Coconut Cream Pie

August 22nd, 2011  |  Fruit, Pies & Tarts, Sweets  |  0 Comments

I don't do homemade pie crusts. 

It may or may not be because as a young girl I saw my mama throw an entire bowl of pie crust across the kitchen and into the living room at my stepdad {sitting in his loungechair} because he suggested she "add a little more butter" to it when she complained that it wasn't coming together right...on her third try that evening. 

So anyway, I don't do homemade pie crusts...I have never even attempted one.  

I have, however, found the one and only {almost} pre-made pie crust that stands up to just about any other pie crust I've ever tasted.  It's Betty Crocker's...in the box...and its legit...I promise.   Especially when it comes to blind baked pies or homemade chicken pot pies--the crust is amazingly soft and flakey and truly tastes homemade.

I've been craving this pie for a while now and this one has everything a coconut cream pie should have...classic vanilla coconutty creamy deliciousness that'll make you weak in the knees.

Ingredients:

Crust Ingredients:
1 box Betty Crocker pie crust mix
1/3 cup cold water
2-3 tablespoons toasted coconut
flour

Custard Ingredients:
4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
dash salt
4 egg yolks, reserve whites for meringue
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 shredded, sweetened coconut

Meringue Ingredients:
5 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

For garnish:
2 tablespoons toasted coconut

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Convection Bake {350 degrees on Bake}.  Place 1/3 cup coconut on a small cookie sheet and toast for about 5-7 minutes until light golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Half of the toasted coconut will go into your pie crust, the other half will garnish the top of your pie when its done. 

For the crust:
In a medium bowl, add pie crust mix and 1/3 cup cold water and mix until it forms a ball--just like the package directions say.   Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons flour on your work surface and place the ball of dough in the middle and start rolling it out with a rolling pin.  Add half of your toasted coconut to the dough and continue rolling until pie crust is large enough to fit into a 9-10" pie plate.  

The boxed pie mix says there's enough pie crust for two pies--I think that's a little generous.   I used at least 3/4 of the mix for my 10" pie plate...and gave the rest to Princess so she could make her own little pie and I could focus on not screwing up the custard. 

Transfer pie crust to plate and gently press it in.   Even out upper edges and squeeze between your fingers to make a pretty edge...or use a fork along the edges if you prefer.  Place a sheet of foil or parchment paper over the pie crust and add pie weights (or dried beans...or pennies).  Do not prick the pie crust with a fork, please.  Cook pie crust in the oven for about 10-12 minutes.  Remove from oven and carefully remove pie weights.  Allow crust to cool.  Turn oven temperature up to 400 degrees-keeping it on the Convection Bake setting.


For the custard:

In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks together and set aside.  In a large saucepan, whisk together sugar, salt, cornstarch and flour.    Add milk and stir well.  Cook milk mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture begins to thicken and starts to boil.  Boil for about a minute and then add half of egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly to be sure eggs don't cook.  Add remaining egg yolk mixture and continue whisking until mixture comes to a boil again.  Boil, continually whisking for another minute.  Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla; then stir in coconut and set aside.    


For the meringue:

In a squeaky clean glass bowl, add egg whites and begin to mix with a hand mixer on low speed.  Add cream of tartar and continue mixing until mixture becomes frothy.  Gradually add in sugar (about 1 tablespoon at a time) and turn mixer speed up to medium high.  Once all of the sugar has been added, continue beating until stiff peaks form and mixture is glossy.  


Assembling the pie:

Add the custard to the cooled pie shell and then gently add the meringue.  You want to be sure your meringue is put on starting on the outer edges first.  The meringue should completely cover the custard and should meet the crust all the way around.  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT--If the meringue does not meet the crust {generously} it can separate and turn your pie into a watery mess--another lesson from mom.  Once the pie is completely covered in meringue, you can use the back of the spoon to add decorative peaks if desired.  Place the pie into oven for about 6 minutes, until meringue is a light golden brown.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining toasted coconut.  Allow pie to cool to room temperature, about two hours, and then refrigerate.

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