Friday, July 31, 2015

Coconut Cream Pie

I have attempted and failed coconut cream pie on various occasions. Scrambled egg custard, gelatinous custard from using corn starch. But today. Today I got it right folks! By combining two recipes (this and this), I got just what I wanted for my husband's birthday. A pie sturdy enough to hold its shape when cut, but creamy and not gelatinous.

Coconut Cream Pie
4 egg yolks
1/3 c. flour
3 cups of liquid (I did 1 can of coconut milk + enough whole milk to equal 3 cups)
2/3 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla (optional, I forgot it, and honestly, I don't think it needed it)
1 c shredded finely shredded unsweetened coconut (I found mine at WinCo) 
sweetened shredded coconut to toast for the top
Whipped cream for topping
1 baked pie shell, 9 or 10″ 
  1. Scald the milk in the microwave or on the stove top to almost boiling. Microwave works best as there is no chance of burning the milk.
  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine the flour, sugar, salt and coconut.
  3. Over medium low flame slowly add 1 cup of the scalded milk, whisking constantly.
  4. As you notice the filling beginning to thicken, add another cup of the scalded milk continuing to stir constantly until it begins to thicken again.
  5. Add the final cup of scalded milk, stirring constantly. Continue to cook over medium low heat until mixture begins to slightly thicken.
  6. At this point remove from heat and pour about a half cup of this mixture onto the beaten egg yolks, whisking constantly. Don't just dump it in. Do it gradually while stirring fast to keep it from scrambling the egg. This is called tempering.
  7. Pour the egg mixture immediately back into the pot, continuing to constantly stir.
  8. Cook for an additional three to five minutes until the filling reaches pudding consistency and remove from the flame. The mixture should just be beginning to boil at this point.
  9. Stir in vanilla if you are using it. (I didn't)
  10. Cool for about 40-60 minutes before pouring into the baked pie shell/s.
  11. Chill the pie/s completely for several hours or overnight.
  12. We just used the real whipping cream in a can when we cut up the pie. 
  13. I toasted the sweetened coconut in the oven under broil, but you really have to watch it (literally with the door cracked open) because it goes from normal to burnt quickly!
So, pie crust was always one of those baking things that seemed so finicky. Add JUST enough ice cold water to get it to form. But it always seemed too crumbly. Anyway, this recipe changed my pie making world. I use it for all my pies, and if for some reason I don't, I end up disappointed. The fat to flour ratio is pretty high, and this always gives me a nice flakey crust.

Melanie's Grandma's Pie Crust
makes three to four 9" crusts (depending on how thick and big you are doing) 4 cups flour 2 cups crisco 1 tbsp sugar 2 tsp salt
1tbsp vinegar 1 egg 3/4 cup water
Mix 1st four ingredients with a pastry cutter, knives or fork. In a separate dish beat remaining ingredients. Pour wet into dry. You may not need the entire amount of liquid. I usually have a little left over. Stir until moistened and (gently) with hands work into balls. Chill 15 minutes. Can be left in fridge for 3 days.
(cover edges of crust with tin foil when baking. Remove foil from edges 10 minutes before baking is completed.)
When I roll it out, I always roll it between two large pieces of parchment paper or freezer paper. It makes getting it into the pan SO MUCH EASIER than trying to fold it in fourths and then unfold it like I used to.
For the cream pie I formed the crust, chilled it, poked holes in it, and baked it with foil and beans in the bottom. 400* for 15-20 min. take the foil and beans out after about 10 min. so it can get to a light brown.