Pie-a-Day #9: The Duo Dishes’ Pineapple Haupia Pie

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This post comes to us from the Duo Dishes, food bloggers and 1st place winners in the savory pie category at the First Annual Good Food Pie Contest (they won for their Tarragon Chicken and Grape Pot Pie).

Cooking is the quickest and economically-sound way of traveling on a dime. If we could hop on a plane every month and check out a new city around the world, you would always find us with a packed suitcase and a camera attached to the hip. There has always been an extreme fascination of the ways different countries are shaped by their food traditions, and it would be a dream come true to explore even more on foreign soil. When jet setting is not the first option, there’s a quick trip to the kitchen. One of the ways we have been able to satisfy our yearning for different foods and our neverending passion for cooking is by testing new recipes from various cultures. We have recently started a monthly series entitled Ethnic Exploration in which we highlight Los Angeles’ cultural neighborhoods, pick up key ingredients from their local markets and create our own version of a traditional, ethnic dish. With the warm weather upon us, we decided that it would be perfect to take a staycation through dessert. We are taking you along with us to the islands of Hawaii.

Pineapple Haupia Pie from Duo Dishes

Haupia is one of the most well-known desserts, oftentimes served at luaus and social gatherings. It is a gelatin-like pudding served chilled. Once it sets, the final texture is firm with its own distinctive shake. The use of cornstarch has come about due to the fact that it can be difficult to find the customary thickener, arrowroot starch. We wanted to give haupia a try, but of course, we set out to switch it up a bit. We poured the coconut haupia over a nutty crust and topped it sweet slices of pineapple. After just a couple of hours, we sliced into a light, fruity dessert and each bite flashed images of sandy beaches, clear blue waters and flowery leis. For now, this slice of the good life will do until we make it to one of Hawaii’s islands.

Pineapple Haupia Pie – Serves 8 (Adapted from Ochef)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 cup mixed and unsalted nuts (pecans, walnuts, pistachios and cashews), finely chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Zest of 1 lemon

2 cups coconut milk
2 cups coconut cream
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup water
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 medium fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced

1. Make the crust first by mixing together the sugar, flour, chopped nuts, salt and lemon zest. Drizzle the butter over the dry ingredients and combine until small crumbles form. Press the crust evenly into a 9″ pie dish and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until browned along the edges and the bottom. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

2. As the crust cools, stir the coconut milk, coconut cream, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt together in a large sauce pan set over medium heat. Heat until the sugar fully dissolves, approximately 3-5 minutes.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch and add to the coconut mixture. Continue to cook over medium heat until glossy, smooth and very thick, approximately 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

4. Give the haupia a good stir before pouring it into the prebaked shell leaving about 1/4″ of space between the haupia and the edge of the crust. Top with the pineapple pieces then slide into the fridge to chill completely, approximately 2 hours.

5. If desired, sprinkle each slice with shredded coconut and toasted macadamia nuts, along with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.

*Pour any remaining haupia into a flat container, cover and chill until set. Slice into squares and serve with fresh fruit or whipped cream.