Coconut Cream vs. Cream of Coconut (always read your labels!)

Because I did not have a good picture of a slice of my new favorite of all the pies – Coconut Cream Pie with Macaroon Crust – I decided to make another one with the express purpose of taking a ton of pictures for use in the blog. I had also asked a friend to do a little work on our house in exchange for a pie and he and his wife asked for the Coconut Cream Pie with Macaroon Crust. Bonus!

In my pantry, I had a can of 14 oz can of Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream, which I used in the recipe described in my blog post. I also had a 15 oz can of Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut. Since I was making 1 pie to give away and 1 pie to eat, I decided to use the 15 oz can for my own pie and the 14 oz can for my friend.

Coconut Cream vs. Cream of Coconut. No difference, right?

Everything was going great – I prepped and baked the crusts together. I melted and painted the chocolate into each. When the time came to make the filling, I started with the Trader Joe’s can. Everything was looking great… then I opened the Coco Lopez can. Instead of seeing creaming white coconut cream, there was a golden brownish syrup with whitish globs. In retrospect, nothing about the contents of that can looked good. I probably should have stopped there but this was a pie for me so it was going to be fine… I thought.

Each of the fillings went into their respective crusts, were covered with a layer of plastic then placed in the refrigerator to gel overnight.

The next afternoon, I whipped the cream and crumbled the bark for each pie. When I went to remove the cellophane, the plastic on the Trader Joe’s cream pie came off cleanly. On the Coco Lopez pie, the plastic pulled up a layer of the coconut cream. This filling had not solidified at all. Ack! I was suddenly VERY glad that I was not giving this pie to my friend.

The Trader Joe's pie filling... PERFECT!
The Coco Lopez pie filling... GOOPY

I placed the bark and whipped cream on both pies and put them back in the refrigerator.

I confidently handed the pie to my friend. A few hours later, I less confidently cut into the Coco Lopez pie. The beautiful pie wedges I dreamed of were not going to happen with this pie. It was oozy. So, so oozy.

Oh well, I thought… I’ll just have to try again. But I was bothered. Why didn’t this pie work. So I looked at the labels of my 2 coconut cream products.

23566

Okay - 170 calories isn't great. There is A LOT of fat (16g), but it's the good fat, 2g of sugar, that's good. I can read the names of most of the ingredients. What about Coco Lopez?

23565

Okay - 130 calories... uh, that's better, low in fat... 20g of sugar. Wait, WHAT’S WITH ALL THE SUGAR!?!!?

I finished my oozy slice of pie and my stomach immediately began to hurt. Seriously… all that sugar?! Where I usually subtract sugar from my recipes, in this one, I had inadvertently doubled the sugar. Ugh.

Is there anything worse than having to throw away a Coconut Cream pie? No. No… there isn’t… unless you’re serving it to other people – which I was not (thankfully!).

So today’s lesson is always, always, always read the labels of your ingredients. The fewer additives in your ingredients, the better you can control the amount of ingredients you do not necessarily need a lot of (sugar, salt, etc.).

Guess I’ll have to get my photograps of this pie another day. And oh, darn I have to make this pie again. (hee hee hee!!!)


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