Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story

I am a Haupia Pie “Pusher” and I am Absolutely OK with That

47 Comments


“Tsk, tsk, tsk,” I accidentally rudely said aloud as the lady in front of me, an obvious tourist (not unlike myself) and nOOb to the Village Bake Shop in Hanalei, was squandering her chance at tasting greatness when she began to order the Apple Crumb bar.   She turned around and gave me the “I’m smarter than you look”, arms folded and told me, “The Blue Book says that this place has the best Apple Crumb bar.”

I am not a shy girl, and I politely say, “But the Chocolate Haupia pie is memorable, beyond delicious, you won’t be sorry. ”  Squinting her eyes a bit, she repeated her claim about the Kauai blue book guide and again told the cashier about the apple bar’s claim to fame. The cashier shrugged her shoulders and said, “We’ve evolved since that was printed…she’s right…we sell out of the pie daily.” I smiled, quite smugly.

So what is Haupia, if you don’t already know? Haupia is a traditional coconut milk-based Hawaiian dessert often found at luaus. It is oven served in little squares, and to me, it tastes like a cross between jello and pudding, however not as sweet as either. By itself it is fine, if you ask me, but nothing to write home about; But in this pie, it is quite a star.


This pie has everything you crave in a dessert and then some.  It starts with a macadamia shorbread crust (oh. my.) that could easily stand alone as the best cookie ever, and then has a layer of Haupia, a layer of chocolate Haupia and finally is crowned with freshly made whipped cream, curls of crisp coconut, chopped macadamia nuts and grated bittersweet chocolate.  This pie is dangerous, creamy, crunchy and incredible and I have replicated it to perfection. So humble, I am aware.

Humble AND outspoken.  I am quite the catch, aren’t I? But I bake like nobody’s business, and I am sure that this is part of the glue that holds my twenty year marriage together. Glue made of sugar, flour and vanilla (I am Not a gluten free girl either, we all have our hang-ups).

Anyhow, if you need some sweet, coconutty and chocolate love to add to your life, make this pie, and then feel free to shout swear words at the air, because then you will be addicted, like me, and I will officially be your Haupia Pie pusher. It’s a title I will just have to live with.

Haupia Pie
Adapted from AllRecipes.com
Macadamia Nut Shortbread crust (see below)
1 cup milk
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk (I used regular not light, but I am sure light would be fine)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup cornstarch
7/8 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup white sugar

Macadamia Nut Shortbread Pie Crust
Adapted from Food and Wine
1 c. macadamia nuts (unsalted or salted is fine, just adjust your salt accordingly), toasted
1 c. all purpose flour
4 T. rice flour (just add extra flour if you don’t have rice flour)
4 T. granulated sugar
4 T. dark brown sugar (light is fine if that’s what you have)
1/4-1 t. salt (if you used unsalted nuts add the 1 t. and if you used salted nuts, add only 1/4 t.)
8 T. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4″ cubes
2 T. cold milk (I used 2%)
1/2 t. Vanilla extract
Garnishes: shaved coconut curls, chopped macadamia nuts and shaved bittersweet chocolate

Make the crust first.  Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and spray coat a pie pan with nonstick cooking spray.  One cooking instructor once told me that she toasts any nuts on the stove top instead of the oven because invariably she ends up forgetting about and burning the ones in the oven.  I just throw any nuts in a saute pan and stir constantly over medium heat for a couple of minutes or until it smells a bit toasty or is barely starting to brown. Nuts can burn quickly so take your pan off of the heat the minute you suspect they are done.

Place the toasted nuts in a food processor and chop them to oblivion until they are grainy.  Add your flour through salt. Turn the food processor on and let all of the ingredients form a meal.

Add the cold, chopped butter a little at a time and pulse each time until the butter is incorporated.  Add the milk and vanilla and pulse again. Your mixture will come together. See?

Press the mixture into your pie pan. Then get a sheet of wax paper and press down on the crust all around the bottom of the pan, pressing the crust flat and even. The original recipe suggests you refrigerate the crust for an hour before baking. I did not and it was fine, but I had one reader who ended up with a crumbly crust that was hard to serve so you may want to follow the original recipe advice and refrigerate before baking.

Bake for 25-35 minutes.  It should turn golden on the outside edge and be slightly firm to the touch. If it’s a teensy bit softer than a typical cookie, it is fine; It will firm up as it cools and later in the fridge. Let it cool as you make the filling.

