What makes The Academy so much fun is the test kitchen. Today the Dean’s children were whining for coconut cream pie. We realized the reason we do not make this pie more often is that it can taste cloyingly sweet. Coconut is sweet on its own, so we decided to fool around in the test kitchen and see if we could create a pie to please both man and child.
Our solution was to remove all extra sugar from the recipe and allow the coconut milk and shredded, toasted, sweetened coconut do all the sweetening. It felt bold to not add any extra sugar to the dough or custard, but we assuaged ourselves by adding 3 tablespoons to the whipped cream topping.
To top our towering white Pisa, we shaved flakes of white chocolate and scattered them over the top of the whipped cream. The white chocolate gives the appearance of coconut and adds another dimension of flavor.
The Academy’s Coconut Cream Pie is now sophisticated, as well as child-friendly.