From Hawaii with Love: Coconut Apple Pie

I didn’t intend to write about food again this week, but after I published a chess pie recipe last week, and mentioned my recipe for an apple pie with a coconut topping, I received requests for it. This one goes back to Ron’s and my Hawaiian honeymoon in the mid 1970’s. His Uncle Al, a boy from the dusty, dry, isolated town of Abilene, Texas went to Honolulu during the second world war, married a Japanese girl and settled down there where they raised four children in a small cottage in St Louis Heights. From their cottage one had a sweeping view down to the endless blue Pacific. One look at that view and I knew why Uncle Al never returned to the mainland. Abilene? Or Honolulu? Not a hard choice.

coconut gives an added twist to apple pie

coconut gives an added twist to apple pie

When Ron and I arrived in Hawaii for our honeymoon, we visited Uncle Al and his wife ( also named Dorothy, though she went by “Dottie”) and in the  lovely Hawaiian tradition of “aloha” they showered us with gifts. One was a set of place mats, each of which featured a Hawaiian recipe. This recipe for coconut apple pie was the one that became a tradition at our house and a favorite with my landlocked  in-laws. I hope you enjoy it. You will need:

One 9 inch deep dish  unbaked pie shell in a glass pie pan

6 cups fresh apples, peeled, cored,  and thinly sliced

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 425.

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the butter and toss gently so that all the apples slices are evenly coated.  Add the mixture to the pie shell and then dot the butter evenly over the top.

Cut a circle of  double thickness of aluminum foil large enough to cover the filling. Press this foil gently over the filling.

Bake for 30 minutes. While it’s baking make the Hawaiian topping:

Combine 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut ( I use Baker’s) with 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 1 beaten egg.
After 30 minutes, take the pie from the oven and remove the foil. Spread the coconut topping evenly over the apple filling. Return to the oven, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the coconut is slightly browned all over. Watch it so that it doesn’t burn! If the edges of the pie crust start to get too brown, cover with strips of foil for the last few minutes of baking.

Cool on a wire rack for at least two hours before serving.