|At Matsumoto on the north shore in 2008|
You would never it know by looking at him but my Photographer was born and raised in Hawaii. He's a surf-loving, spam-eating, cold-weather-hating Hawaiian to the core which means that I have actually married a foreigner. They will tell you that Hawaii is a part of the United States but I am telling you that it is a totally different country down there.
When Aaron gets together with his friends they speak a different language. Sure, it vaguely resembles English but that junk is not English. They serve spam, eggs and rice as a breakfast option at McDonald's and you can get sushi at the gas station. People will kiss you hello and goodbye which will be really awkward for you if you're not expecting it (I think it's kind of nice now that I know it's coming). A lot of places only give you chopsticks and you have to request a fork if you're not coordinated enough to eat your gyoza without one.
There has been some food related culture clash in our marriage over the years but, for the most part, I've learned to accept and love the things he has brought in. We eat a lot of rice. Sometimes there is spam in the house. And for major holidays (and sometimes just for kicks) we have chocolate haupia pie.
I never much cared for coconut until this pie entered my life via my first Hawaiian Thanksgiving. I am now a coconut convert and look forward to this pie just as much as my haole husband does.
Chocolate Haupia Pie
adapted slightly from here
1 nine inch unbaked pie crust (I like PW's but store-bought works too). If you can, you'll want to go with a slightly deeper crust for this one.
1 cup milk
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water
scant 1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup white sugar
Prick pie crust with a fork and bake at 350 for 15 minutes (or according to package instructions if you went with the store bought option) or until golden brown. Let cool.
In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, coconut milk and 1 cup sugar. In a separate bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in water. Bring coconut mixture to a boil. Reduce to simmer and slowly whisk in the cornstarch. Continue stirring mixture over low heat. It will thicken pretty immediately but you'll want to keep stirring and cooking for 2-3 minutes total (if it doesn't set up right, you probably didn't cook it long enough).
Pour half the coconut mixture into the pie shell and stick in the refrigerator. While it sets for a few minutes, melt the chocolate chips (in a glass bowl in the microwave or in a double boiler. Whichever works for you) and the chocolate into the remaining half of the coconut mixture.
Gently pour the chocolate mixture over the coconut mixture. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Whip the cream with the sugar until stiff peaks form. Slather over pie and enjoy!