Put The Pie With The Coconut And Eat It All Up

E’s grandma has a birthday coming up soon. Since we are of the frugal variety of people and we couldn’t figure out what to buy her, we just decided to whip something up in the kitchen. (By we, I mean me, at E’s urging.) So after an investigative phone call, he reported in. Coconut Creme Pie is her favorite dessert. Lucky for her, it was also my Nana’s favorite and I happen to have a wonderful Coconut Creme Pie recipe from my Mammaw Mask (my mom’s (Sandy) mom’s (Nana) mom (Mammaw Mask)). It is good. I don’t even like coconut (it has something to do with the texture) and I ate this (for posterity) and I liked it (no lie).

When my mom sent me the recipe she included a cute little anecdote about how during my first Christmas, they made six of these pies for dessert. Apparently it was a good thing because they forgot to take the innards out of the turkey and it was still frozen when it came time for dinner! She said all they had to eat were sides and Coconut Creme Pies. When it was all said and done, it took about two days for the turkey to cook and my mom still ended up taking home four pies. I just know they forgot about the innards in the turkey because they were all too preoccupied by my supreme cuteness. I guess that makes the entire fiasco partly my fault…oh well!

I asked her if I liked it then:

Ok, so she was right in the last message…I did try it and I did like it. Although I had to go floss after eating because I felt like I was growing coconut between my teeth!

After listening to my story, I’m sure you want to see how I made this fabulous pie. Here we go:

This is the infamous recipe. Keep it handy, you will need it for reference.

Mammaw Mask’s Coconut Creme Pie Recipe:

2 C Milk

1 C Cream

1 C Sugar

3 T Flour

1 t Vanilla

1 ½ C Dried, Shredded Coconut

½ Stick Butter

3 Egg Yolks

1 Pie Crust (You could make your own, but it was 9 pm and I was not about to get into that so I used store bought.)

Directions:   Heat milk and cream until almost boiling, add flour and sugar mixture.  Stir until thick.  Add Vanilla. Whisk Egg Yolks and remove from heat. Add yolks while stirring consantly. It is helpful to have someone add the yolks while you stir. Add coconut and butter. Continue to stir until butter is melted and coconut is thouroughly mixed in and pour into a ready baked crust.

You may top with extra coconut and toast it lightly or use the egg whites, cream of tartar and a small amout of sugar and beat together until they form peaks, cover with the meringue and lightly brown.

The meringue recipe I used (it came from eHow) is as follows because my mom’s instructions were a wee bit vague to my non-meringue making mind:

3 Egg whites

½ t Vanilla

¼ t Cream of Tartar (We had the hardest time finding this! All we could find was the huge spice bottle!)

7 T Sugar

In a large mixing bowl add the first 3 ingredients. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium speed for a minute or two, until soft peaks form. (Soft peaks will be thick when you pick up the mixer, but they will fall back down into the meringue when you stop beating them.)

Add the sugar to the meringue 1 tablespoon at a time, while beating on high speed. Mix until the meringue forms stiff peaks and all of the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes or so. (Stiff peaks will stand up straight when you pick up the mixture and they will not fall down. You will know you did it correctly if you can turn the bowl upside down and nothing falls out. Jamie Oliver taught me that!)

Spread the meringue over the hot pie, making sure to carefully seal the edges. This prevents the meringue for shrinking and helps keep it from “weeping” around the edges.

Pop the pie into the oven for about 10-15 minutes at 350°. The meringue should be lightly browned.

Here are some pictures of my experience making this pie!

My ingredients:

First, while my crust was baking and my egg whites were coming to room temperature, I lightly toasted some of the extra coconut on a baking sheet for about 3 minutes at 35o° so I could make the topping extra pretty!

As you can see, my first attempt was an utter failure because I forgot it was in the oven! Yikes! The second time, I watched that coconut like a mama bird!

This is my baked crust:

This is E helping me while I stirred the pie filling. He is the pour-er.

After I got the filling finished and poured into the crust, I made the meringue. Here is the proof that it was done:

As you can see, I hang my recipes by tape on my cabinets so they don’t get messy while I’m cooking…pretty nifty if I do say so myself, and I do.

This was the finished product:

A Bonus:

This is my favorite little sugar jar. It was my MeMe’s (my mom’s dad’s mom). This post was pretty much an homages to almost all of the grandma’s in my life. I will post sometime about how to make a chocolate pie based on my Meemaw’s (my dad’s mom) recipe.

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