Archive for March, 2012|Monthly archive page

Elvis Style Pie #1: Banana Coconut Chiffon Pie

In Baking, Dessert, Entertaining, Pastry, Pie on March 29, 2012 at 6:13 am

Banana Coconut Chiffon Pie

A while ago I discovered “Are You Hungry Tonight?” by Brenda Arlene Butler. The book is comprised of a selection of Elvis’ favourite recipes (including how to make his wedding cake) and supplemented with these adorable (yet dated) comments and descriptions which accompany the recipes. It’s from 1992, if that helps. Being a big pie fan, I thought I’d start with the pie section of the cookbook. There’s about 5 that I want to make, hence why this post is Elvis Style Pie #1. I chose the Banana Chiffon as we had some bananas sitting around the flat getting increasingly ripe, so they were just crying out to be used….along with some leftover cream. Unfortunately this pie is one of those dishes that tastes fantastic, but unfortunately doesn’t look as beautiful as some other pies, so photographing it was a bit of a challenge. I did the best I could – but I have to say, irrespective of how it looks it’s pretty hard to go wrong with banana, coconut, egg whites and beaten cream.

I feel compelled to post the description that accompanies the recipe in “Are You Hungry Tonight?” as it really is quite endearing. It reads as follows:

“Imagine you’re driving through the South in the 1950s. Your way is marked by the old white US Highway interstate shields, not the red, white and blue of the Interstate signs. The place names crop up on little white signs, not those huge green things. Memphis. Jackson. Tupelo. Shreveport. It gets awfully hot in the car, so you swing into one of those little roadside cafes for a glass of iced tea. My, but it’s cool inside. They’ve got one of those little glass cases with all the pies displayed, and goodness, doesn’t the banana coconut chiffon look good!

As you leave, and push through the screen door, a big Cadillac with a bunch of boys in it pulls up. You chat a bit and they tell you they’re headed to Shreveport to sing on the radio – on the Louisiana Hayride. You wish them well and promise to tune in.”


Recipe is as follows:

baked 9 inch pie shell

1 envelope unflavoured gelatin (about 2, 1/2 tbsp)

3 eggs, separated

1 cup mashed ripe bananas

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup cream

1/3 cup finely grated coconut

Soften gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water. In the top of a double boiler (2 saucepans), slightly beat the egg yolks. Stir in the bananas, sugar and salt. Cook over boiling water, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and add the softened gelatin to the banana mixture. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Chill the mixture until it begins to thicken.

In a large bowl, beat the cream until stiff. Beat the egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Fold first the egg whites, then the cream, then the coconut, into the banana mixture. Pour into pre prepared pastry shell (cooled). Chill the pie until firm and set, about 4 hours. Garnish with additional whipped cream or slice bananas. I chose to serve my pie with a little extra grated coconut and a good dollop of Greek yoghurt!

My first slice...

Two slices down already...

Check out that texture!

Rustic Plum Tart

In Baking, Dessert on March 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm


I baked this some weeks ago, when it was still officially Summer! It was something of a revelation coming back to warm weather and seasonal fruits after a European winter (Winter foods certainly have their comforts, though. Expect plenty of pies in the following months, I’d say?). But anyway, an ode to plums! And pastry is great. And jam. Oh man.


Also, I like what the word Rustic means in baking.


Potato Knishes

In Baking, Snacks on March 22, 2012 at 8:06 am

Potato Knish!

I have recently become obsessed with this blog, Smitten Kitchen. Pretty much all the food on it is amazing, but when I saw the post about Potato Knishes, I knew I had to give them a try. I have to admit, I was not acquainted with them before reading the blog (I’m a New Zealander, ok) but now I am definitely a fan. How can you resist the fatty carbohydratey goodness????!! Especially as now we are moving into wintery weather here. I’m not going to post the recipe, because you really have to read the original – just click on the word potato knishes above. I don’t have a printer, so I vaguely wrote down the dough recipe and chucked a few potatoes to boil and caramelized some onions (red, not brown – and  left them in the pan for about 40 mins) but I was pretty happy with the result – even if they aren’t as gorgeous as the original. It’s a good sign that even though it’s the same day I made them, there’s only two left. Don’t ask how many I ate!

Apple & Cheese Loaf

In Baking, Bread, Cheese on March 18, 2012 at 12:09 pm

This was rather an experimental piece of baking. I bought some beautiful stilton cheese at Farro which came  inside a lovely ceramic pot. Fortunately for me, it was on sale at half price because it was near its best before date! I also had a bunch of apples to use, so I decided to give an apple and cheese loaf a go using the Stilton. I think the recipe called for a more basic cheese, such as tasty or a light cheddar, but the results were pretty delicious, albeit the loaf wasn’t that beautiful to look at – and I ended up having to rebake it because the middle was a bit too gooey. But I’d still call it a success as it was eaten entirely the same day it was baked! Vegetable and fruit loaves really do have that amazing moist and gritty texture that is just too hard to resist.

I won’t post the recipe, but if anyone wants it then I will. In the meantime, be jealous of my cute Stilton pot!

I really am going to try and post more frequently, but my life has been incredibly busy and demanding of late 😦