Randy’s Recipes: Lychee-Lemon Freezer Pie
(Randyjw; June 1, 2016)
1 plus 3/4 sticks salted butter, melted
1 box Nilla wafer cookies, crushed
Candied lemon peel and cold-sugar slurry of 1 lemon (made 1/2 – to 1-day previous)
Dry flour for dusting
Pinch baking soda or baking powder, for dusting
1 banana, mashed
3 REAL overflowing tablespoons cream cheese
1 can (20 oz.) lychee nuts (fruit) in syrup; (reserve approx. 1/4-cup liquid for filling; set aside 6 lychee nuts for garnish, cut horizontally in half; chop remainder of lychee nuts for filling [optional])
Approx. 2 oz. coconut cream
1/4-cup coconut milk
6 oz. lemon-flavored yogurt (standard single-serve yogurt size) (or your flavor preference)
6 oz. mandarin orange-flavored yogurt (standard single-serve yogurt size) or your flavor preference)
At least 1/2- to 1-full day ahead of time, prepare the lemon peel/sugar infusion. Make sure to use a very ripe, soft, thinner peel (a Meyer lemon is generally good, but use your preference) and cut it from the lemon into very small pieces. Sprinkle copiously with sugar and stir, repeating several times, to develop a thick slurry paste. Let set overnight in the refrigerator, if possible, to infuse the sugar with lemon aroma/flavor.
When ready to prepare your pie, preheat the oven to 350°F. Begin by melting the butter in a small saucepot at low heat on the stovetop. Lightly dust a baking dish or pie plate with the flour and the baking powder (or soda); remove most of excess — a light coating is fine. Transfer Nilla wafers to a large, heavyweight plastic bag and crush cookies fairly finely (small pieces are okay), then pour into a bowl (or leave in bag). Stir melted butter into cookie crumbs to form a crust. Add one-half to-entire contents of lemon peel (if edible — if not, strain out) and sugar (more for stronger flavor; less for weaker essence) to crust mixture, blending well. Spoon the mixture into the baking dish as evenly as possible. Using a 1/2-cup measuring cup, press the crumbs into the dish and up the sides, smoothing and evenly filling the dish. Bake at 350°F for approximately 11-12 minutes.
Into a medium-large bowl, mash one banana. Then cream together the banana with the cream cheese and coconut cream. Add the lychee juice and the chopped lychee nuts/fruit (if a creamy texture throughout is preferred, omit this ingredient here, or substitute another for a different flavor/texture). Stir in the coconut milk. Add the yogurts (use less than the whole if adjusting for too much liquid). Pour filling into pie crust and smooth evenly. Place back into oven (you may need to adjust temperature to 325°F and/or time during this phase) and bake for another 8-14 minutes, or so, finishing the last few minutes on 350°F. Remove from oven and let stand on counter to cool and to thicken slightly.
Insert a thin, flexible knife, such as a steak knife, between the crust and the dish, and pull the rim of the dish toward you, holding it with a potholder, to loosen the pie edge from the plate. Use the same pulling technique with a moist paper towel or napkin, to clean the rim and outer edges of the dish. If you want to pre-cut the pie to make it easier to cut in its more semi-frozen state, you may do so. As well, you may garnish now, or after it has frozen, with cut lychee fruits (or toppings of your choice: mandarin orange segments, sliced banana, whipped cream, meringue, coconut flakes, etc.). Freeze to set-up and firm the pie (or refrigerate).
If you prefer a creamier texture, add more sweetened, condensed milk or additional banana. To boost the lemon flavor, spoon a couple of tablespoonfuls of lemon-sugar slurry into the filling. Similarly, if you are not a “frond” (hah-hah!) of coconut, then omit it. For smaller pie plates or a less-full effect, reduce yogurt content. Enjoy!
9.1 Yums Up