Coconut Key Lime Pie


This is a key lime pie so don’t be using the regular limes or the key lime juice in a bottle. If you find key limes in the grocery store make a key lime pie. I know I am extreme but I am just thinking of your taste buds!!I like this pie because it uses lots of lime juice and the coconut milk adds a nice contrasting creaminess. If you prefer just a straight up key lime pie I have an AWESOME KILLER KEY LIME PIE recipe on this blog you may also want to try.



You will need:


  • 1 can 300ml sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 small can full fat coconut milk – refrigerated for at least 1 hour before using
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cups key lime juice (freshly squeezed!)
  • 1 tbsp rum
  • 1 tbsp fine lime zest


  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 shredded coconut
  • 6 tbsp melted butter – melt in microwave 20 seconds and measure 6 tbsp once melted
  • 2 tbsp sugar


  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 tbsp rum
  • lime zest or shreds of coconut to top
  • 1 tbsp of powdered milk (optional)



Step 1: zest approximately half the limes in the bag for a generous heaping tbsp of fine zest. You can also keep 1 lime for garnished slices or additional zest to top the whipped cream. Key limes are a small lime and the juice tends to be more on the yellow side versus the very green of some pies which use the standard limes or even worse when they use food colouring. Stick with real freshly squeezed key lime juice.


Step 2: slice all the limes in half and juice. I use a hand held lime press/squeezer. This size bag will give you almost exactly 2/3 cup each time. I know it is kind of finicky because they are little but, think of the outcome and press on!! You may need to strain to catch any rogue seeds but, I do like to include any pulp if it gets in.



Step 3: in a bowl add graham cracker crumbs, shredded coconut (any kind), melted butter and sugar. Mix and press into a pie plate with a measuring cup or a large spoon. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 6 minutes (exactly!) Set aside while you prepare filling.



Step 4: take a small can of coconut milk which is only 165ml or 5.5oz (the size of a small can of tomato paste) placer it in the fridge for 1 hour to solidify the milk fat. Then separate the solids and place in a small bowl and whip with a whisk.



Step 5: Place remaining coconut milk into a large bowl along with sweetened condensed milk, 5 egg yolks, key lime juice, rum and lime zest. Whisk until smooth. Add the whipped coconut cream from the small bowl and fold in with whisk.



Step 6: scrape all filling into prepared crust. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 22-25 minutes. The edges of the pie will appear to be setting however, the middle of the pie will still be giggly and just starting to set. It will firm up as it cools however, you don’t want to over bake it or it will be too firm and not a nicely set creamy filling.



Step 7: let cool on counter. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the filling while warm to avoid getting a skin on the pie. Once cooled place in fridge to firm up at least 4-6 hours before serving.



Step 8: whip cream with sugar and rum until stiff peaks. If you have some powdered milk it helps to set the whipped cream and prevents weeping if you have any remaing pie left in the fridge until the next day. It is not necessary if you plan on serving the entire pie at once. You can add a bit more zest (from the lime you saved) or some nice toasted coconut or even some slices of the last key lime you saved.


Prepare to be amazed!!!  it is truly delicious!!


Carrot Pineapple Coconut Cake



This is a very moist and delicious carrot, pineapple, coconut and pecan cake. It has the pineapple and olive oil which keeps it fresh even after a day or two.  This is a nice small cake or you can bake it as 6 muffins. In a house with two people a smaller dessert is a better size but, you could double the recipe for a large cake or many more muffins. It is made entirely in the food processor so it goes quick. The icing is a simple icing sugar and pineapple glaze that just takes a second to make but of course you could make a traditional cream cheese icing to go on top if you prefer.

You will need:


  • 2 large carrots- washed and grated = 1 cup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup fruity olive oil
  • 1 tsp rum
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple in juice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut


  • 1 cup sifted icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp pineapple juice from the can of fruit you used.




Step 1: heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a small 8 or 9 inch pan. My pan is 8 inches but, is very deep. If you have a 9 inch traditional round use it.



Step 2: place chopped carrots in a food processor and puree until fine.



Step 3: add eggs, olive oil, rum, both white and brown sugars, pineapple, cinnamon and mix well.



Step 4: add baking soda, salt, pecans, coconut and flour and mix a few seconds until blended.



Step 5: pour into prepared pan and bake in 350 degree F oven for 50-60 minutes depending on which pan you use. Place a toothpick in the centre of cake and if it comes out clean it is done. Let cool 5 minutes in pan. Run a knife around pan and flip onto a cooling tray.



Step 9: mix icing sugar and pineapple juice until you get a thick glaze but it must be able to pour. If it is too thick add a drop or two more of pineapple juice to thin out. Let cake cool and then pour glaze over top. I also crumbled one ginger cookie in my hands to create a bit of a crumb on top (optional)




















Coconut Candy



This is my version of a great sweet treat I had on the road to Hana when I was in Hawaii.

