1 (9-inch) cookie or graham cracker crumb crust (recipe follows)
1 (15-1/4) ounce can of crushed pineapple, in juice
1/4 cup rum or coconut-flavored rum*
1 teaspoon rum extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1 small package Knox unflavored gelatin
3 (pasteurized) large eggs, separated*
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 pound (16-ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut, toasted (directions for toasting follow)
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts (optional)
Drain pineapple, reserving 1/2 cup of juice; set pineapple aside. In a small saucepan, over low heat, combine pineapple juice and rum. *(If you don't want to use, use an additional 1/4 cup of pineapple juice.) Sprinkle gelatin into liquid and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside. In another saucepan, whisk together 3 egg yolks with sugar, salt and coconut milk. Over low heat, stir constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove milk mixture from heat and whisk in gelatin mixture until combined; set aside. In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer, on medium speed, beat cream cheese until smooth. Turn mixer speed to low and gradually beat in milk/gelatin mixture. Fold in reserved pineapple. Refrigerate mixture until thickened, about 2 hours. While mixture is thickening, beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into chilled cream cheese mixture. Pour into pie shell and sprinkle with toasted coconut and macadamia nuts. Makes one (9-inch) pie.
Kitchen Ade Note: Separate eggs while cold, but whip whites after they have reached room temperature. An egg will reach room temperature approximately 30 minutes after it has been removed from the refrigerator.
How to toast coconut: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay coconut in a single layer on a cookie sheet with a rim. Bake coconut for 5 minutes, then stir coconut, and bake for 5 more minutes; stir again. Continue to bake/stir coconut until desired color is reached. (Watch coconut closely to avoid over browning or burning.)
Once coconut is toasted to desired color, immediately transfer coconut to a cool cookie sheet to cool.
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