Simple Pleasures

I've got friends and family with gluten allergies, so there are times when planning meals means finding ways to avoid using flour and its ilk. When it comes to cooking, that can be fairly simple to address, but baking can present special challenges, as flour factors into a lot of sweet treats. But then there's this:

Say hello to Almond Joy Pie. Comprised entirely of 5 run-of-the-mill ingredients and the kind of dessert you can toss together in about a half hour, it's the kind of dessert you'll be happy to serve after dinner, even if no one at the table has any trouble with gluten. And while there's a simple ganache filling that is sure to have you drooling, it's the crust for this pie that makes me particularly happy. Now, that's a lot of coconut, but the result is really amazing. Today, I'm presenting a very that ends up being reminiscent of almond joy candy bars, but I can't wait until warmer weather gives me a chance to try a key lime pie-inspired filling with this same crust. Oh, summer is going to be amazing!

Now, since this pie is incredibly rich, I recommend slicing it into small pieces and serving it with a little dollop of whipped cream to help cut the dark chocolate filling. I imagine a tall glass of milk or a mug of lightly sweetened coffee might also be in order. Oh, and a lot of applause!

Almond Joy Pie

  • 4 T. butter, softened
  • 6 cups of sweetened coconut, divided
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 8 oz. chocolate, finely chopped (I used dark chocolate, but you could use any combination you prefer)
  • Toasted almonds

To make the crust, preheat the oven to 350°F. In a food processor, process the butter and 2 cups of the coconut until it forms a ball, 1-2 minutes. It will look a little like mashed potatoes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. Sprinkle the remaining 4 cups of coconut over the mixture and combine with your fingers to form a slightly sticky "dough".

Press the coconut mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a pie pan to form a crust, leaving the top edges loose and fluffy. Place a foil ring over the edge of the crust to prevent burning. Bake the crust until the center begins to brown, 10-15 minutes; remove the foil and bake until the edges are also browned, 4-5 minutes more. Remove the crust from the oven and cool it completely.

While the crust is cooling, make the filling. Microwave the heavy cream for 2 minutes on HIGH in a microwave-proof dish; pour the hot cream over the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes, then stir the mixture until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is combined. Pour the filling into the cooled coconut crust. Refrigerate until the filling is set, 1 hour or up to 1 day. Garnish with toasted almonds before serving.

  • Yields: 12 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes, plus chilling time