Friday, June 22, 2012

Coconut Cream Pie

My first slice of coconut cream pie was in a small town restaurant in Missouri over twenty years ago. I don't remember anything we ate from that trip except that pie. Still, it wasn't until about five years ago when I started craving cream pies. Suddenly, I couldn't get enough of it. Still can't.

It may not look like much, but I swear it tastes really good. How can you go wrong with custard, whipped cream, and toasted coconut flakes? To ensure that it tastes extra coconutty, I added some coconut milk to this Old Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie recipe from All Recipes. I also favor graham cracker crusts over traditional pie shells for cream pies. Click on the link below to see these tweaks.

Old Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 4 Hours 50 Minutes
Servings: 8

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
1-1/2 cups half-and-half + 1-1/2 coconut milk
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9 inch) pie shell, baked or crumb crust*
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed heavy cream

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2) Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake it, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.

3) In a medium saucepan, combine the half-and-half, coconut milk, eggs, sugar, flour and salt and mix well.

4) Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly.

5) Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in 3/4 cup of the toasted coconut and the vanilla extract.

6) Reserve the remaining coconut to top the pie.

7) Pour the filling into the pie shell and chill until firm, about 4 hours.

8) Place metal mixing bowl in freezer until it's cold.

9) Pour heavy cream into cold mixing bowl. You may place this bowl into a larger bowl filled with some ice and water to make sure that the mixing bowl stays cold.

10) Beat heavy cream with a whisk until soft peaks form.

11) Top with whipped topping and with the reserved coconut.

For crumb-crust:
1 1/2 cups (5 oz) finely ground graham crackers
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (add more, if too dry)
1/8 teaspoon salt

Make crumb crust:
1) Preheat oven to 350°F. 
2) Stir together crust ingredients and press a heaping teaspoon onto bottom of pie pan
3) Fill right away or chill up to 2 hours.

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