Paula's Pie Project Blog

52 different pies in 52 weeks

Pie #01- Coconut Cream Pie January 3, 2010

January 1, 2010

I am starting my project with Coconut Cream Pie. Personally, I am not a real fan of coconut, but what the heck!  Never made it, never tried it, so maybe I will become a coconut convert.  And to honor my beloved mother, Jan, I will begin this pie with her recipe for the pie pastry. I love you Mom!

JAN MOM’S PIE PASTRY

  • 1 cup flour + 2 tablespoons
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup Crisco vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons cold water

Mix flour, salt and oil with a fork. Add water and form into a ball. Roll between two pieces of wax paper. Peel top layer of wax paper off and flip other layer of wax paper and rolled dough onto a 9″ pie pan. Form decorative crust. (Poke holes around rim of crust if single). Bake for 12-14 minutes at 400° or until golden brown if recipe asks for a “baked pastry shell”. Cool on a wire rack.

Personal Notes:

  • Mom always uses Crisco. I don’t. I have been using no-brand canola oil instead.
  • Using wax paper on the pastry roll-out is my Mom’s technique and so far it is the only way I have made a pie crust. I can tell you from experience, the dough rolling can sometimes be a bit tricky. First, make sure your counter is clean. Then place a couple tablespoons of water on your countertop and spread it evenly where you will be placing the bottom layer of wax paper. (Make sure you cut your pieces of wax paper larger than the diameter of your pie plate.) Place the bottom piece of wax paper on the now watered counter and smooth out the wrinkles of the paper.  Smash your dough ball all into a doughnut shape and then place it on your bottom piece of wax paper. Your top piece of wax paper goes next. Grab your rolling-pin and roll away. Say a couple of cuss words! But be patient.  Sometimes during the early rolls, the top wax paper doesn’t stay put and moves a little. Once you get the dough rolled flatter, the top piece of wax paper stays more in place.

COCONUT CREAM PIE FILLING (this comes out of my red and white checked Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book, ©1989)

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 cup flaked coconut

For filling, in a medium sauce pan, combine sugar and flour. Gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium high heat until mixture is thick and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Separate egg yolks from whites; set whites aside for meringue (see recipe below). Beat egg yolks slightly with a fork. Gradually stir about a cup of hot filling into the yolks. Return all to saucepan; bring to a gentle boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in butter, vanilla and flaked coconut. Pour the hot filling into a baked pastry shell (see recipe above). Evenly spread the meringue over the hot filling; seal to edge. Bake in a 350° oven for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill to store. Makes 8 servings.

MERINGUE FOR PIE (this also comes out of my red and white checked Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book, ©1989)

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flaked coconut

Bring egg whites to room temperature. In a mixing bowl combine egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or until soft peaks form. Gradually add in sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating at high-speed about 5 minutes till stiff, glossy peaks form. Immediately spread meringue over pie, carefully sealing to edge of pastry to prevent shrinkage. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of flaked coconut over meringue before baking. Bake as directed in pie recipe above.

Personal Notes:

  • Be sure you make your pie pastry first so that you have something to put your hot filling into. Hopefully, that was implied, but if not, thus the note.
  • I pretty much followed the above recipes word for word, except when it came to final baking time.  My oven tends to run hot, so I  baked my coconut cream pie for 12 minutes at 335 °, so that the top meringue did not burn. It baked to a nice brown.

The Finished Product!

I took this pie to a  New Year’s day party at our dear friends the O’Brien’s and it was a huge hit!  Most of the people in the group had never before tasted a coconut cream pie. And everyone who had a piece said they loved it.  As for me, I am still not a huge fan of coconut. I am holding out for Chocolate Cream pie in the months ahead. 🙂

One pie down, fifty-one to go!  Stay tuned.

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