FALL TRIPS AND FALL COMFORT FOOD

 

(Featured Recipe: Mini Coconut Pie Delights)

This time of the year when the fall season has just made its arrival but has not yet yielded its full spectacular vibrant hues- I begin to feel a bit nostalgic. I yearn to be outdoors and to take in the beauty of the changing leaf colors and feel the brisk autumn air against my skin. And I reflect on some of the things I absolutely enjoyed doing during the fall as well as some of the new things I might want to do during the current fall season. 

Fall Fun Field Trips

I have fun and fond memories of taking students on fall field trips to the North Carolina Zoo (anytime is a great time to stroll through the Zoo, but the visit was even more enjoyable with the fall weather), Lazy 5 Ranch (the kids loved riding on the horse drawn wagons and feeding exotic animals, and so did I!), Kersey Valley Maize Adventure (we all got lost in the corn maze) as well as trips to Iseley Farm’s and Mr. B’s pumpkin patches where the students went on hayrides and also picked out pumpkins to take home. These places were among our favorite field trips taken.

So, What To Do This Fall?

Every fall, I talk about driving to the mountains and foothills surrounding Asheville, NC to see the autumn leaves at their peak color. During my visit, I would love to tour Biltmore Estates in Asheville then head over to French Broad Chocolate Lounge for some of their Orange+Olive Oil+Fennel Truffles. And while I’m there, I might as well get the Lemongrass+Ginger Truffles for the drive home…and maybe throw in a few Lavender Honey Caramels to go with it. Why not, right?

And, of course, what kind of trip would it be without a little shopping? So I definitely have to make plans to go over to Grove Arcade and then stroll around the downtown area to check out the scenery and find one of the favorite local spots to eat. 

I’m planning my Asheville trip for this October…stay posted, so you can find out how it all turns out. 

Fall Comfort Foods 

‘Tis the fall season and ’tis the time to eat and serve up some of my fall and holiday favorites. When the fall season arrives, my intense cravings for some of my favorite comfort foods for this time of the year also arrives. The foods I crave the most are creamy butternut squash soup (made with ginger, garlic and spices), oven-roasted pumpkin (or acorn and butternut squash) with herbs, chicken stew, turkey bean chili, pumpkin pies, sweet potato cobbler and pies, pumpkin chocolate chip bread and muffins, coconut pies, pecan pies, apple cobbler and pies, chocolate and caramel dipped apples…just to name a few.

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Not-So-Traditional Coconut Pie

So, by now, everyone who’s familiar with my blog knows I use coconut products in many of the confections I make. During the fall months, I buy several packages of flaked coconut so I can make coconut pies. There are times I just like to sit and look out my window on a cool, crisp fall day while enjoying a warm slice of coconut pie. For this month, I feature a traditional coconut pie that’s finished off in a nontraditional way. The result is Coconut Mini Pie Delights. They are lovely and delicious mini desserts that you can serve up at a fall party and get-together with others. Please tell us about some of your favorite fall foods and the fall trips you’ve taken, or plan to take.

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The variations of this recipe include Mini Coconut Pie Chocolate Fillo Cups and Coconut Pie (Lighter Version).

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MINI COCONUT PIE DELIGHTS

Recipe By Shirell Dalton, The Simple Chocolatier

Active Time: 28 minutes Cook Time: 50-55 minutes

Yields 8 mini pies

Ingredients:

Coconut Pie Mixture:

1/2 cup unsalted butter plus 1/4 cup coconut oil (can also use all butter or coconut oil)

1 cup pure cane sugar (preferably unrefined sugar such as Zulka Morena)

3 large eggs

1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

3/4 cups buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla

2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut (preferably Great Value Organic Unsweetened Coconut Flakes) – see note

Tart Shells:

8 Dutch Ann Frozen Tart Shells

1 egg white

Dark Chocolate Blend:

1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (containing cocoa butter)

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (containing cocoa butter)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Directions:

To make the Coconut Pie Mixture– Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, stir the pure cane sugar into the melted butter and coconut oil. Whisk the eggs into the mixture and set aside. Pour the cornstarch into a small bowl and slowly whisk in the buttermilk then pour the liquid into the sugar and egg mixture. Add the vanilla and coconut. Whisk the mixture together then pour into a round 9” aluminum foil pan that has been lightly coated with butter or oil. Bake for approximately 50-55 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Slice the pie into 8 slices.

To prepare the Tart Shells– Prick bottom and sides of the tart shells with a fork then use a pastry brush to evenly apply a thin coat of egg white to each shell (this will give a shiny look to the baked crust). Bake the shells at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes, according to package directions. The shells can go into the oven along with the pie, but they will need to be removed after they have baked for 12 to 14 minutes. After the tart shells have been removed from the oven, allow them to cool.

To make the Dark Chocolate Blend– The dark chocolate blend can be prepared ahead of time, or you can also prepare while the pie and tart shells bake. Pour the bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate chips into a dry microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl. Place in the microwave for 30 seconds then remove and stir; repeat this process at shorter intervals, stirring every 15 seconds until the chocolate is smooth. Spread the melted chocolate onto the bottom and sides (all the way up the sides to the top edge) of the shells. Place in the refrigerator until the chocolate sets.

In order to assemble- remove the partially chocolate covered tart shells from the refrigerator then fill each shell with a slice of coconut pie. Neatly arrange the coconut pie slices into each shell with the golden brown top color of the pie remaining very visible after it’s placed into the tart shell.

Note: If you prefer, you can use the coconut pie mixture to make a regular 9” Coconut Pie using a pie crust. I use Wholly Wholesome Organic Traditional 9” Pie Shells. Don’t forget to prick the crust with a fork and brush with egg white before filling with mixture. Also, you can use half the amount of desiccated coconut in place of the coconut flakes.

Variations:

Mini Coconut Pie Chocolate Fillo Cups Remove the fillo shells from the freezer and dip the tops or bottoms (I dip the top parts of 8 shells then I dip the bottoms of the remaining shells) of the shells into the dark chocolate blend. Once you dip the fillo shells into the chocolate, place each one onto a wax or parchment paper lined plate or tray. Then place in the refrigerator or freezer until set. Once the chocolate has set, remove the chocolate dipped fillo shells from the refrigerator (or freezer) and fill with the coconut pie. About 4-1/2 pie slices will fill 15 of the chocolate dipped fillo shells.

Coconut Pie (Lighter Version) Use 1/2 cup of butter or coconut oil (or a combination of both) instead of the amount shown above. It can also be reduced to a 1/4 cup amount, and it still tastes great. And use 3/4 cups of pure can sugar instead of 1 cup.

Recipes developed by Shirell Dalton – The Simple Chocolatier   Copyright ©2015 Shirell Dalton, All Rights Reserved

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Yes! More RECIPES :)

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Megan says:

    I love being in Asheville in the fall! Such a beautiful place.

    Like

    1. I visited Asheville only twice, and it’s been a number of years. I’ve never been there during the fall, so I’m definitely looking forward to this month’s trip.🤗

      Like

  2. Frank says:

    Great recipes, definitely gonna try the mini coconut pie, it looks delicious and easy to make. Great post, thank you for sharing!

    Like

    1. Thank you Frank. The recipes are pretty simple and certain steps- such as making the pie and baking the mini crusts- can be done a few days in advance and placed in the refrigerator then assembled a few days later. I hope you have a Great Day!

      Like

  3. My mouth just watered looking/reading through the blog. Love it

    Like

    1. Thank you:) There’s nothing quite like mouthwatering desserts to satisfy a sweet tooth.

      Like

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