I just love it when the culinary stars align.
You see, today is my sister Granola Courtney’s birthday. Maybe you know her? And Thursday is Pi Day (but come on, it’s really Pie Day). And Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day. So yeah, there’s a lot happening this week.
How am I going to celebrate everything?
By having a slice of Monica Geller’s Kiwi-Lime Pie with a Coconut Crust, of course.
A few weeks ago, I realized that Courtney’s birthday, Pie Day, and St. Patrick’s Day would happen within a week of each other (as it happens every year…and I just realized this?!). I wanted to make something that was so Courtney, so pie, and so green. Thankfully, those culinary stars aligned, I saw their light, and well, the rest is this pie.
There’s a story behind this pie. Of course, there’s a story.
Courtney is a Friends fan. I am a Friends fan. Ross, Chandler, Joey, Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe sure know how to make us laugh, no matter how many times we witness their crazy antics. Can they BE any funnier?
It never gets old watching Ross teach Rachel how to do laundry (The One with the East German Laundry Detergent). It never gets old watching Phoebe give Monica the worst haircut known to woman (The One with Ross’s New Girlfriend). It never gets old watching Chandler and Joey realize they leave baby Ben on the city bus (The One with the Baby on the Bus).
Speaking of The One with the Baby on the Bus, that episode was the inspiration for this pie. In case you aren’t a Friends fan or you don’t remember the episode, the reason Chandler and Joey are watching baby Ben is because Monica has to take Ross to the hospital for a severe allergic reaction. To her pie. Because it’s so special. Because of the kiwi.
Just watch this video clip from that episode. Not the best quality video but funny nonetheless.
Because Courtney thinks watching Friends re-runs never gets old, too, I thought it would be perfect to create a birthday dessert for her inspired by the show. Then I remembered Monica’s extra-special pie and how obvious it was to make as a way to celebrate Pie Day. And then I realized a dessert that uses green ingredients would be the perfect way to commemorate a green holiday.
So see, the culinary stars aligned.
Monica Geller’s Kiwi-Lime Pie with a Coconut Crust is all sorts of deliciousness. The layers of kiwi-lime custard, whipped cream, and coconut crust make my taste buds sing in harmony.
This pie is a breeze to prepare. It does take a bit of time make. But that’s just pie-making for you.
There is a good balance of kiwi and lime in the custard. The kiwi isn’t distinctly identifiable, but it does make this pie special. The hardest (and I type that with air quotes) is juicing the kiwi. I have found that kiwi seeds, when ground like in a smoothie, almost have a spicy, throat-burning flavor. Do you know what I mean? Or am I the only one? I didn’t want to crush the kiwi seeds for fear of that bitter-spicy taste. But I also didn’t want to include the seeds in the pie (although you totally could) because Ross had NO idea there was kiwi in the pie. Kiwi seeds would have given away the special ingredient. To juice the kiwi, I cut off the skin, and pressed the fruit gently on a mesh sieve over a measuring cup. That seemed to do the trick.
As for the custard, it’s mainly just zesting a lime, cracking eggs, and whisking. Anyone can do it. You can do it.
Let’s talk about the coconut crust for a minute. For the first 23 years—plus or minus a year—of my sister’s life, she did not knowingly eat coconut. It was one of her most hated foods. Like, seriously. And she had a lot of hated foods. When Court found out our grandma used coconut in her monster cookies, something she mentioned by complete accident because she knew of my sis’ hatred, Court refused to eat them. Recently, she discovered that coconut wasn’t as bad as she thought and instead it is quite tasty. Now that she’s over her coconut aversion, I knew I had include coconut one way or another.
The coconut crust is a wonderfully sweet complement to the tangy kiwi-lime custard. Its flaky texture adds a tropical dimension to this delicious pie. Like if you took a bite with your eyes closed, you’d feel like you were sitting on a beach somewhere far, far away from South Dakota. The thing about the crust is that you need to watch it closely. Coconut can go from nicely browned to burnt pretty quickly. A foil ring or pie shield will help prevent a disaster, especially because this crust is baked twice, without and with the custard.
Of course, there is always a place for whipped cream on pie. So whipped cream on this pie is a total no-brainer.
Could this pie BE any more delicious? No, Chandler. No it cannot.
I want to wish you a very yummy Pie Day and a fun St. Patrick’s Day! But more importantly, I want to wish my baby sister a very happy 26th birthday!
Courtney, it is times like these that I wish the City by the Bay and The Small University Town in the Great Plains weren’t so far from each other. I’ll just have to eat a slice of pie to celebrate. And watch a birthday-themed episode of Friends. Maybe The One with Phoebe’s Birthday Dinner. Or The One Where They All Turn Thirty. All in your honor.