My mother used to have a not-so-secret stash of Mounds candy bars and I thought they were just the worst. Well, with the rise of the vegans, coconut milk has become ever-more popular and I've done an aboutface. And it's a good thing because otherwise I wouldn't have ever tried Ted's Bakery Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie. Aside from the waves, this pie is probably what Oahu's North Shore is best known for -- to us food lovers anyways. This recipe is an ode to that pie so I can have the same flavors, even when I'm not vacationing in Hawaii.
such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers (from an 8 ounce box)
(about 3 cups)
For the crust: Melt the butter and mix with cookie crumbs until thoroughly moistened. Transfer to an 9 1/2-inch pie plate and, using the back of a cup or measuring cup, press mixture into the pan, evenly covering the bottom and sides of the pan. Set in freezer until set, at least 10 minutes. (Can be made through this step up to 2 days ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the freezer.)
To make cookie crumbs, place cookies in a food processor and process until broken up into crumbs. (Alternatively, place cookies in a resealable plastic bag and hit with a meat mallet or rolling pin until you have small crumbs.)
For the filling: Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a small pan over very low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. (Alternatively, place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until melted.)
Pour chocolate into the crust and, using the back of a spoon, quickly spread the chocolate over the crust in a thin layer. Return crust to the freezer to set up, at least 10 minutes.
The crust can be made through this step up to 2 days ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and store in the freezer.
Make the coconut custard: Combine coconut milk, 2/3 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of vanilla, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt in a medium saucepan and just bring to a boil. Meanwhile, place cornstarch in a small bowl then gradually whisk in the water until smooth. As soon as the coconut is scalded and just boils, immediately reduce heat to low, stir in the cornstarch mixture into the coconut milk mixture, and cook until it has thickened enough that it looks like yogurt, about 1 more minute. Pour hot coconut custard into the pie crust and refrigerate until set and cooled, at least 4 hours.
The coconut pudding can be made through this step up to 2 days ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and store in refrigerator.
To assemble: When the pie is thoroughly chilled, prepare the topping. Place cream in a large, clean bowl and whip with a clean whisk until it becomes fluffy and light, with soft peaks, about 3 minutes. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, rum, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract until cream is just thick enough to hold onto the whisk.
Spread whipped cream evenly over the top of the cooled pie then sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes and serve. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and stored, covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator. Top with toasted coconut just before serving.)
Photo by Aida Mollenkamp // Food Styling by Lillian Kang