For the filling: In a medium sauce pan, place your coconut milk, milk and sugar and whisk together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water, gradually adding water the cornstarch until smooth and set aside. Turn your burner on medium and stir the milk mixture constantly, scraping the bottom so no hard bits form.  After it comes to a boil, turn it down to a simmer and SLOWLY pour in your cornstarch mixture, stirring or whisking constantly.  I like to whisk so there are no lumps. Cook and simmer for three minutes or so or until the mixture is nice and thick.

In a microwave safe bowl, melt your chocolate for a minute in the microwave, then stir, then another minute and repeat this process until it is completely melted (about 2-3 minutes).  Separate the coconut pudding mixture into two equal portions (or make the one that is for the chocolate, a little bit heftier if you want more chocolate pudding to coconut pudding ratio).  Add the melted chocolate to one of the puddings and stir until entirely mixed in.

Pour your coconut pudding over the pie crust, spreading evenly.  Let the chocolate pudding cool for 5 minutes and then pour or spread the chocolate pudding over the coconut pudding.  Refrigerate for two hours or so and make your whipped cream when ready to serve.

For the whipped cream: Whip the heavy cream in a stand mixer fitted with the balloon whisk attachment. Beat on medium at first and slowly work up to high until soft peaks form.  Add your sugar, one tablespoon at a time and continue to beat on high until stiff peaks form.  Either spread the whipped cream over the top of the pie or pipe it on with a pastry bag and LARGE star tip.

Sprinkle the top of the pie with large shaved coconut if you can find it at your natural foods store (it’s so stunning with the large shavings), chopped macadamia nuts and grate a bit of the bittersweet chocolate over the top as well.  Enjoy with a cup of Kona coffee just for effect.  Now swear like a sailor because you won’t be able to stop eating it…even for breakfast (just like I did this morning)

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47 thoughts on “I am a Haupia Pie “Pusher” and I am Absolutely OK with That

  1. Omg Geni. I die. This is FABULOUS!!! I’m putting it on my to-make list ASAP. I love coconut and have been a macadamia nut girl since my parents introduced me to “Banana Macs” at Ted Drewes in St. Louis when I was a little girl. Honestly, I wish I was you next door neighbor. Maybe we should make that happen? Lol. I actually have a hawaiian-esque cake on the roster for the next week…..stay tuned, I have a feeling you’ll like it 🙂

  2. Learn something new everyday! This looks terrific!

  3. That pie does sound addictive! I can’t believe that lady was going to order apple pie in Hawaii! What a great looking dessert 🙂

  4. This recipe sounds amazing, love the toasted nuts. But what really made my day was the thought of you telling another lady she was ordering the wrong thing. Why don’t people listen to us foodies more! We’re always right. You probably think I’m joking, I’m so not.

  5. Welcome back, Geni!!! I just downed a handful of macadamia nuts before I read this post….that’s kismet, if you ask me.. 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful trip…this looks fabulous!

  6. I’ve never heard of it but your description of it alone is enough to make me crave it! Wonderfully written post…thanks for sharing a great recipe :))

  7. Oh, I would pick that any day of the week. Coconut and chocolate in a creamy pie?! What more can you ask for.

  8. Lets see, what can I say here… Decadently delicious.
    🙂 Mandy

  9. Your pie looks beautiful! I”ve never heard of haupia before…may have to try this next winter (I’m hoping to make it to Kauai.). In the meantime, I may have to try this macadamia shortbread crust. It sounds delicious!

  10. Amazing looking pie! I’m always one to follow the recommendations of a local foodie over a guide book. Great post!

  11. Wow macadamia, you got me there. I love any cake with macadamias on it specially white chocolate macadamia cakes. But looking at the photo above this would easily be my favorite as well.

  12. I really cant keep my eyes on that photo, it looks so divine!

  13. Sometimes rudeness is the only way to get through to people. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. this pie looks fantastic! I love coconutty desserts…add some chocolate and I love even more!

  14. OMG Geni, I thought we were friends! Right smack in the middle of bikini season and you post this to die for dessert! Without a doubt I will make this and share with all my girlfriends so we ALL indulge in this sinfully delicious pie; followed by a long bike ride 🙂

  15. First of all – how awesome is it being right like that? I would TOTALLY have trusted you if you told me to try something at a bakery.

    This pie sounds amazing.

  16. Love that you weren’t afraid to voice your opinion, and well, the truth! I’m sure I would have done the same. This pie sounds delectable. I especially love the use of macadamia nuts for the crust.

