203: Coconut Cream Pie
When I decided to make pie for the last potluck I went to, I bought a premade graham cracker crust, just in case I wanted to use it to save time. It ended up not going with that fruit pie I made, but I didn’t want to have to store it somewhere. The only recipe I found in my 2000 Betty Crocker Cookbook that said it took a graham cracker crust was this Coconut Cream Pie recipe.
I accidentally broke the first yolk I tried to separate, so I put in the whole egg. [I freeze my egg whites because I intend to make some sort of angel food cake someday, but I know that bits of egg yolks in them will prevent the egg whites from whipping up properly. Or so everything I’ve ever read has said.] My second egg white also looked like it would be contaminated, so I decided to use 2 eggs instead of 4 egg whites.
I used 1% milk. Everything I’ve read said you should use whole milk for cooking, and at the very least 2% milk. I had some fears that this would make my pie runny.
This recipe says that the total “cook time” should be 15 minutes. I took more like 30. I wonder if what I consider “medium” heat is actually “medium-low.” Even so, the milk mixture eventually bubbled constantly, as did the final mixture. Although cooking the custard wasn’t difficult, it definitely required a little patience. It also helps that I’ve made some custards before, so I knew how thick I wanted to cook the mixture and I knew that it would take a while.
This pie was delicious. I cooked it long enough that the filling was perfectly thick, not runny, even though I used 1% milk. This had a very intense flavor. I thought it was very vanilla-y – after all, it is vanilla custard with coconut mixed it – but it still tasted of coconut, too. Honestly, I’ve never actually had coconut cream pie other than this, but this one makes me want to make another one!
Overall, I’m incredibly satisfied with this pie. I’d definitely make this recipe again after my year of recipes is up, and it would probably become a go-to recipe for me. That said, I do want to try another pie recipe with a heavier coconut focus, perhaps one that takes coconut milk.
- 2 large whole eggs or 4 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1 cup sweetened whipped cream or cool whip
Prepare any baked crust. Beat egg yolks with fork in medium bowl. In 2-quart saucepan, mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir one minute.
Immediately stir half of the hot mixture gradually into the egg yolks, then stir back into hot mixture in saucepan. Boil and stir one minute. Remove from heat and stir in margarine, vanilla, and 3/4 cup coconut. Pour into pie crust and press plastic wrap on filling to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until set.
Remove plastic wrap. Top with whipped cream and remaining 1/4 cup coconut. Cover and refrigerate until serving.