Last week’s Magic Vanilla Custard Squares proved so popular they were in demand all week long. I think we went through something like three batches. Perfect for sharing which goes to show that old fashioned recipes are definitely the best. In amongst the repeated requests for an encore bake, I was reminded of an Australian recipe for the quaintly named Impossible Pie. Made by our nannas generations ago using their staple pantry ingredients of butter, sugar, eggs, milk, flour and of course dessicated coconut ; a necessary ingredient for our iconic Anzac biscuits. Tropically flavoured in the summer and autumn months with passionfruit plucked straight from backyard vines. Frugal and delicious
Impossible Pie. A half forgotten treat. So named not because the recipe is complicated but because the batter impossibly separates into two layers – crunchy coconut sponge blanketing a moist soft passionfruit custard centre. The original nanna certified recipe didn’t call for separating of the eggs into whites and yolks. In fact all the ingredients were simply added to a large ceramic mixing bowl and beaten (most likely with a wooden spoon) until well incorporated before being poured into a greased baking dish or pie tin. Simple, practical and delicious.
With a beckoning supply of seasonal passionfruit spilling out of my fruit bowl Passionfruit and Coconut Impossible Pie was suddenly on my baking agenda. Reading the ingredient list it struck me that Impossible Pie was a uniquely Australian interpretation of the Magic Custard Squares we had enjoyed all week. So here is my version of Passionfruit and Coconut Impossible Pie; a variation of the Magic Custard Squares. While my team of teenage taste testers adored both, the passionfruit and coconut combination definitely had a slight edge in their true blue Aussie opinion. The topping crunchier and the filling lighter and definitely more tangy. For the record placing all the ingredients into one large bowl and beating them until well combined also works and is equally as delicious. Although if extra lightness, height and fluffiness is what you’re after separating the eggs is definitely a necessity.
Passionfruit And Coconut Impossible Pie
1/2 cup (125g) melted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plain flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 1/3 cups (335 ml) lukewarm milk
pulp and juice of 4 fresh passionfruit (about 1/2 cup or 125ml)
icing sugar, for dusting
PREHEAT oven to 150 C fan-forced. Line a 20cm x 20cm square tin with baking paper and set aside.
SEPARATE the egg yolks from the whites. In a large, clean, dry bowl beat the whites with a good pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks. Set aside.
IN ANOTHER bowl, beat the egg yolks with sugar until light and fluffy.
ADD melted butter and passionfruit, beat well to combine.
ADD the flour, coconut and lukewarm milk at low speed until just incorporated.
USING a spatula gently fold the egg whites through the batter.
POUR into prepared tin. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes in a preheated oven until light and golden with a fluffy crust.
COOL and serve sliced into squares with a generous dusting of sifted icing sugar over the top.