Diane of Diane's Dishes chose the Florida pie for this week's recipe. It was a fantastic combination of coconut and lime! I enjoyed it, but definitely had some bumps along the way, and I'm pretty sure I'd make changes next time.
The recipe itself was pretty straight-forward. There's a graham cracker crust, topped with a layer of reduced coconut cream. This smells like coconut milk while it's cooking, and I think I might try substituting some coconut milk for some of the coconut flakes in this step in the future. I love coconut milk. It's an unhealthy obsession, I know.
You top the layer of coconut goodness with the key lime pie part. I couldn't get my hands on key limes, and I always prefer the real, fresh thing to bottled juices, so I used regular lime juice here. I am torn on this substitution. I might try it with the bottled key lime juice next time, as some people out there in internet land seem to suggest. It just feels wrong to use juice from a bottle... and I happen to find juicing citus incredibly theraputic. Still, great pie. I loved this part.
Next, it's on to the merengue. This was new territory to me. I understand the concept, and I've whipped egg whites for other purposes before, but I have never actually made merengue. I was conflicted about this topping. This is mostly because my results were less than amazing. First, I found that the egg whites deflated significantly, and just plain weren't as pretty, when I folded in the coconut. I imagine that this has something to do with my inability to fold perfectly, but I think I'll save myself the heartache in the future and just put the coconut in an extra layer, either on the top or between the lime pie and the merengue, rather than try to fold it in. It was ugly.
Then I managed to burn it trying to toast the top in the oven. This didn't affect the taste of the pie in any noticable way, but it wasn't pretty. I like my food to be pretty.
I blame the oven. I think this means that I need to buy a kitchen torch! And as long as I'm buying the torch, I might as well buy the entire creme brulee set, right? (And this line of thought it what finally let to my creation of an Amazon wish list. I feel better about avoiding these impulse purchases when I create a list that reminds me that I can buy them later.)