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Coconut Cream Pie


Coconut Cream Pie 
 
Coconut Cream Pie.  Coconut cream pie with meringue topping was my mother's favorite type of pie. It is one of my favorite pies as well, next to Lemon Meringue. If I had to choose between a coconut pie  and a lemon pie,  lemon would win for sure, but it would be a very difficult choice for me to make.

In fact I would probably choose a small slice of each, and go back for a tiny sliver of the lemon.  I know. I am an incredible glutton, especially when it comes to pie.

Coconut Cream Pie 
We are soon coming up to the second anniversary of our having lost our mom.  The last time I saw mom alive was about 9 years ago when I flew back to Canada to be with her when she had her Lung Cancer Operation.  

When she got out of the hospital finally, I asked her if she would like anything on this one day and she said she would love a piece of Coconut Cream Pie.  And so I did what any good daughter would do. I made her one and she really enjoyed it.

And I enjoyed her enjoying it! I loved that I was able to do that for her. The thought of it still makes me feel good. 

Coconut is what is called a one seeded Drupe. In its natural state it is covered with a hard green exocarp. Inside that is a hairy brown husk, called the mesocarp, and inside that husk is the brown endocarp or seed, which is the part we eat. 

Normally the skin is peeled off and we eat the white flesh inside, or the meat, along with the liquid, or coconut milk which is a very popular commodity today.

Coconut Cream Pie 
When it comes to using the flesh, we mostly use it for cooking once it has been dried. There are three most commonly used forms of it.  First the very finely chopped/grated, or desiccated coconut, which you see here.  

This comes both sweetened and unsweetened.  It is perfect to use for in fillings such as Coconut Cream Pie Filling. It is also the coconut used for coating Lamington Squares and is often baked into cookies, cakes and slices.

Coconut Cream Pie 
Another popular form of dried coconut is shredded/angel-flaked coconut. You can also get this in the sweetened and unsweetened varieties.

It is more coarsely grated than the desiccated and has a higher moisture content. This makes it perfect for baking into muffins, or  for incorporating into savory dishes or sides and salads.  

I like to use it for cake toppings, especially if they are going to be broiled such as in a Lazy Daisy Cake. It is also used in Lane Cakes and fillings and to top Coconut Cream pie, where a meringue is going to be used and the coconut is going to be toasted.

Coconut Cream Pie 
Another form of dried coconut which is enjoyed in baking are coconut chips, or flaked coconut. These are much larger thin shavings of coconut and usually come as is or toasted.  You can also get them sweetened and unsweetened I believe.

This type is perfect for when you really want to make a decorative statement and it is beautiful baked into granolas. This is what I always use in my granola. Unsweetened. 

Finally dried coconut can be ground into flour, which many gluten intolerant people use in their baking. It is a bit more absorbent than regular wheat flour, but with a bit of recipe tweaking can result in very satisfactory cakes and bakes. 

Coconut Cream Pie 
I used both desiccated and angel-flake coconut in this pie. I did use the sweetened versions for both.  The desiccated went into that lush creamy filling and the angel-flake on the meringue topping.  

The recipe has been adapted from a recipe found in the original Purity Flour Cookbook. This is a cookery book I received many years ago when I got married the first time.  Its a book that has been pleasing families for many generations.

Coconut Cream Pie 
It is my go-to recipe for anything like this. You really can't go wrong using its recipes. They turn out perfectly every time.  You would expect nothing less  than perfection from a cookbook put out by a flour company. 

It is filled with great solid, basic recipes that never let you down.  I do believe that you can still buy a copy of a modernized version on Amazon and in most book shops that carry cookery books.

Coconut Cream Pie 

You can find my pastry recipe here.  It, too, is from the Purity book.  Or you can use my favorite Butter & Lard pastry recipe which you can find here. 

Both are excellent and both make two crusts. You can freeze one disk of dough to use at a later date. That's what I always do anyways. It never hurts to have a disc of pastry frozen in the freezer for convenience!

Coconut Cream Pie 

Ideally, you should wait until the pie is completely chilled to cut into it, but I am such an impatient person.  I couldn't wait.  It was still slightly warm, but boy oh boy was it ever good! 

You will get much cleaner slices if you allow it to chill completely before cutting into it.  Use a wet knife so that you don't tear the meringue.  A wet knife helps to prevent the meringue from sticking to the knife. Do re-wet it between each cut.


I am not sure why this is called Coconut Cream, as there is no whipped cream topping. I have seen it topped with whipped cream, but that is not a Coconut Cream Pie to me.  It has to have the meringue topping.

This was a way of using up the egg whites left after using the yolks in the filling. You also can't toast cream. It melts and so you miss out on having that tasty toasted coconut topping.  I suppose the use of Cream in the name comes from the creamy custardy pudding-type of filling used in the base.

Makes sense to me!!You really can't beat these old, tried and true recipes.  Why change or fiddle with something which worked beautifully as it originally was is my motto.  Don't fix what ain't broke!  You just cannot improve what is already perfect!
 

Yield: one 9-inch pie
Author: Marie Rayner
Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Cream Pie

Everyone's favorite. Beautiful served ice cold, chilled from the refrigerator and cut into big wedges. (Big because I am greedy)
prep time: 15 Mincook time: 25 Mininactive time: 2 Hourtotal time: 2 H & 40 M

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (95g) sugar
  • 1/3 cup (42g) of plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 cups (510ml) milk, divided
  • 2 beaten large free range egg yolks
  • 1 TBS butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract (optional)
  • 1 (9-inch) baked pie shell
  • 1 cup (75g) desiccated coconut
  • 2 large free range egg whites to finish
  • 2 TBS sugar to finish
  • 3 TBS shredded coconut to finish

Instructions

  1. Combine the sugar, flour and salt in the top of a double boiler. Whisk well together to thoroughly combine.
  2. Whisk in 1/2 cup ( 120ml) of the milk until smooth.
  3. Scald the remaining milk and then whisk it into the flour/sugar/milk mixture. (To scald milk, heat in a measuring cup in the microwave until bubbles appear just around the edges.)
  4. Place over boiling water and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to the boil. Remove from the heat.
  5. Whisk some of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks to temper it. Whisk this warm mixture back into the hot mixture. Return to the heat and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, vanilla and coconut extract, if using.
  7. Allow to cool completely. (Place a piece of plastic cling film on the surface to prevent a skin from forming.)
  8. Spread the cooled mixture into the prebaked pie shell.
  9. Whip the egg whites along with the 2 TBS of sugar until thick, glossy and stiff peaks form.
  10. Spread over the cooled filling in the pie shell to cover the filling in a decorative manner. Spread it completely to the edge and make sure it touches the pastry all the way around. Using the back of a spoon, create nice swirls on top.
  11. Sprinkle with the coconut shreds.
  12. Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Bake the pie for 7 to 8 minutes until golden brown.
  13. Allow to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until serving time.
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Coconut Cream Pie

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