Maybe you’re wondering if I love you. The answer is a firm “maybe.” A good hint would be that if you get hurt and are feeling kind of bummed and are just hanging around the house alone, I make you a pie and bring it to you and sit on your couch and watch Nashville with you.
A couple days ago, I promised that I would share a few things my grandma taught me how to do. I meant to get this to you yesterday, but, you know, Nashville. The particular coconut cream pie recipe that I will share with you after the jump is well regarded to be the alpha and omega of coconut cream pies. I will let you be the judge.
So the first thing you’re going to do is assemble your ingredients, and I showed you those on your previous page. If you’re not a genius at just eyeballing 4 tablespoons of cornstarch and then guessing what to do after that, here’s a recipe.
Coconut Cream Pie
1 pie shell (recipe below, because seriously, if you ain’t making your own pie crust, you are ruining everything. Feel free to use your pie crust recipe if you want)
3/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 heaping tablespoon of flour
3 cups whole milk
3 eggs, divided (that’s where these little ramekins come in super handy)
8 ounces coconut, divided (sweet or unsweet, your call. My grocery only had sweet that day.)
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract (or banana extract if you have it but WHO HAS THAT? You’re my hero)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
What to do:
Bake your crust according to however you do it. If you are me, you do 425 for 15 minutes covered in foil, and then 5-10 without the foil. You know what? Do that. Just do that. Let it cool off a little.
In a fairly large sauce pan, put 3/4 cup sugar, salt, cornstarch, and flour all together. Mix those up, the turn your heat on to medium. Mix in the milk a little at a time.
Stir without ceasing. Stir more than maybe you think you should. The mixture will thicken, then you boil it for one minute. People ask me sometimes what that means, and it seriously is like the “turgid member” moment in a romance novel. All of the sudden, it’s just sort of challenging to stir, and that’s when you know you’re where you wanna go. Below is what it will look like at this point. Pull it off the heat at the one minute mark.
Now, you’re going to temper your egg yolks. Tempering is not a joke. I skipped it once, and I ended up with scrambled eggs in my batter. Please. Do. Not. Skip. This. Step. Take a spoonful of the hot stuff, and stir it in with your yolks. Do it again. Again. Again. A little at a time. Eventually, you’ll have more of the mixture than yolk, which is when you can dump that in to the rest of the stuffs. Bring everything to a boil again and do that for one more minute. Remove from heat and add the butter, 7 or so ounces of coconut, vanilla, and almond (or hero status banana) extract to the mixture. Stir it all up until it is uniform and lovely, then put it in your pie shell that you made from scratch because you love the people you’re cooking for.
Okay, so that part is done. Pop that sucker in the fridge for about 2 hours. I put mine on the back porch because it is 23 degrees in Louisville right now and I didn’t want to waste the fridge space. You can do what you want with this time, but I did my nails, went for a run, showered, and made invitations for a party. After about…1:45 or so, I advise you to start on what is really the only part of this you can mess up.
Get your egg whites and cream of tartar and mix those together really well. Mix in, a bit at a time, the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar and beat that until it’s stiff and glossy. This is my least favorite description of this, but it’s accurate. You’ll know it when you see it. Toast the coconut you have remaining on the stove or in your toaster oven, but watch it, because it burns SO. FAST. Now! Get the pie out, pour the egg white mixture on top (work from the outside in to avoid “weeping”, as my grandmother’s recipe states. I did not do this and paid the price dearly), then sprinkle with coconut.
Okay, there you have it! It’s real good. I don’t love custardy pies like this, and I love this pie. If you are my injured friend, you will eat three slices (!) of it in one sitting. So what do you think? Do you have any beloved recipes from your forebears?