This little list graced the computer desk for several years before we finally decided to make the pies - one for every month of the year. Since then it has continued, and we've made a different pie every month for the past 3 years. I plan to post our archived pie recipes once a week until we're caught up to the present... because the pies still continue this year!
|November 2012 - the pies continue!|
In January 2010, it was time for the big year of pies to begin. We started with coconut cream pie, something about which only my father was enthusiastic. (None of the rest of us like coconut very much, but we were pleasantly surprised by this pie!) Please excuse the lack of quality in the pictures, as I'm pleased to say that my photography has improved in the 3 years since these were taken.
It was totally new territory for me. I had no idea if it would congeal to the point of inedibility, if everyone would take a few bites before politely declining anymore, or if we would be poisoned, but looking back, I can say that this pie was pretty straightforward recipe. (Sorry, I have no idea where it came from!)
First of all, the pie crust needs to be baked by itself, since the filling will be cooked separately and chilled in the refrigerator. We used one of those frozen pie crusts from the grocery store since it was our first attempt, and it worked fine. It helps to poke holes all over the crust with a fork before putting it in the oven to prevent extra puffage. Then comes the fun part...
Basically everything - half and half, eggs, sugar, flour, salt - gets dumped into a pot where you cook it on the stovetop on low. And you wait... and wait... and wait... stirring... constantly stirring... until all of a sudden it's BUBBLING! I stood there stirring and thinking the worst for more than 30 minutes before it began boiling, so be patient.
After removing it from the heat, the next step is to add the coconut and vanilla. This was before we knew better - we have since used only real vanilla extract... we are not going back to the imitation stuff!
This was where I went wrong originally (though not with disastrous results). The original recipe said to chill the pie in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours. I was young and naive, the stirring had taken longer than expected, and I only gave it 2 and a half hours to harden.
It still tasted great, but it was a lot soupier than we would have liked. Since then we have learned that if a pie is going to be chilled, it had better be chilled overnight.
This turned out to be my dad's favorite pie, and though none of the rest of us were expecting it, not caring for coconut or cream pies in general, we really did enjoy the taste!
Coconut Cream Pie3 cups half-and-half
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup flaked coconut, toasted*
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 9-inch pie shell, baked
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
- In a medium saucepan, combine first 5 ingredients. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat, and stir in 3/4 cup of the coconut and the vanilla extract
- Pour into pie shell and chill 4 hours or until firm (best overnight).
- Top with whipped topping and remaining 1/4 cup coconut.