Pina Colada Mousse Pie
6 to 8 servings
1 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (about 1 1/3 packets)
Scant 2/3 cup frozen (thawed) pineapple juice concentrate
1 15- or 16-ounce can cream of coconut, such as Loco Lopez brand (do not use coconut milk)
1 1/2 tablespoons light or dark rum, preferably coconut flavored, optional
1 1/3 cups heavy (whipping) cream, well chilled
1 9-inch by 1 1/2-inch (not deep-dish) fully baked pastry pie shell or baked graham cracker pie crust
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded or flaked coconut, toasted,* optional garnish
Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water in a small cup. Let stand until the gelatin softens, stirring once or twice, about 5 minutes. In a medium non reactive saucepan, bring the pineapple juice to a full boil and boil 1 minute; don’t skip this step as undercooked pineapple will keep the gelatin from setting. Remove from the heat. Stir the gelatin mixture into the saucepan until the gelatin completely dissolves. Stir in the cream of coconut and rum, if using, until well blended and completely smooth.
Set the saucepan in a large bowl of cold water and ice cubes. Cool, whisking occasionally and scraping the bowl sides and bottom, until the mixture is partially jelled but not completely set, about 12 to 15 minutes.
In a deep, medium-sized bowl, beat the cream to firm peaks. Whisk the whipped cream into the pineapple mixture just until no white streaks remain. Continue chilling the mousse in the ice water about 3 to 5 minutes, whisking occasionally until it is thick enough to mound slightly. Spoon it into the cooled pie shell, mounding slightly. Generously sprinkle the top with cooled, toasted coconut, if desired. Refrigerate, covered, until the mousse sets, at least 1 1/2 hours and up to 3 days.
The slices cut best with a large sharp knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry between cuts.
*To toast the coconut: Spread the coconut in a large rimmed baking sheet. Toast in a preheated 350-degree oven, stirring every 3 to 4 minutes, until nicely browned and fragrant. Let cool completely before using.
This pie is downright addictive! The secret to the intense pineapple flavor and lovely creamy texture of the mousse is in using frozen pineapple juice concentrate, which is also a very convenient product. If you prefer to omit the rum, the pie will still be delicious, though not a true pina coloda pie, of course! It’s also alright to omit the toasted coconut garnish, but I think this adds nice crunch and extra coconut flavor.