Banana-Caramel Coconut Cream Pie with Dark Rum

I adapted this from a recipe on Cook’s Country so you don’t have to spend Christmas without the joy of creamy, rich, boozy deliciousness. This is to die for! You’ll love this pie throughout the layers from the crust up to the toasted coconut flakes sprinkled over the cream.

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Among the more common baking ingredients you’ll need vegan cream cheese, coconut milk (of the kind you can drink – not the canned one), coconut cream (if you can’t find any, use canned coconut milk and skim only the creamy part at the top – you’ll need three cans to make up for one. Tip: don’t ever shake coconut milk cans), unsweetened coconut flakes, Lyle’s Golden Syrup (this is optional, I just love the flavor and the texture it gives to the cream but you can just substitute with the same amount of corn syrup or granulated sugar – don’t use agave, it’s too runny), and dark rum.

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The original recipe calls for animal crackers which contain milk products including cheddar cheese so I had to spend some time in the aisle of the grocery reading the ingredients of all the brands of crackers available to find the most suitable vegan substitute. I was surprised to discover that most brands include some form or other of milk product. There were only a few vegan options and I finally opted for the Back To Nature brand and their Classic Round crackers product because of the short ingredient list and found it to work great.

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You’ll love this crust’s fragrance once out of the oven. Make sure it’s completely cooled before pouring the caramel sauce on it. You can make the crust up to one day ahead but be sure to cover it with plastic wrap to avoid it getting too dry. Feel free to refrigerate it too. Once you I poured the caramel on it I swirled it around the edges a few times as the caramel cooled but the most of it must be at the bottom so don’t fret over it.

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As far as the bananas it is imperative that they’re not too ripe – in fact, a bit under ripe is best.

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Throughout this recipe you can substitute soy milk to coconut milk. I used turmeric for color to mimic the egg yolk. Be sure to let the cream cool in the pie completely before topping with the cream.

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INGREDIENTS:

CRUST

6 ounces vegan saltine crackers

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

5 tablespoons vegan butter, melted

BANANA-CARAMEL

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons coconut milk (the drinkable kind – not the canned one) OR soy milk

1 tablespoon coconut cream

1 pinch salt

2 tablespoons vegan butter

2 medium bananas slightly under-ripe

FILLING

2 1/2 cups coconut milk (the drinkable kind – not the canned) OR soy milk

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons Lyle’s Golden Syrup

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

2 tablespoons arrow root OR corn starch

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 teaspoon turmeric powder OR a finger-tip sized knob of fresh turmeric

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 bananas cut in two inch-thick pieces

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons dark rum

COCONUT CREAM TOPPING

1 can coconut cream

1 8 0z. container vegan cream cheese (Tofutti brand works best)

1/4 cup powder sugar

GARNISH

1/4 cup coconut shreds toasted in a small dry skillet until golden-brown

 

INSTRUCTIONS

 

MAKE THE CRUST:

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. In food processor, pulse crackers, coconut flakes, and sugar to fine crumbs. Transfer crumbs to a bowl and add butter; stir to combine until evenly moistened. Empty crumbs in a 9-inch ceramic pie plate; using bottom of ramekin or 1/2 cup dry measuring cup, press crumbs evenly into bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Bake until medium brown, 15-18 minutes. Set on wire rack and cool at room temperature.

MAKE THE CARAMEL

Bring water and sugar to a boil over high heat in small heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Cook until dark amber, 5-8 minutes. Off heat, add the coconut milk and coconut cream and pinch of salt. The sauce will bubble vigorously; whisk to combine. Whisk in the butter. Pour caramel into pie shell, tilting pie plate to coat evenly. Swirl the caramel over the sides to coat the entire shell. Set aside to cool.

When the caramel is cool, peel bananas and slice crosswise into 3/8-inch-thick rounds and arrange them in a single layer on the caramel; set aside.

MAKE THE FILLING

In a high speed blender, process coconut milk, sugar, syrup, coconut flakes, starch, flour, turmeric, and salt until smooth. Meanwhile, cook the bananas with the butter over medium heat stirring occasionally until soft, 2 minutes. Add the milk mixture to the bananas and bring to a boil stirring frequently. Lower heat and continue simmering for two minutes then, with a slotted spoon, remove bananas; cook 5 more minutes. Off heat, add the vanilla, butter, and rum; set aside 20 minutes to cool then pour over the caramel bananas, cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

PREPARE THE CREAM TOPPING:

In the bowl of a stand-mixer combine all ingredients and whip until creamy (this can also be done in a food processor or hand whipped). Refrigerate for one hour.

TOP AND GARNISH THE PIE:

Top the pie with the cream gently spreading to cover completely. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut flakes.

 

 

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