It is a simple candy made from cooking slices of fresh coconut in sugar and water until it absorbs the sugar water and dries out.


You will need:


  • a fresh coconut-flesh removed shell and sliced
  • water to just cover
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar or agave to sweeten




Step 1: crack open the coconut with a hammer. My coconut was an easy open coconut which had a line etched around the shell so a few good whacks with the bottom of a heavy pan and mine cracked open.


Step 2: get the meat out. I put my coconut halves in a 250 degree F oven for 20 minutes and the oven dried out the meat just enough so it shrank a bit and I could then easily pry most of it from the shell with a dull rounded knife.


Step 4: very carefully slice coconut into shavings with a mandolin or a food processor. The pieces are unusually shaped and can easily slip if you are using a mandolin so be very careful to avoid cutting yourself. This is the part that takes patience. I also sliced off the brown edge of most of my coconut you can keep it or remove it.



Step 5: place your slices in a pan or oven proof dish and just cover with water. Add sugar (I added only 1/4 cup of sugar but, normally it’s quite sweet so you can add more) The sugar and water will create a syrup that will coat the coconut as it dries in the oven. You can also do this slowly in a pot on the stove if you prefer. You are cooking the coconut in a simple syrup until it all evaporates and then you dry it out to store it.


Step 6: cook for 1 hour in a 250 degree F oven. Stir occasionally. Continue to cook for another hour or so until all the water evaporates. The coconut will brown slightly as it cooks, don’t forget to toss from time to time. Once all the water has evaporated and it is pretty much dry, remove from oven and place on a plate or spread out on a pan to dry in the air. Once dried you can store in a sealed container for ages. You can eat it as candy or you can process it in a food processor and use it in baking or cooking.



It brings me back to the long winding road to Hana.




Coconut Banana Cream Pie with Rum Cream

This pie is decadent!
It’s coconut custard with a bottom layer of caramelized bananas and just a breath of chocolate on the crust. Then it is all topped off with rum whipped cream and toasted coconut.
There are lots of steps but you can make the pie one day and them top and serve the following. 
You will Need:
  • 1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 6 tbsp butter- melted
  • 1 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
Chocolate Layer
  • 1/3 cup melted chocolate
Banana Layer
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 sliced bananas
  • 2 tbsp rum (I used my homemade rum infused with vanilla beans- see other post on how to make)
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
Coconut Filling
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp minute tapioca
  • pinch salt
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3 egg yolks (save and freeze the whites!)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (any kind you like)
Rum Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup whipping cream (this is the smallest sized container)
  • 2 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 tbsp rum
  • 1 tbsp powdered milk (this will stabilize the whipped cream- you don’t have to use it if you plan on eating the pie right away but it is helpful if you want pie to keep a day or two after)
* you also need a removable bottom tart pan or a glass pie plate.
Step 1: I like to line a removable tart pan with parchment paper. I just fold over the extra paper and place back in the tin. You do not need to do this however, it allows you to easily slide the entire pie off of the bottom once its chilled and ready to serve. I can then put it on a serving platter and not worry about cutting the slices on my pan.
Step 2: prepare crust in a medium bowl. Add graham cracker crumbs, shredded coconut, melted butter and sugar. Mix until resembles wet sand.
Step 3: press into pan using a measuring cup -this makes a nice smooth even crust.
Step 4: Carefully lift pie by the sides of the pan (or the crust will fall out!) and put onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes until the butter melts and the crust sets. Remove and set aside.
Step 5: melt any good quality chopped dark chocolate in a small bowl which will entirely cover a pot of simmering water. Do not let any water get into the chocolate or it will seize up and not get liquid. You can also melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 20 second increments. I stir after each 20 seconds until liquid. This amount takes about 3or4  20 second increments in the microwave to melt completely. This method avoids cooking it too quickly in the microwave and burning.
Step 6: pour liquid on crust and use a small spatula to spread it evenly. It should be a very small amount to just barely taste at the bottom of the pie. Once it cools it will harden. This layer also prevents the crust from getting soggy once the bananas are put on.
Step 7: prepare the banana layer. Slice bananas (not too ripe) and measure ingredients. In a saute pan melt butter and brown sugar until sugar has dissolved. Add rum and bananas. Toss to coat and remove from heat.
Step 8: pour evenly over the chocolate layer on crust. Tilt pan to allow the liquid to evenly coat into the corners.
Step 9: prepare coconut custard filling. In a heavy pot add sugar. cornstarch, minute tapioca, salt. Turn on heat to medium and add coconut milk, egg yolks. Stir constantly until the mixture comes to a gentle boil. Once it boils it will thicken. This may take 4-5 minutes do not walk away and leave it. Once it boils cook 30 seconds and remove from heat. Add butter, shredded coconut, vanilla and coconut extracts.
Step 10: pour on to crust and spread evenly. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of hot custard and let cool to room temperature. Cool completely in fridge at least 5 hours -or you can leave it to serve the following day.
Step 11: once the pie has cooled. Lift removable bottom from sides and unfold the parchment paper. Carefully loosen bottom from paper with a spatula knife and slide onto serving platter.
Step 12: whip cream with sugar(I used my homemade vanilla sugar), powdered milk and rum until stiff enough to make a peak. The dry milk will stabilize the cream. 
Step 13: toast a few tbsp coconut in a pan on stove (watch it- it will burn!) If you have a fresh coconut this is the place the make some nice curls with a peeler and toast.
Slather on the cream, top with the toasted coconut and serve.
One bite lets you know it was worth every bit of effort!

