I planned to have Craig over last night for a late dinner and a movie. Late because I had a bike ride to tend to. I decided he and I should have my grilled pizza (my favorite post-ride meal) and, after considering many options for dessert, a lemon pie. Now Craig’s favorite pies are Key Lime and Pecan… that’s separately, not together. Recently, though, he mentioned another close favorite – Lemon Meringue. My goal is to make him realize he likes more than just those 3 kinds (I’m not sure he’s had any other kind of pie!!). This time I played it safe by using the lemon flavor and playing with it.
Craig didn’t take the whole pie last night, so I was left with about 3 pieces worth. Gasp! Fortunately, the two guys working on the house were more than happy to have some with their lunch today. And I was more than elated to finish off the last slice.
Pucker Up Lemon Coconut Pie
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 T buttermilk powder
1 T powdered sugar
3/4 stick butter (6 Tbsp)
2 – 3 T orange Juice
1 1/2 c sugar
1/4 t salt
6 T corn starch
2/3 c fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 c water
2 T butter
12 oz. less fat cream cheese
1/2 c powdered sugar
2 t coconut extract (I used a lot more cause mine is weak and the lemon is strong)
1/2 c sweetened coconut flakes
1 c whipping cream (or you can use Cool Whip Free for less fat/calories… can’t say I’ve never done it)
Measure dry ingredients into food processor or large bowl. Cut butter into tiny cubes and cut into flour with pastry blade, or by pulsing in the processor, then add OJ until the dough comes together in your hands. Knead just enough to form the dough, but do not overwork it. Pop it in the freezer and get everything ready for the filling. After about 10 minutes, take the dough out of the freezer and roll into 1/8″ thickness to line a deep dish pie pan (I used a tart pan… it’s pretty). Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes. **I did not weigh the dough down with beans, I simply poked it with a fork a few times before baking. The dough shrank up just a bit, but I’m just letting you know it works this way, too. Next time, I may try the weights. Let the crust cool before filling.
Stir sugar, cornstarch, and salt in saucepan and then add water, lemon juice, and zest. Crank up heat to medium, stirring frequently, until mixture boils. Remove from heat, stir in the butter and let it cool. While that’s cooling, you can cream the softened cheese with sugar and coconut extract. Fold in the coconut flakes. Beat the cream separately and fold the stiff cream into the cream cheese mixture, but leave enough for the top of the pie, about 1 cup. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the bottom of the cooled crust, pour the cooled lemon mixture over that cream cheese, and then top with leftover whipped cream (Cool Whip).
Note that if you use whipping cream for the topping, you need to top it just before serving or it will lose it’s oomph. You could also stabilize your topping with a little gelatin… or just use cool whip. It’s up to you.
And I must note the idea for this recipe comes from Recipezaar. I just used some creative license.