Let us all thank Allison Kave’s boyfriend who suggested she enter a Brooklyn, NY pie making contest – because she won and has been bringing us great pie ideas ever since. Her first book, First Prize Pies: Shoo-Fly, Candy Apple, and Other Deliciously Inventive Pies for Every Week of the Year (and More), gives us classics like her take on apple and black bottom pie, but also – wait for it – she also recommends building pie stacks. In one image she has a Toasted Coconut Cream right on top of a Pineapple Pie. Both pies are unmolded and you slice them like a layer cake! You get big mouthfuls of each pie in every bite! This alone is reason to buy the book. I snapped a pic (of the pic!) for you here below. I bet your mouth is watering…
I wasn’t the greatest Girl Scout. I didn’t get all the cool badges, and I don’t know much about building fires or constructing canoes, but I was an expert when it came to those cookies. My favorites by far were (and are) the Samoas – full of toasty coconut, gooey caramel, buttery shortbread and rich chocolate, they are heavenly. (Pro tip: They’re even better out of the freezer!) I knew I had to make a pie version of this perfect cookie, so the caramel (my favorite part) could be the star of the show. This is pure nostalgic goodness; no uniform required.
Excerpted from First Prize Pies by Allison Kave( Stewart, Tabori & Chang) Copyright 2014. Photographs by Tina Rupp.
- 1 ½ cups (156 g) shortbread cookie crumbs, from 15 to 20 cookies
- 2 to 4 tablespoons (30 to 55 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 cups (400 g) sugar
- ¼ cup (60 ml) corn syrup
- ½ cup (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter
- 1 (14-ounce/414-ml) can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated (organic preferred)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (113 g) toasted shredded coconut (organic preferred)
- ¼ cup (28 g) toasted shredded coconut (organic preferred)
- 4 ounces (115 g) semisweet chocolate, chopped or chips
- ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream
- Make the crust: Grind the cookies in a food processor until finely ground or seal them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Pour in the butter (they’re very buttery already, so use just a little at a time) and mix (hands are best for this) until the texture is that of wet sand. Firmly press the crumbs into a 9-inch (23-cm) pie pan. Chill the crust in the freezer or fridge while preheating the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Bake it for about 10 minutes, until golden, and then let it cool completely.
- Make the filling: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, stir together ½ cup (120 ml) water, the sugar and corn syrup until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Cook over medium-high heat, moving the pan around occasionally, until the caramel has turned a dark amber and reached 360°F (180°C) on a candy thermometer. Keep a close eye at this stage, as the caramel can burn very quickly!
- Remove the caramel from the heat and immediately start to whisk in the butter. Be very careful here: The caramel will start to bubble violently and release a lot of hot steam. Open the chilled can of coconut milk and spoon off the thick white coconut cream from the top, discarding the remaining water. Whisk this coconut cream into the caramel until it is fully dissolved, then add the vanilla and salt. Stir in the toasted coconut and pour the filling into your prebaked pie shell.
- Refrigerate the pie, uncovered, for at least 1 hour, until the surface is set. Sprinkle the toasted coconut over the surface of the pie.
- Make the topping: Heat the cream until scalded and then pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute, then whisk until glossy. Using a fork, drizzle the ganache over the surface of the pie in a crosshatch pattern, then sprinkle over the toasted coconut. Return the pie, uncovered, to the fridge to fully set, for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight. Serve the pie at room temperature. Running a sharp knife under hot water will make it easier to slice through the sticky caramel filling. This pie can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, covered in plastic wrap.
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