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My girls have developed an obsession with coconut cream pie. We’ve ordered it in restaurants and gotten it frozen in the grocery store. I thought it was high time that I tackled a homemade version for the blog.

This was my first attempt at meringue and I’m quite proud of myself. But as I watched Babs, my KitchenAid mixer, deftly whipping egg whites into stiff peaks of loveliness, my arms ached in sympathy for those historic cooks, including my grandmother, who has no mechanical help. God bless them.

I got this recipe out of the Century Cook Book, published in 1895, by Mary Ronald. I downloaded a free copy on my Kindle-you should too! (And they spelled it Cocoanut. I wonder when they dropped the “a”?)

The pie was delicious-creamy and really pretty.

Ingredients
• 1 pie crust
• Two cups plus two tablespoons of milk
• 4 eggs, separated into whites and yolks
• ¼ cup plus three tablespoons of sugar
• Two tablespoons of corn starch
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 ½ cup of shredded coconut
• ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

Instructions
Bake the pie crust and set aside to cool. If you want to make one from scratch, here’s my easy recipe. Just bake it at 350 for about 15 minutes or until slightly brown.

To make the filling, beat three of the egg yolks together with the sugar in small bowl and set aside.

Mixed together

Mixed together

Moisten the cornstarch with the two tablespoons of milk in a small bowl and set aside. Whip two of the egg whites to frothing stage and set aside.

Heat the two cups of milk in a saucepan over medium-high heat until it’s boiling. Boil for five minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Reduce the heat for a moment or two, then add the yolk-sugar mixture. Keep stirring to prevent the eggs from cooking.

Add the cornstarch mixture and stir until the filling is thickened.

Add the vanilla and the frothy egg whites.

Egg whites and vanilla added to creamy milk mixture.

Egg whites and vanilla added to creamy milk mixture.

Cook one minute on medium heat. Pour the mixture into another bowl and set aside to cool at least a half an hour.

The creamy filling ready to be cooled.

The creamy filling ready to be cooled.

Once the filling is cooled, stir in one cup of the shredded coconut.

Here's where it gets good!

Here’s where it gets good!

Put the two remaining egg whites in a small bowl and brush the bottom of the baked pie crust with the whites. You won’t use much. Set aside the remaining egg white for your meringue.
Sprinkle the pie crust with the remaining coconut.

Coconut sprinkled along the pie crust bottom

Coconut sprinkled along the pie crust bottom

Pour the filling over the top.

The filling is now in the crust!

The filling is now in the crust!

To make the meringue, beat the two remaining egg whites until soft peaks form. Add cream of tartar and beat. Add the sugar, very slowly, beating on medium high speed constantly until still peaks form. Spread meringue over the filling and sprinkles with a little coconut.

It's ready to be browned!

It’s ready to be browned!

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Set your pie in the oven, with the rack on the highest level, and let it there for about five minutes or until the meringue just begins to brown. You might want to really watch it the first time you do this to make sure you don’t burn the meringue.

Finished!

Finished!

Once it’s brown, remove the pie and refrigerate until serving!

Time to dig in!

Time to dig in!

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