Friday, April 29, 2011

Foodie Friday - Coconut Cream Pie

Oh my!  I think this is my most favorite dessert.  (ok, ok, I admit it...they all are!)   When I was a little girl, I lived with my grandmother for awhile.  She used to "go to town" every Saturday and every Saturday we would stop at a little diner that had the most wonderful coconut cream pie.  My grandmother would always ask me what I wanted even though she knew what I would choose. 

There it sat in all it's creamy, chewy, crunchy glory under a big glass dome. Coconut Cream Pie!  I'd climb onto a red plastic covered stool at the counter and watch the waitress lift that big glass cover, never taking my eyes off that dreamy pie for fear she'd drop it. 

I've made this version of it as long as long as I've been married (that's a long time!)   Yes, I have a stand with a big glass dome for it to sit under.  Protected, secure until it's time for dessert.  

 It's our oldest son's favorite dessert as well.  We prefer ours with real whipped cream but if you love meringue, I've included one for you.   Enjoy! 

Coconut Cream Pie

1 baked pie shell (Perfect Pie Crust recipe here)

2/3 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
2 1/2 c. lukewarm milk (whole is best but 2% works)
3 eggs, separated
4 T. plus 2 t. cornstarch
1/2 c. cold milk
1 t. real unsalted butter (no substitutes)
1 t. vanilla
2 T. flaked coconut plus 3/4 - 1 c. more, for top (if using whipped cream to top, toast coconut separately)

1.  Combine sugar and salt in a saucepan.  Stir in the 2 1/2 c. lukewarm milk.
2.  Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl; stir in some the the warm milk mixture.
3.  Pour the egg yolk/milk mixture into the saucepan and heat to boiling.
4.  Mix the cornstarch into the 1/2 c. cold milk, making sure the mixture is smooth.  Stir into the hot milk    mixture  and cook until it boils and thickens, stirring constantly.
5.  Remove from heat, stir in butter and vanilla.
6.  Cover with waxed paper, pressing it onto the top of the pudding to prevent a "skin" from developing as it cools.  When cool, stir in the 2 T. of coconut, stir very gently to mix.

Cover with meringue or chill until serving time and served with fresh whipped cream and toasted coconut.

If you love meringue, this one is really good.


3 egg whites
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. cream of tartat
4 T. granulated sugar
3/4 - 1 C. flaked coconut

1.  Beat egg whites until foamy.  Add salt and cream of tartar.  Continue beating until peaks hold their shape.
2.  Add sugar, one T. at a time, beating constantly until dissolved. 
3.  Pile on pie,making sure to pull the meringue to the edges of the crust to prevent weeping.
4.  Sprinkle with coconut,  place in preheated 325 degree oven for 20-30 minutes or until browned.

The best tutorial on meringue can be found here if you've never made it before and are a bit nervous.  Note:  Be sure it's a dry day because humidity can destroy a meringue making it sticky...we live in the tropics so whipped cream is safer (and oh so yummy!)

Enjoy...and save me a piece if you make it.  :-)

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