"Hunger is the best sauce in the world."
The fresh fig season here is so short that there are years I don't even see them at the market. When I spotted some today, I had to buy them even though no recipe was in mind. Think...think...think....AHA! Back in March, to conclude dinner at Bonefish in Tampa, the Mister and I had the most wonderful warm coconut pie with rum raisin sauce. We decided to share since we both love coconut, but then each raced to get the most bites because the rum raisin sauce was so darn good with it!
Here is my attempt to duplicate it, substituting fresh figs for the raisins. The warm, sweet, buttery, boozy sauce goes so deliciously with the coconut pie. Either one could stand on it's own as well. You could use the sauce on pound cake or ice cream and this pie is delicious warm or cold; as is, or with a dollop of whipped cream.
I found the pie recipe on Allrecipes and after reading the reviews, made a few changes of my own. It was easy and came out perfect. The custard filling didn't run at all. It was really delicious and will be my go-to coconut pie from now on! For the fig sauce, I started with a recipe from Food and Wine but used stewed fresh figs instead of plumped raisins. A little tweaking with butter and salt and I was transported right back to Florida...Ah, food memories.
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup cream
1 1/2 cups coconut
1 (9-inch) pie shell [I'll include my pie crust recipe at end of post if you need it]
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat eggs slightly, stir in white sugar, salt and extracts. Gradually stir in milk and cream. Add 1 cup of the coconut to the filling, and reserve remaining 1/2 cup for the top. Pour filling into unbaked pie shell. Bake pie for 35-40 minutes, or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool pie completely. Before serving, mix 1/2 cup coconut with soft butter and brown sugar. Sprinkle on top of pie. Broil 3 or 4 inches away from the heat, for 2 - 4 minutes. Keep your eye on it, because it will burn quickly.
Warm Rum Fig Caramel Sauce
9 fresh figs, stems removed and halved
1 cup water (for stewing figs)
3/4 cup dark rum
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
Combine figs and 1 cup water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes; drain.
Pour rum over figs, bring JUST to the boiling point, then remove from heat and set aside.
In a heavy medium saucepan, combine the sugar and 1/2 cup water and cook over moderate heat until a deep amber caramel forms. Remove from the heat. Slowly and carefully add a little of the heavy cream to stop the cooking. Add the remaining heavy cream and stir in the figs (and rum) salt and butter. Serve warm.
Sauce can be refrigerated for 1 week. Reheat gently, stirring occasionally, before serving.
In case you are interested, here is my pastry crust recipe for the 9-inch pie shell.
PASTRY for 9-inch PIE
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Crisco (shortening)
5-6 tablespoons ice cold club soda (or gingerale, or water)
In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Using two knives (or pastry blender), cut in shortening until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle flour mixture with water, 1 tablespoon at a time, while tossing and mixing lightly with a fork. Add water until dough is just moist enough to hold together. Too much water causes dough to be sticky and tough. Not enough water and it is difficult to roll out and edges crack.
Form dough first into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Place on well floured surface. Sprinkle top of dough with a little flour. With a rolling pin, roll dough out into a circle 1 inch larger than your inverted pie plate. Fold dough in half. Lift carefully, place in pie plate and unfold. Trim dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge of plate. Turn dough under at edge and flute using two fingers.