Usually the two weeks before Thanksgiving are what I call "Thanksgiving Tryouts."
This is the time period where I look at all my Bon Appetit, Saveur and Food & Wine magazines to get inspiration. Then I scour the web for different ideas. Once the research period is over it's time I make the first cut and then go about trying out the recipes to see if any of them will be a good addition to Thanksgiving.
Sometimes once I finish going through other people's ideas, I'm inspired to come up with a few ideas of my own. Enter the Coconut Pumpkin Pie. I'm not a fan of Pumpkin Pie traditionally so I'm always looking for ways to make it that will allow me to love it more. The first year I tried Barefoot Contessa's Pumpkin Banana Tart. Then I tried a Pumpkin Pie with a Pecan Pie topping. This year I decided to combine Pumpkin Pie with Coconut.
Basically I went about creating this pie by substituting a few ingredients with the essence of coconut. The first substitution was evaporated milk with unsweetened coconut milk. Instead of vanilla i used coconut flavoring and then I added coconut flakes for a little bit of texture. Since it was a try-out I went all the way and cut out large rounds (with a biscuit cutter) of dough and placed them in a large muffin tin and then spooned the filling in them. I think I would still rather have a "slice" of pie instead of a tartlet but its totally up to you.
The result was a cross between a Coconut Custard Pie and Pumpkin Pie. It's probably my favorite use of Pumpkin Pie to date.
Coconut Pumpkin Pie
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 15 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp coconut flavoring
1 cup coconut flakes
Pate Brisee (for the crust)
Make the pie crust and chill in refrigerator. In a mixing bowl combine pumpkin, coconut milk, eggs and brown sugar together until smooth. Then add the coconut and stir until incorporated. Roll out your pie crust and place in your 9 inch pie plate. Cook at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.