Coconut Cream Pie


Here's a delightful recipe for my husband's favorite pie. Enjoy!

PASTRY:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup cold water, 2 parts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, mix together flour and salt. Cut in shortening. Add water in two parts, mixing until ingredients form a nice dough. Divide in half. Roll out on floured surface to fit pie pan. Makes 2 crusts. *For this recipe crimp edges and poke tiny holes all around with fork. Blind bake pastry by lining crust with a sheet of crumpled waxed paper and then filling it with 2 cups of dried beans. Bake on lowest rack in oven for 20 minutes with beans. Remove beans and paper and bake for another 17-20 minutes until lightly brown. (Baking with the dried beans will keep your crust from shrinking, and baking on the lowest rack will ensure that your crust is fully baked before adding your pudding to it.)

COCONUT CREAM:
2 cups milk

1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter
3 egg yolks
3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sweetened coconut

In medium saucepan, mix together milk, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, and butter. Heat on medium high heat until butter begins to melt. Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together egg yolks, 1/4 cup remaining sugar, and cornstarch. Temper yolks with a 1/2 cup warm milk, slowly whisking until it thins. Add yolk mixture to saucepan and cook for 4-5 minutes until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla and coconut. Set aside while you make the meringue.


MERINGUE:

3 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup toasted coconut

In large mixing bowl, add egg whites, vanilla, and cream of tartar. Beat together on medium speed for one minute. Gradually add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating at high speed for about 4 minutes. Mixture should form stiff glossy peaks.

Pour coconut cream into baked pie pastry. Top with meringue. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup toasted coconut. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned. A perfect meringue will form spots of sugared caramel on top. Cool and serve.
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