Boston's Flour Bakery inspired Coconut Cream Pie

November 27, 2015

Our final Boston morsel was a quick breakfast at Flour Bakery. I've been trying to get here on every little trip to Boston I've been on but never ended up in the right neighbourhood(s).

We were doing an earlyish extrication on Saturday morning so wanted to grab something quickly rather than sit down to a brunch, meaning Flour was the perfect stop off en route home.

The breakfast sandwich was great but the hands down winner of breakfast was the Coconut Cream Pie... which is an essential part of a well balanced breakfast.

Normally when faced with a cabinet of deliciousness, some virtuous, martyr-ish part of me opts for the 'healthy' option. In a place like Flour that would still have been dam tasty, but this time I was on an all out, indulgent, last-day-of-vacay kick and order my cream pie with gusto.

And boy and I glad I did.

Even Charlie, who's eyes lit up at the prospect of a long awaited taste (we're talking years here) of Shoo Fly/Pecan Pie, admitted I had won breakfast with that creamy, coconutty slice of heaven.

Once back in my own (almost finished- updates coming soon!) kitchen, I knew the first thing on my 'try to make' list would be that coconut cream pie.

Consisting of a pastry crust, a coconut flavoured custard, and topped with whipped cream sprinkled with coconut flakes, there we're a couple of changes I wanted to make to the original recipe.

Instead of a pastry base I plumped for a graham cracker/digestive biscuit base, and to lighten up the custard I used half cream, half culinary coconut milk.

The Flour pie also used toasted coconut flakes to sprinkle on top whereas I left mine in their natural snowy state, preferring their flavour this way and also the pretty snow cloud look of the finished pie.


Just over 2 cups/200g crushed graham crackers/digestive biscuits
1/2 cup/60g salted butter

Coconut custard-
1 cup culinary coconut milk- I use this one (not a paid link!) as it's nice and thick
1 cup of half and half/single cream
4 egg yolks
1 cup shredded coconut sweetened
2 tablespoons all purpose/plain flour

1 & 1/2 cups whipping/heavy cream
1/2 cup shredded coconut, sweetened


Melt the butter, in the microwave or on the stove, pour into the crushed crackers/biscuits. You can crush the crackers/biscuits however you find easiest- hands down the way I find simplest is in a processor. It makes for a nice fine crumb and a lot less mess from exploding sandwich bag vs. rolling pin debacles.

Mix the butter into the crumbs until they are coated and look like wet sand. press into a pie dish, moulding them up the sides of the dish. Press down firmly so that the crumbs compressed together and won't just crumble apart.

Pop in the fridge to set for at least an hour.

Pour the single cream/half and half and the coconut milk into a saucepan, not on heat, and whisk together. Crack and separate the eggs, save the whites to make meringues or velveting chicken, plop the yolks into the coconut cream mixture and whisk in well.

Place the pan over a low/medium heat and bring to a gentle boil, stirring continually. When small bubbles start to appear at the outer edges of the pan and the mixture is steaming, add in the shredded coconut and keep whisking. Adding the coconut later makes the custard easier to whisk and heat evenly until it boils.

Keep the pan over a low heat, spoon a couple of tablespoons of the custard into a mug or ramekin and add the flour, whisk with a fork until it forms a smooth paste then add the paste back into the custard and combine. The flour will help thicken the custard more and help it set when it cools.

Continue cooking the custard for a further ten minutes, then pour into a bowl. Cover with cling film/saran wrap, pushing the plastic right onto the surface of the custard so it doesn't form a skin when it cools, and pop in the fridge.

When the custard is completely cool (you can hurry this along by spreading the custard on a large plate so it has more surface area), spoon it into the pie crumb crust and cover as before, chill for another hour.

Whip the cream until it is quite thick, thicker than you'd use to dollop over a dessert, you want it to hold its shape when a slice of pie is cut.

When the custard is set in the crumb crust, pile on the cream (this is a pie made of cream and cream so let's not hold back under the pretense of being health conscious eh?)

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Finish with a sprinkle of coconut flakes- toasted or not, your choice and dive into a slice of utter indulgence.


My Continuing Food Education: Texas BBQ at Sweet Cheeks Q, Boston

November 23, 2015

It's been a crazy year at Vine HQ. It's been a crazy three years if we're being really honest, and with December no looking as though it's going to let up, Charlie and I decided to take a little midweek break away somewhere local while we could both swing some time.

Boston, being just under an hour away was perfect for a mini-cation, we didn't waste time traveling which left more time for fun.... and eating.

We stayed at The Verb over in Fenway. A swinging sixties, rock and roll inspired hotel, part of me thought it was going to be too good to be true given the surprisingly reasonable room price. This isn't a review of the hotel, you can check out trick advisor for that, butIi'd whole heartedly recommend it to anyone wanting a funky place to stay in Boston, without breaking your budget or compromising on style.

Now to the food. Wow.

With only two-ish days in the city we wanted to make the most of what Boston's menus had to offer whilst seeing the city without needing to be forklifted home. I think we hit some of Boston's top spots, but there are so many more I'm desperate to get back to!

Thursday's lunch found us as Sweet Cheeks Q on Boyleston in Fenway, a convenient and entirely coincidental 3 minute stroll from our hotel.

Sweet Cheeks is all about Texas BBQ, smoked meats that aren't slathered in sauce, rather meltingly tender and succulent with their own slow smoked fats.

Led by Tiffani Faison (of Top Chef fame) and her memories of her childhood backyard 'the American south, north of the Mason Dixie', there is no way you're not getting excited about a place that's R&D included a life changing short rib.

The star of the show here really is the meat; from the impressive local, 'Never Ever' provenance (as in 'never ever' treated with hormones and rubbish), to the metal tray presentation: a scoop of coleslaw in one corner, a pile of sweet pickles in the other, and anything runny (like their incredible mac and cheese) confined to an enameled mug.

We ordered the brisket and the ribs, along with coleslaw, mac and cheese and a bucket of the most amazing biscuits that come with a whipped honey butter that are the perfect sweet counterpoint to the intensely rich, savory meat.

The BBQ sauce, one of three condiments set out on every table- the others a pickly vinaigrette and a spicy hot sauce, was so damn good we bought it. before we'd even finished our meal we had bought a bottle of that sauce and were wondering whether one would be enough.

Needless to stay experiments in backyard smoking are already filling my imagination, but in the meantime i'll be trying to recreate the delicious sweet pickles to keep my appetite sated until I can go back.