DEBORAH CROMBIE: Did you know that talking to strangers could make you gain weight? I'm not kidding. It happened like this.
This last Thursday night I was in Wilmington, Delaware, having dinner with Caroline Todd and a friend of Caroline's (thanks, Betsy!) after a great signing at Chester County Book Company in Chester County, Pennsylvania.
There was a Bonefish Grill right next to my hotel, and having seen the same restaurant in Annapolis and been curious, I suggested we try it. It was late, but the food was delicious and we had a delightful waitress, a young woman named Shelby. From her we learned about the restaurant (based in Florida and focusing on fresh-market fish and innovative seasonal recipes.) I also learned that lima beans were a Delaware thing--I had no idea! (And now I regret never having had fresh lima beans, which is exactly how someone not from the South should feel if they've never had fresh-shelled black-eyed peas...)
And now we get to the fattening part. I'm not usually much for deserts, but I'd seen on the menu that they had coconut pie. Shelby assured us that it was really special because they used fresh coconut.
I had a wave of nostalgia--my mother made fabulous coconut cream pie, and I suppose that memory was what tipped me over into temptation.
Shelby brought one serving of pie with three spoons, and, oh, my, this pie was nothing like my mother's. This was a custard pie, not a cream pie, and topped not with meringue but with what tasted like whipped creme fraiche. Rum sauce. No crust.
We all tasted it, but even between the three of us we couldn't finish it, it was so rich. It was also one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted.
This is a copycat recipe, so I can't guarantee that it will taste just like Bonefish Grill's Coconut Custard Pie, but I'm willing to give it a try. I just have to think of a special occasion to justify it, and learn how to grate fresh coconut, because I have no doubt that Shelby was right and that is what makes it so, so special.
Bonefish Grill Jamaican Coconut Pie With Rum Sauce
Makes 1 Pie
Makes 1 Pie
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups coconut, shredded
1 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
1 cup butter, unsalted
1 cup dark rum
Pie Filling: Place milk, cream, sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Mix with a hand mixer for 2 minutes on medium speed. Add coconut and mix together until completely incorporated. Place in a greased pie pan. Cook at 350° for 40-45 minutes.
Rum Sauce: In small sauce pan, heat butter over medium heat until melted. Add brown sugar and mix together until sugar dissolves. Add rum and cook for 1 minute on medium heat. Slice pie and serve with rum sauce, to your liking. Pie best when served warm.