Killer Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie watch it on YouTube

I know I said I would write about cooking but, you need to know I love to bake as much as I love to cook. I had to make this my first food item because it’s that good. If you have ever been to Florida chances are there has been at least one fantastic Key lime pie in your memory. These are the pies people dream about and everyone has their favorite. I realize I am a little girl from Canada and I do have some kinda nerve making a Key Lime pie to rival the pies in Florida. Just try the pie! I promise I have honored the people in FLA by swearing to never use anything but true KEY LIMES and there is no substitute for fresh whipped cream . This pie is very tart and luxuriously sweet with the cool contrast of the rum cream. It is good! People beg for this pie. It is roll your eyes back in your head and moan good.
Come on! you know you want to make that!
Who wouldn’t want to eat key Lime pie? I have been perfecting this recipe for the last 20 years and I think I really have it at last. When I first started to make this pie you couldn’t even get fresh key limes in Canada. I used to buy concentrated key lime juice in a bottle whenever I could find it. Now I can almost always get fresh key limes in the grocery store. Do not under estimate the difference fresh squeezed key limes and zest make vs a bottle! In fact I beg you! Do not even try this pie if you are not willing to squeeze those little limes and use the fresh zest in your pie. I also believe you need to do that squeezing right before you use it. I also do not agree with some others that say  that any old limes will do. You may get a decent lime pie if you use the regular limes but, if you want a pie that is special do what I tell you. There are many excellent recipes out there but I think everyone would agree the secret to a great pie is true key limes & you zest & squeeze them just before you use them. 
As my friend George says “Gotta Do!”


Like I said before I have people who beg me for this pie! My friend Laura asks for it every birthday and I have heard she gets pretty darn possessive of “her” pie. She is a tiny slip of a goddess however, you give her a birthday pie and she thinks so no longer has to share. Hmm? that’s my friend Pat too??  I am warning you now!
What you need:
1 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs –these come in a box normally found in the cookie section (I have no idea why they don’t put them in the baking section!)
¼ cup shredded coconut
6 tbsp unsalted butter- melted
1 ½ -2 tbsp sugar
5 egg yolks
2 cans of sweetened condensed milk 300ml each= 600ml (or 14oz)
2/3 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice
2 tbsp key lime zest (1 tbsp for inside pie & 1 tbsp on top of whipped cream)
Whipped Cream Topping:
1 cup real whipped cream (whipping cream) this is the entire small sized container in the dairy section.
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp rum extract or real vanilla extract (never artificial)
*optional 1 tsp powdered milk 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 


