Okay, I know this blog is to keep our extended family up-to-date with my little family of three’s daily doings. As you can see, I don’t post here very often. However, out of all my blogs, this is the most appropriate place to post a recipe. I have been seeing this recipe for a coconut cream pie on Pinterest and boy does it look good! I followed it’s url to see how it’s made and it looked just like any other common cream pie recipe. You know, the one where Step 3 says “stirring constantly over medium high heat until mixture thickens.” Oh my, and make sure you don’t burn that mixture in the process! It is definitely a balance of heat, time, and . . . stirring, and . . . stirring, and more . . . stirring. Ok, I LOVE coconut cream pie but I quit making any type of cream pie (and lemon meringue pie too for that matter) because of that “stirring” step. And after all that, you still only have about a 20/80 chance of the filling not being runny when you cut into it. NOT WORTH IT! Now I don’t have recipes for all the cream pie flavors but I have a great one for the coconut cream. I know its the best because my favorite (hee, hee!) brother-in-law, Dale, tells me so. I decided to let you all in on it. The recipe is below with a big shout out to Southern Living magazine. In fact, you can find it in their 2003 Annual Recipe cookbook on page 106. In my book, that page is all wrinkled, covered in flour, and has some bits of “things” that I am not really sure what they are. This recipe has been well-loved. In fact, its almost illegible, but not quite. So I will press on! If you love cream pie but have given up on making your own, read on, bake on, and discover one of the greatest loves of your life!
Coconut Cream Pie (guaranteed NOT to run!)
You can do the crust a few ways. The recipe in the cookbook is for a graham cracker crust. I don’t use it because I prefer a flour crust. Now, if you want a homemade flour crust I suggest you google for one on the internet ’cause I am not gonna list it here! There are plenty of good ones out there that I am sure you can find quite easily. However, it is my own humble opinion (after making “from scratch” for years) that the refrigerated ready-to-use pie crusts are “almost” as good as your lovingly made-from-scratch crust. When I balance the micro-dots of difference in taste/texture and the time it takes to make it, the ready-to-use WINS, hands down! Remember this recipe is about an easy-peasy pie that tastes like heaven! (Note: I was singing when I typed “heaven”).
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1-2/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
That makes one regular, pie dish graham cracker crust. Double it if you are making a deep-dish pie.
Flour Crust – Here’s my fancy recipe!
- 1 box (2 crusts) of the Pillsbury refrigerated ready-to-use pie crusts.
- Open box! (Boy, that’s a tough one, huh!)
- Open one inner package, unroll it and lay it on a lightly floured surface.
- Lightly baste the crust with cold water.
- Take out the second crust and lay it directly on top of the first crust, lightly flour top of second crust.
- Use a rolling pin to roll the crusts to slightly enlarge their diameter. This will also incorporate the two crusts into one thicker crust.
- Place the crust into your pie plate, turn under the edges, trim and decorate as desired.
- Bake as directed on the package.
- Remove cooked crust from oven and cool completely.
The thicker bottom crust works best for a deep-dish pie. If you are making a regular volume pie, I would advise using only one crust. Also, if you want to make the pie in a 9 x 13 pan, just roll it out to fit that pan, adding more crusts as needed to form the rectangular shape rather than the circular one.
Okay on to the best part, the filling.
Coconut Cream Pie Filling
- 1 (8 0unce) pkg. cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup cream of coconut (this is a non-alcoholic item but it is found in the drink mixers section of the grocery store)
- 1 (3.4 ounce) pkg. cheesecake OR coconut cream INSTANT pudding mix (Southern Living lists the cheesecake flavor in their recipe but I prefer the coconut cream, it gives a more intense flavor)
- 1 (6 ounce pkg. sweetened, flaked coconut (ok, SL’s recipe calls for “frozen, sweetened, flaked coconut, thawed” but that seems like just an extra step to me. Just get the plain sweet, flaked coconut in the baking aisle. Oh, and the 6 ounces is kind of give or take. It doesn’t have to be exact.)
- 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
In a large bowl, BEAT cream cheese and cream of coconut at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
ADD pudding mix, beating until blended.
STIR in coconut; fold in whipped topping. (I don’t always add the whole container of whipped topping. I like my filling a little thicker so I don’t use it all.) Spread cream cheese mixture evenly into prepared crust.
Now, the recipe wants us to make the whipped cream topping, again . . . from scratch. Guess what? I didn’t do that either. Remember, easy, fast? So I just spread another container of thawed whipped topping over the filling and then sprinkled some toasted coconut on top of that. It’s really easy to toast coconut but you CANNOT be distracted while doing it. One Christmas, I set my toaster oven on fire! There is ALOT of oil/fat in that coconut and believe me, it will burn! Since that fateful night, I now do it in the oven, usually. It takes a little longer but, well, I get distracted alot so better safe than sorry! Save a small bit of the coconut before you stir it into the filling, spread it out on some aluminum foil and put it in the oven. You can put it on broil but you will have to WATCH it, or you can set the oven to about 400 degrees and peek in on it every 2 or 3 minutes.
And now you have one delicious but small coconut cream pie. I always double the above filling recipe. In doing so, I usually have some that won’t fit into the pie crust, darn! I get to eat that by the spoonful! Shh, don’t tell my brother-in-law! All kidding aside, this is a great pie! It’s not that it tastes any better than one made lovingly from scratch but it tastes as good and it is SO easy. The pudding in the mix keeps it from running and best of all, there is no cooking and stirring for 30 minutes while you are scorching the cream mixture! Try it, you’ll love it!
P.S. The picture I have attached is not a picture of this exact pie although it is a Southern Living pie. As I have said, it doesn’t look any different than any other Coconut Cream pie. The appearance of your pie will vary due to all known kitchen conditions such as how many of your kids are screaming?, is your husband home?, is it raining?, you get my drift.