Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Coconut Rum Black Bottom Pie

Catagory: Desserts
Difficulty: Hard
Not Healthy At All! Just make it for special occasions!

My mom used to occasionally make black-bottom pie for her parties. A cool vanilla cream pie with a thin layer of rum-laced chocolate on the bottom and whupped cream on the top, it was irrrsistable. If I ever would want to be stuck on a deserted island with one food--that would be it.With a refrigerator too, of course.

Note: Yes, I would plug the refrigerator into the sand. One must be optimistic, don't you think?

Mom had rum in the chocolate of her pie, but I thought "Why not get even more tropical and add coconut to the vanilla cream?" So, after a little experimentation, which included one runny pie and two types of chocolate that didn't taste right, this is the recipe I came up with. I think the mild chocolate "Pot de Creme" that makes for the 'black bottom' balances especially well with the coconut cream on top. The crust has the perfect amount of buttery crispness combined with just a enough of that traditional Crisco flavor to make a good contrast to the sweeter filling. See what 'cha think! Note: the pie shell was adapted from a recipe on Epicurious.com. from an old 1997 "Bon Appetit" recipe. The chocolate Pots De Creme 'black bottom' was altered from an old 1970's "Bon Appetit" recipe. And the Coconut Cream recipe was based on one for Vanilla Cream Pie Filling from "Joy of Cooking".

Pie Crust ( You can buy one. But don't unless you're desperate)


1 1/2 C flour
1 1/4 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1/3 C solid vegetable shortening cut into pieces
1/4 C plus 1 T chilled unsalted butter--cut into pieces
5 T ice water (or a little more if you need it)

Overly Detailed Directions: Combine dry ingredients in food processor. Using on/off turns--cut in shortening and butter until a coarse meal forms. Blend in enough ice water, 2 T at a time, to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball. Flatten into a 5 or 6-inch round disc. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm--at least one hour (can be 24 hrs if you like--or freeze the dough until you need it). Let dough soften slightly before rolling it out on a floured board or clean, flat surface. After rolling out the dough into a large (13") circle, slide it into the pie dish. After cutting off excess dough, crimp the edges. If this process seems too difficult, google "How do I make a pie crust ?". It's all there with pictures...that I am too lazy to take for this blog.

Place a 13- inch square of parchment or wax paper into the uncooked pie shell. Fill pie shell with pie weights or dried beans or raw rice. This weighs down the pie shell so it doesn't lose it's shape while it cooks. Put a foil "collar" over the edges of your pie crust to prevent over-browning. There are new-fangled rubber pie crust collars you can purchase online...but (sigh) I don't have one yet.  Bake shell at 475 degrees for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Lift paper and beans out of shell.  If the bottom of the pie still looks or feels a little raw.. put it back in the oven until it's crisp to the touch. When it's done, cool it somewhere the cat can't get it... then fill with a short layer of Chocolate Cream Filling and a long layer of Coconut Cream.

Quick Chocolate Rum Cream Filling:


6 oz  semi-sweet gold-bagged Guittard chocolate chips. Semi-sweet NOT bittersweet. ( I tried several types of more expensive chocolate-- but this had the most chocolate flavor with the least bitter aftertaste.)
2 T sugar
1  T rum or 1 t rum extract (I get the little "airplane-sized" bottles at the liquor store)
1 egg
3/4 C milk--heated to just boiling


Place chocolate into blender. Pour hot milk into blender and blend until chocolate melts. Then add other ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour 3/4 of the mixture into the cooled pie crust.  Reserve the rest in  ramikens or bowls to enjoy later with whipped cream as a snack. Refrigerate all until firm--at least 2 hours or overnight. If you are as tired as I am, you will gladly wait 24 hours to make the rest...

Coconut Cream Pie Filling:

1 1/3 C sugar
1 C flour
1 t salt
4 C whole milk
6 egg yolks (slightly beaten in a small mixing bowl)
4 T butter
1 t vanilla
1 t coconut extract
1/4 C flaked, sweetened coconut, packed

1 C heavy cream
1 T powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla


In the top of a double boiler combine sugar flour and salt. Add 2 C milk and cook over (not in) boiling water 10 minutes or until mixture thickens ( I would do the whole 10 minutes even if you think it's already thick). Remove from heat and pour 1 C of the mixture into the eggs and mix vigorously. When smooth, return eggs to the rest of the hot mixture and cook until thickened to the point that it coats a spoon and no longer falls off the spoon in a steady stream. Remove from heat, add butter and extracts, mixing thoroughly with a spoon. Finally, sprinkle coconut on top and evenly distribute throughout the cream. Cool slightly before adding to crust.

Whip cream until it forms soft peaks, add sugar and vanilla and beat until stiff peaks form. At this point you can either spoon your whupped cream on top of the pie or pipe it on. Yes, I have heard whupped cream is more flavorful when it is served softer, but I like it to stand up and be noticed on top of a pie. It should stand up and say "Hi there! I'm yummy!" Refrigerate until serving.

Note: This is a fantastic, show-off dessert. Hang the calories. Go for a long jog afterwards.

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