  17. :-)) You make me smile, gal. The pie looks terrific and it looks elegant! I love the macadamia in the crust.

  18. Too funny! I’ve never heard of this pie so I’m glad you shared with us — I’ve been missing out! 😉

  19. OOOH MY! Can I PLEASE have a piece! You need to sell this so I can buy it!!!

  20. ZOMG the ultimate pie is standing before me on my screen! Coconut, chocolate, cookies, AND a jello-pudding texture??!! PURE HEAVEN!

  21. Hi Geni, Congratulations! You have received the Versatile blogger award! To claim your award please visit this post: http://savoringeverybite.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/grilled-artichokes-with-sun-dried-tomato-dip-and-my-first-award/

  22. Oh My Goodness!!! I want some of this pie, AND some macadamia shortbread cookies! Can I stop by your place after work today? 😉

  23. Oh man, I love anything coconut- how did you know that? I have to try this asap for myself & hubby! Thanks for reminding me that I bought a macadamia packet 2 months back & its resting in the freezer since then 🙂 It has to be put to work now.

  24. I love how you looked at her smugly LOL.. I can just imagine that happening in my brain. But you know I’m a choco-aholic, so the Haupia Pie recipe definitely sounds wonderful. You are definitely supporting my new habit for wonderful desserts :).. Hope you’re enjoying the day

  25. You are so funny Geni….this pie looks delicious, love the combination of coconut and chocolate and creamy texture, all on a macadamia crust,
    Have a great week 🙂

  26. wow…wat a wonderful selection of recipe…absolutely delicious..
    chanced upon your space while blog hopping..
    love your space…Am your happy subscriber now..:)
    do stop by mine sometime..

  27. How unique and delicious looking! Thanks for sharing!

  28. Looks like you did that wayward tourist a favor 🙂

    Hope you’re enjoying your Hawaiian vaycay!

  29. You go girl!!!! Hope you guys had a wonderful time!!!

  30. I love apples but you sold me. I will take a piece of the haupia pie.

  31. Oh my this looks delightful. I was given a piece of ‘haupia pie’ before. He told be he substituted this for that, and that for this. By the time he was done it tasted like a really bad coconut cream pie.

    This looks soooo good. I am a huge macadamia nut fan and can’t wait to try this.

  32. Wow! This is excellent! My husband and I spent a week in Kauai last November. We kept returning to the Village Bake Shop to get yet, just one last piece of that incredibly delicious Haupia pie. We bought a bag of Haupia at Costco and took it home with us, just fascinated with this cocunutty dessert. I am looking at the bag thinking, OK, now how did they make that pie? Well, look, low and behold, you have amazingly presented us with the recipe for this wonderful treat!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

    • I bought the bag mix as well and will try that too. But I wasn’t sure if anyone on the mainland would be able to get the mix packet. Anyhow, so glad to have helped and hope you have great success. Let me know how it goes. I still dream about that pie!

    • I came across this forum because I was looking for the name of a traditional Hawaiian dessert to try while I ame there in March/April, thank you Liz for suggesting the Village Bake Shop I will make sure I visit there. If anyone else can recommend where to get a fabulous specimen of this pie please let me know.

      • Hanalei is a great little town! I would suggest you also try the shave ice while there – get the traditional mix with macadamian nut ice cream. I think the Wishing well is probabaly the best!! Enjoy!!

  33. Pingback: Banana Cream Pie: The Cure to the End of Summer Blues « Sweet And Crumby

  34. have a coconut cream pie that is close to the infamous village bakery one? dying to have one like it here in cali.

  35. I can’t wait to try this. We get the Haupia Pie each time we’re in Kauai at the same shop! It’s delicious!!!

  36. I can’t wait to try this recipe! We have the Haupia Pie each time we’re in Kauai and this will be a great “Kauai” fix when we’re home!

  37. I made this and was sooo excited for it. When I cut into the pie, the crust was totally not cooperating with me…leaving me very sad. It was very hard and difficult to cut, maybe my slab of pie look very ugly and disassembled on my small plate. Any pointers?

    • Did you use rice flour? I do think that would make a difference. Also, I went back to the original recipe and it asks you to refrigerate the crust for an hour before baking. I will add that to my instructions although I did not do this for my pie and it was fine. Finally, I am wondering if you refrigerated the pie for enough time before serving? I will try to make it again soon and see if I can trouble shoot your question. Thank you for your feedback.

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