This past December, my sister, my brother-in-law, my parents, Jesse and I celebrated Christmas in Hawaii. We spent two weeks basking in the sun in Honolulu on the island of Oahu. We dined on fresh tropical fruit and delicious treats such as macadamia nut banana bread with guava jam. Yum! Every single morning, I had a fresh mango smoothie and I drank my fair share of coconutty drinks! Between the fresh ocean air, the gorgeous scenery and then amazing local fruits and veggies, I became rather smitten with Hawaii-life. To be honest, I’d love to move to Hawaii one day. It would be such a wonderful change – especially after the winter we had here on the Canadian Prairies.
While in Hawaii, I learned of a Hawaiian dessert called Haupia. Haupia is a coconut milk-based Hawaiian dessert that is like a pudding. It is often served at luaus and other gatherings on the Islands. True haupia is thickened with arrowroot powder, but you can also use cornstarch. Haupia is normally served in blocks or bars as is quite gelatinous in nature.
This past weekend, I decided to make a chocolate coconut cream pie with the coconut cream layer inspired by haupia. I brought the pie to Easter dinner in hopes of conjuring great memories of the Islands. It worked! We reminisced about our wonderful vacation – a truly unique and magical Christmas in paradise. Thankfully, the pie was a huge hit at dinner. The crust is light and flaky. The chocolate layer is creamy and rich. The coconut layer is equally rich and full of flavour. The pie is topped with homemade coconut whipped cream and garnished with toasted coconut, macadamia nuts and/or chocolate curls. And that’s not all. The pie is entirely vegan!
Hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend.
Note: To toast the coconut and the macadamia nuts, place both in a dry frying pan (no oil) and toast over medium heat until the nuts/coconut brown slightly and become fragrant (about 3 minutes).
Source: loosely adapted from Christine Cushing (Christine Cushing Live)