I usually buy ground graham cracker crumbs just because it’s easier however, you can also buy boxes with whole crackers and grind 10 cracker in a food processor until fine.
Step 1:  make the crust  in a mixing bowl by adding graham cracker crumbs, the coconut, the sugar & the melted butter,  mixing with a spoon until moistened and combined.
1 stick of butter equals 8 tbsp or ½ cup- I just use the measurements on the side of the foil of the butter then melt the 6 tbsp in a bowl in the microwave (20 seconds will usually do it)
Step 2: Take the mixture and press into a pie plate or I am using a tart/flan pan which has a removable bottom (but be careful not to lift this type of pan by the bottom or you will push up the crust & make a big ol mess – once you have made your crust slide onto a cookie sheet for ease. I press the crust into the sides and bottom by using a measuring cup.
Bake for 8 minutes. Let cool  while you prepare the filling.
This is how I buy my key limes. They come in a 1 lb bag which typically has 16 limes and once juiced it makes almost 2/3 cup of juice every time-1 bag is perfect for this recipe.  This is what the condensed milk looks like. (this particular brand puts all different pictures on their cans which does confuse some people- don’t worry its all the same stuff.
 I must insist here, please buy real whipping cream (unless of course you are lactose intolerant)  I beg you in the name of everything that is holy DO NOT use COOL WHIP or other edible oil products. I also suggest you do not use the whipped cream in a can unless you slice the pie and then spray on the cream and serve right away. You cannot spray the whole can over the entire pie and think you can store it in the fridge for even an hour. The whipped cream in the can is full of gas that will not maintain its shape for long. It will go flat. I always use the whipped cream that you buy in the dairy section and whip with a mixer or with a whisk by hand. 
Step 3: zest limes approx 6 limes should do it (separate into 2 piles –1 tbsp for the filling and 1 tbsp for the top of the whipped cream) 
Step 4: Squeeze the limes into a measuring cup- 1 bag usually yields 2/3 cup key lime juice.
I like this pie very tart that’s why I use 2/3 cup of juice however, if you wanted it less tart you can use 1/3 cup key lime juice and this pie will still work out perfect. Try it both ways & see which way you like it. 
Step 5: separate 5 yolks into a bowl- keep the whites for later.
 *TIP* put egg whites into two small Ziploc bags in amounts of 2 egg  whites and 3 egg whites-label the amount in each bag and then put into the freezer for another day. I will show you how to make a nice Pavlova some other day. Egg whites freeze perfectly well . 
Step 6: In a large bowl add the condensed milk and egg yolks ( you need a good spatula to get all that sticky condensed milk out of the can) then mix.
Step 7: add  the zest and juice and slowly whisk until incorporated,  then whisk hard until fully smooth and homogenized. Pour into crust & bake exactly 10 minutes. Do not over bake even if you think its still jiggly. It will harden up when it cools but you don’t want it overcooked and rubbery.
Once it comes out of the oven cool  until room temperature. Put a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the pie filling and then slide onto a cutting board and into the fridge(remember the bottom will pop right out of this type of baking pan so if you are somewhat challenged then use a pie plate)  Chill completely. Once the pie has cooled completely you will see that it has set nicely and you can top with your whipped cream and remaining zest.
Step 8:  Pour container of whipping cream into a bowl, add your vanilla or rum extract  (I make my own & I will show you how in another post) then you whip it with a mixer (start slow then increase the speed as it thickens or it just might end up on your walls (ask me how I know that!) You are looking for slightly stiff peaks so that the cream will hold up on your pie and you will be able to cut it. As you notice by this picture I whipped my cream by hand with a simple whisk. You can do this by hand in about 4 minutes ( consider it part of your arm workout) Top pie with cream and sprinkle remaining zest. You can put uncovered pie in fridge for up to 1 hour before serving.
*TIP* if you are keeping this fully assembled pie for a day or two in the fridge add  1 TBSP of powdered milk to the cream when you whip it with the other ingredients. This will help to stabilize the cream- you can find in your grocery store where they sell evaporated & condensed milk. It is a good thing to have in your pantry and I will show you how to use it in some awesome cookies in the near future.
Step 9: Remove pie from fridge and place your flat hand  under the bottom of the pan, right in the center. Carefully ease outer ring so that it falls away from the sides and onto your arm. Slide the pie back on to your flat plate or counter and slip ring off your arm. Take a large clean knife and cut pie into wedges. After each slice run your knife under warm water & dry. Continue until you have cut all your slices. This makes nice clean presentation and prevents graham cracker crumbs from clinging to the edges of your slices. You have taken all this effort, don’t get all messy on me now!
 If you plan on eating the entire pie  (I didn’t mean that you would eat the whole pie yourself!) cover the pie with all the whipped cream. If you happen to have a few slices leftover it can keep in the fridge covered  for a few days. I stick toothpicks right in the cream and then drape plastic wrap over it and seal it to the plate. The toothpicks protect the cream from getting squished.
If  you know you will not eat the pie that quickly  I suggest you keep it with the plastic wrap directly touching the pie in the fridge and slice it as needed. Once sliced add your whipped cream layer. You can keep the whipped cream separate in a sealed bowl refrigerated for a few days. You may need to refresh it by re-whipping it slightly before each use. It does deflate over time and can get watery so this will allow you to re-whip and still use it.  This would also be the place for your can of redi whipped cream. Slice pie, top with cream and serve. 
Lastly, you can slice up the entire pie (or any leftovers) and freeze it(for a short time) whipped cream and all. To thaw frozen pie slices just take out a slice and let thaw in the fridge. You could even eat it frozen. 
Beware that if you have anything stinky in your fridge this kind of pie will absorb that smell/taste so please don’t wreck it at this stage in the game. Just look at how gosh darned  good this looks! 


 Or you can bake in a pie plate (my favorite is glass  but when I give them away I use the pie plate that no one needs to wash and return to me!