Introduction: Purple Rain Pie
As the Fall season is approaching, I am super excited to get back into my kitchen and start baking again. Summer was way too hot this year in CA to turn on the oven, but hopefully, the coming fall will help inspire some new baking recipes.
I love Fall. I look toward the beautiful streets fill with orange-yellow leaves, family gatherings, all the pumpkin-flavored drinks and snacks, and best of all the infinite amount of comfort food during Thanksgiving. I can't wait. To celebrate the coming of Fall here is a coconut taro pie recipe I created 3 years ago for Thanksgiving. This pie will not only surprises all the guests during this season but will soon become a yearly requested tradition.
Here is the printable link to the recipe.
To make a fluffy, creamy, and smooth taro pie, a blender is required. However, if you don't have a blender, I also included instructions on how to do it without a blender.
- ~1.5 lbs of taro, diced into ½” cubes
- 3/4 cup of white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1–14oz can coconut milk
- 3 eggs
- 1 pinch of salt
- 4 tbsp of flour
- 1 ½ cup of sweetened coconut flakes
- 3 tbsp of butter, melted
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- ½ cup of sweetened coconut flakes
- ¼ cup of thinly sliced almonds
- Pre-made whipped cream (or you can make your own)
Step 1: Taking Care of the Taro Root
Notes: When I refer to taro in this recipe, I am referring to the taro root that comes from a taro plant. You can find this root in the Asian store in the vegetable and freezer idles. The frozen ones are often already peeled. If you ended up using the frozen ones, just thaw until it is softened enough for dicing. Here is a quick link about what taro root is.
Peel the taro root using a peeler then dice them into small cubes. Put all the diced taro cubes into a pot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover all of the taro cubes. Bring the water to a boil. Cook the taro cubes until it is translucent and a knife can easily break it apart, about 15–20 minutes.
Step 2: The Simplest Pie Crust
While waiting for the taro cubes to cook, make the pie crust.
Preheat oven to 325̇⁰F.
Into a mixing bowl, add the coconut flakes, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Mix well and pour into a 9” pie dish. Press firmly and evenly distribute the mixture onto the bottom of the pie dish.
Bake the crust at 325̇⁰F for 25–30minutes or until golden brown. Once baked, remove and set it aside.
Step 3: The Filling
Drain cooked taro and discard the starchy water.
For a smoother texture, add the cooked taro and the rest of the filling ingredients into a blender. Blend until the texture is smooth.
Put into a bowl and mash it up well with a potato masher. Add in the sugar and vanilla extract. Keep on mashing until everything is well mashed up. There should still be some chunks left, which is fine. Those chunks will give a nice bite to the pie. Once all the taro cubes are mash, add in the coconut milk and eggs. Mix up really well, then add in the salt and flour. Mix up until the batter is smooth.
Step 4: Baking Time
Pour the taro filling mixture into the pie. Increase the oven temperature to 350⁰F. Once the oven is preheated to 350 ⁰F, bake the pie for 45 min — 1hr. The pie is cooked when the middle no longer jiggles.
Remove the pie and let it cool at room temperature. This is the hard part, but trust me the cooling step is important for that whipped cream topping.
While waiting for the pie to cool, toast the ½ cup of sweetened coconut flakes in a non-stick pan. To do this, put the coconut flakes into a nonstick pan and cook it under medium heat. The key is to constantly stir the coconut flakes to evenly distribute the heat and get that nice golden toasted color.
Step 5: The Last Touch
Top the pie with thinly sliced almonds and toasted coconut flakes. Using a star piping tip, cover the edges of the pie with whipped cream like the image above. For pre-made whipped can inside of a can (for example, Reddi Whipped), no need to use the star piping tip.
Step 6: Tips and Tricks
For those who don’t know how to clean up taro
Remove the skin with a peeler or use a sharp knife. Then dice into 1" cubes. I would recommend using sharp knife. However, this waste more taro than using a peeler, but it is a little safer. While handling taro, I would recommend that you don’t get your hands wet. If your hands are wet, taro can get very slippy to deal with. In addition, working with taro with wet hand can make your hand itchy. Not sure whether I am just allergic to it, but this is what my grandma taught me and trust me it does get itchy.
Why taro and not ube?
The reason I used taro instead of ube was because Vietnamese coconut taro dessert called Chè Khoai Môn is one of my favorite dish. This is a sweet dessert dish made of sticky rice and chunks of cooked taro topped with coconut cream. Sometimes, it also comes with tapioca balls stuffed with taro filling. However, ube would works for this recipe as well. Give it a try if you can find fresh ube around your grocery store and leave me a comment down below. So…what are the differences between ube and taro? Ube is purple yam and taro is a root that has a light purple color, more of a lavender purple color. Ube has a very dark purple color and tarol color is more of a like pale purple. Ube is often used in filipino desserts and Taro is more commonly used in Chinese and Vietnamese savory and sweet dishes. Both taro and ube have different texture and flavor. Ube has more of a nutty flavor while taro has more of a starchy flavor. If you ever goes out and get a purple yam dessert, it is more likely that ube was used to make that dessert. Taro root can be found in small and large sizes. The small ones have less of a purple color and are often used in hot pot. Large taro has a stronger purple color. Taro leaves if you are curious are also edible. They are use as a wrap similar to corn husk. One famous dim sum dish that used taro leaves are known as Lo Mai Gai, a chinese sticky rice dish stuffed with mushroom, pork, sausage, eggs, etc…wrapped inside of a taro leaf. Apparently, there is also another type of purple yam/root. It is known as Okinawan sweet potato, often used in Japanese cuisine.
Can I used a different pie crust?
Feel free to use any pie crust of your choice. This coconut pie taste really good with pre-made pie crust. My favorite one are Trader Joe’s pie crust. I have also tried this recipe with a graham cracker crust and it turns out really good.
Participated in the
Kitchen Skills Challenge