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Mai Tai Pie Earns Raves at Partytime

July 18, 1985|FERN STORER | Storer is a former food editor of the Cincinnati Post.

Mai Tai Pie is a cool summer dessert that would be appropriate for any party. Fresh lime and dark rum spark the flavor of crushed pineapple in a creamy filling in a golden coconut nest. Garnished with lime slices it looks pretty.

A friend shared the English Apple Pie recipe from a magazine. She adapted the recipe from the conventional oven to the microwave oven. Use it as a new crop of eating apples comes along. It will win raves as an old-fashioned classic.

MAI TAI PIE

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1 (7-ounce) package flake coconut

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 medium lime

1 egg, separated

1 (15 1/4-ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice

2 tablespoons dark rum

1/2 cup whipping cream

Melt butter in 9-inch pie plate at 50% power about 3 minutes. Remove plate from oven and add coconut, tossing with fork until thoroughly mixed. Spread evenly in pie plate. Do not try to shape it as crust or it will scorch in spots. Microwave on HIGH, uncovered, stirring every 1 1/2 minutes, until coconut is lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Coconut scorches easily and continues browning slightly on standing.

Cool 5 to 10 minutes, then spread coconut evenly against bottom and sides of pie plate, pressing down gently, but leaving slightly fluffy. Refrigerate until firm.

In 2-quart mix and pour bowl, combine 1/4 cup sugar, gelatin and salt. Cut lime in half, reserving half for garnish. Grate peel and squeeze juice from other half and add to sugar mixture along with egg yolk and pineapple with juice.

Microwave on HIGH, uncovered, 6 to 7 minutes, stirring every 1 1/2 minutes, until mixture is very hot and boiling around edges. Stir in rum. Let stand until partially cooled, then set bowl in larger bowl of ice water to hasten cooling. When mixture begins to thicken, remove bowl from water to prevent over-firming.

Beat egg white until soft mounds form, then gradually beat in remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Transfer beater to whipping cream and whip until stiff. Add meringue and whipped cream to pineapple mixture, folding gently with rubber spatula. Turn into chilled crust and refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving. (Pie can be made a day ahead.) Do not freeze.

To serve, run thin knife around sides, then use thin, flexible spatula to lift wedges to serving plates. Garnish with paper-thin lime slices. Makes 6 servings.

ENGLISH APPLE PIE

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans

2 large cooking apples, peeled and sliced (about 3 cups)

1/4 cup granulated sugar

Half and half

In small mixer bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar, flour, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and water until smooth. Stir in nuts. Spread apple slices to even depth in 8-inch pie plate. Combine granulated sugar with remaining cinnamon. Sprinkle over apples. Spoon batter over apples in 4 or 5 mounds, leaving center open. (Batter will spread together in cooking.)

Set pie plate on another inverted pie plate in microwave oven. Microvave on HIGH 4 to 5 minutes, giving plate half-turn after 2 minutes. Apples should be barely tender when tested with fork. Serve in bowls with half and half. Makes 6 servings.

Note: To double recipe, double all ingredients, use 9-inch pie plate and microwave on HIGH 5 to 6 minutes or until apples are barely tender.

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