Facebook is a great way to find out what people are thinking. In a recent wall posting, folks answered a question regarding their favorite coconut and peanut butter recipes. We were open to anything, even a combination of the two. You’re probably wondering what people suggested. There was coconut cream pie, peanut butter brownies, icebox cookies, coconut ice cream, peanut sesame noodles, coconut shrimp, coconut meringues, peanut butter fudge, peanut butter and jelly cookies. The list went on and on. We had just received samples of Tropical Traditions’ coconut flour and coconut peanut butter, and the goal was to use them both in one recipe. All of the suggestions really helped to lead us in the perfect direction of a pie–a pie that we would submit to KCRW’s Good Food Blog Pie-a-Day section. Last year, we submitted a Pineapple Haupia Pie, but this year’s sweet would be totally different.
For a few days, we reached out to friends and other bloggers about gluten free pie crusts. With a huge bag of coconut flour on hand, it seemed like the perfect way to experiment and use it to create a crust for this pie. The coconut flour had an intoxicating aroma that made you feel like Hawaii was only a few steps away. To the touch, it feels slightly dry and crumbly. Although coconut flour is a great ingredient for baking, it cannot be substituted for all purpose or wheat flour in the same ways or measurements. For something like a pie crust, it is very important to use moisture-packed ingredients such as eggs and oils to bind the dough. Regardless, this is not a dough that can be rolled out. Instead, you must press it into the bottom and along the sides of the pie dish. Despite our best efforts, the first recipe we did use was a bit disappointing. The taste was dusty and still slightly dry with very little flavor. After having whipped up last year’s Pineapple Haupia Pie, we knew a perfect pairing would be the buttery, sweet, but not gluten free, crust that worked well that time. It’s back to the drawing board for a great gluten free pie crust.
The Tropical Traditions coconut peanut butter was a perfect addition to the filling. The peanut butter is all natural with only two ingredients, so you know there are no extra sugars and additives in there. It also has a great aroma, just like the coconut flour. The taste is rich, so a little goes a long way. Except in a peanut butter cream pie where you can probably never have too much. Finally, the peanut brittle topping was just a small touch to add crunch to a very light, fluffy pie. It’s addictive though, so if you have a thing for sweet peanuts, you just might eat it all before anyone else does.
If you’d like to win either a jar of coconut peanut butter or a bag of organic coconut flour courtesy of Tropical Traditions, here’s your chance. Leave a comment indicating which one you’d prefer and how you’d use it. You can get one extra entry by following @troptraditions on Twitter. Leave another comment indicating that you are a new follower. You have until Thursday, June 23, at 11:59 pm PST to enter. On Friday, June 24, we’ll randomly select one winner for each product.
Join the KCRW Facebook Pie Challenge and share your own pie creation. If you’re in Los Angeles, maybe you’ll even enter your pie to the 3rd Annual KCRW Good Food Pie Contest. Let us know your favorite coconut and/or peanut butter dishes too!
Coconut Peanut Butter Cream Pie with Peanut Brittle – Serves 8
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 cup mixed and unsalted nuts (pecans, walnuts, pistachios and cashews), finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Zest of 1 lemon
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup Tropical Traditions coconut peanut butter*
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar**
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup coconut cream
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Topping (Recipe from Joyofbaking.com)
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for the baking sheet
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup peanuts, salted
1. Make the crust first by mixing together the sugar, flour, chopped nuts, salt and lemon zest. Drizzle the butter over the dry ingredients and combine until small crumbles form. Press the crust evenly into a 9″ pie dish, prick the bottom lightly with a fork and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until browned along the edges and the bottom. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
2. Once the crust has cooled, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter in a large bowl. Add the powdered sugar slowly until the mixture is smooth and well combined. Set aside.
3. In a separate medium bowl, beat the vanilla, coconut cream and heavy cream until the thick liquid has roughly doubled in volume. Pour the cream into the large bowl of sweetened peanut butter. Using a spatula, fold the two together until they are well mixed. Scrape the filling into the pie crust, smoothing the top with the spatula. Slide the pie dish into your refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.
4. While the pie chills and sets, start the peanut topping. Line an 11″ x 17″ baking sheet with parchment paper and rub a little butter over the length of the paper to prevent sticking. Set aside. Whisk the baking soda and vanilla together in a small bowl, then put the pat of butter on top. Set aside as well.
5. Place the water, corn syrup, sugar, kosher salt and peanuts in a medium pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir constantly. Pop the pot’s lid on for 1 minute, which will cause steam to dissolve any sugar on the sides. Remove the lid, then attach a candy thermometer to the side without allowing it to touch the bottom of the pot. Continue to stir until the thermometer reads 296 degrees. Remove from heat.
6. Add the baking soda, vanilla, and butter to the pot and carefully stir for another 30 seconds, being sure to watch for the rolling puff of sugar once the ingredients go in. Quickly pour the very hot and sticky liquid onto the prepared baking sheet and spread the mixture out, if desired. Allow to cool completely before breaking it into pieces.
7. Once the pie has chilled, place a few pieces of brittle into a small plastic baggie and crush with a rolling pin or wooden spoon. Immediately before serving, sprinkle the peanut brittle over the top of the pie. Serve each slice with a large piece of brittle on the side.
*You can easily substitute regular peanut butter here.
**Tropical Traditions’ coconut peanut butter is not sweet, so there is a bit more sugar in this pie than we may have used if regular peanut butter was in the mix. You can definitely decrease or increase the amount of sugar here based on your preference.
Of course we received these products for free, but we could have easily not mentioned it in any way. We’re never required to perform a review, and if we do, it does not have to be positive. These thoughts are our own. Keep that in mind FTC folks!
Click HERE for the printable recipe.