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Coconut Cream Pie

November 11, 2011

I’ve learned something about coconut.  Just like rhubarb – you either love it or you hate it.  I’ve never met anyone who is ambivalent about coconut. And, for those coconut lovers – self included – this is truly one of the best recipes coconut cream pie I’ve ever found.  I made one for a good friend’s birthday who had someone else make one for her for the same birthday as well. She left the other one at the office for her employees to eat and took mine home so she wouldn’t have to share it with anyone except her husband.  She told me the reason she did was because mine was the best she’d ever tasted. And, I think she’s right.

I can’t take credit for the recipe development – and for the life of me – I can’t remember where/how I got this one.  All I know is that it is “double delicious” as my aunt would say. So, enjoy the calories – they’re worth it! 

COCONUT CREAM PIE

3 ¼ cups whole milk

¼ cup unsalted butter

3 eggs

1 2/3 cups sugar

½ cup cornstarch

1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

1 12 ounce thawed container of frozen whipped topping (optional) – or use the meringue recipe

¼ cup toasted coconut

1 10” baked deep dish pie shell (You can use the lard & vodka recipe for a pie crust from last week’s post.  It’ll fit in a 10” deep dish pie plate.)

In a large saucepan, combine milk and butter and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, sugar and cornstarch.  Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer
for 5 minutes.

Add half of egg mixture to hot milk, whisking well to prevent curdling.  When mixture is smooth
and thick, add remainder of egg mixture, whisking well.

Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and add vanilla, stirring to mix well.

Fill a large bowl with ice and add water to make an ice bath.  Transfer hot custard mixture to a stainless-steel bowl and set bowl over ice bath to cool to room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours.

When custard mixture has cooled and thickened, add coconut, stirring to mix well.  Spoon custard into a baked and cooled piecrust. Top with whipped topping OR meringue (see recipe below). Sprinkle with toasted coconut. To toast coconut, preheat oven to 350°, spread coconut on a cookie sheet, place in oven and bake for 5 – 8 minutes. Watch it as you want it a beautiful golden brown color – like caramel – and not burnt.

MERINGUE 

1 7 ounce jar of marshmallow crème

3 large egg whites, room temperature

1/8 tsp salt

¼ cup sugar

Position rack in top third of oven and preheat to 400.  Using rubber spatula, scrape marshmallow
crème into a large bowl.  In another large bowl, using electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt.  Add sugar, 1 tbsp. at a time and beat until stiff and glossy peaks form.  Add ½ cup beaten egg whites to marshmallow crème and stir with rubber spatula or spoon until just incorporated to lighten –marshmallow crème is very sticky and will be difficult to blend at first, but blending will become easier as remaining whites are folded in.  Fold in remaining whites in 2 additions just until incorporated. Spread meringue over top of cold pie, mounding slightly in center and swirling with knife to create peaks.

Bake pie just until peaks and ridges are lightly browned – about 4 minutes.  Let stand at room
temperature until meringue is cool.

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