as Pie Day, as far as I am concerned. You need to eat pie on Pi Day.

Early in the day of the 14th, I decided it should be a coconut cream pie.

But not just any old coconut cream pie. I didn't want a store bought coconut cream pie or an artificially rigid slice from a restaurant. And I certainly didn't want to make one from a box pudding with coconut flakes stirred in, poured into a crust from the grocery shelf and topped with Cool Whip (my mom's version back in the day).

That left the pie in my hands, which is exactly were I wanted it to be.

One of the websites I have bookmarked on the computer is Curvy Mama Pies, a web-based pie bakery in Bethesda, Maryland. Catherine Gewertz, the pie maker, blogs on the site, and often shares pie recipes that have caught her attention. I took the recipe for my Pi Day's dessert from her blog.

Making the custard
A good coconut cream pie starts with a thick custard base. I learned the art of custard making over a decade ago, when my friend Gus asked for a custard pie at a meeting for which I was baking. While I quailed at the thought of making a custard (it sounded hard), I wasn't about to let Gus down. Custard turned out to be simple and I have never been intimidated by any recipe calling for a custard base since then.

By supper, the custard, thick with eggs and coconut milk, was cooling in the refrigerator. Later that evening, I filled the crust (which I had baked early that morning) and let it continue to set up.

Warren was gigging all this weekend, so Pi Day would be a late celebration. When he walked through the door late Friday night, I leaped to whip the cream that would top the pie. I cut thick slices, serving it on painted china plates that were wedding present for his parents decades ago.

Pies are wonderful things, full of good flavors and good feelings. Our Pi Day pie was no exception. As I type these words Sunday evening, some of the pie is still cooling its heels in the refrigerator. A slice will go to my friend Anne and the rest will go into us.

And I will savor every bite.


see you there! said...

I haven't had breakfast yet and am thinking a piece of coconut pie would go well with my first cup of coffee. Looks so good.


Anne said...

Thank you so much for the greatest gift!!

Sharon said...

This looks amazing. Thanks for the link. Perhaps I will make 'pie' the dessert of choice...