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Homemade love: Coconut cream pie recipe

coconut_cream_pie2In the past couple years there has been a huge debate over cake vs. pie. Pie seems to be the new trend, cake is so out -- and everyone wants to know: are you on team cake or team pie?

Besides the fact that I prefer not to play favorites, if this were a life or death situation I would have to choose cake. (Sorry!) I like pie just fine, but I LOVE me some cake. However, a good friend happened to bring over this delicious coconut cream pie a couple weeks ago as a housewarming gift and I almost had to switch teams. It was really close!

After begging said friend for the recipe over email, he finally told me that he found the recipe in the bible of all things food, Joy of Cooking. Yippee! This is a cookbook I have long owned and now I am able to share it with all of you. Besides the fact that he added a little bit of honey and that he made homemade whipped cream, the recipe stands pretty true to what is on the page.

We will be making this coconut cream pie for a special someone on Valentine's Day, who is already very much on the pie team and we should admit, typically the resident pie maker in our home. We hope that you have an excellent Valentine's Day and that you have the chance to as well share some delicious dessert with your loved ones!

Coconut cream pie
Joy of Cooking

coconut_cream_pie1Basic pie crust ingredients and preparation:

Sift together:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt

3/4 cup chilled lard or vegetable shortening
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

Cut half of the shortening into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or work it in lightly with the tips of your fingers until it has the consistency of cornmeal. Cut the remaining half into the dough until it is pea-sized. Sprinkle the dough with 6 tablespoons ice water.

Blend the water gently into the dough until it just holds together; you may lift the ingredients with a fork, allowing the moisture to spread. If necessary to hold the ingredients together, add 1 teaspoon-1 tablespoon ice water. Divide the dough in half, shape each into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.

Coconut cream pie ingredients and preparation:

Bake your crust for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. Whisk in a medium heavy saucepan until well blended:
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Gradually whisk in:
2 1/2 cups whole milk

Vigorously whisk in until no yellow streaks remain:
5 large egg yolks

Stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat, scrape the corners of the saucepan and whisk until smooth. Return to the heat and, whisking constantly, bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute. Off the heat, whisk in:
2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1-1 1/3 cups shredded, sweetened dried coconut, toasted

Spoon the filling into prepared crust and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate the pie for at least 3 hours to firm the filling. Bake the pie for 20 minutes at 350 or 375 degrees. Top with homemade whipped cream and serve.

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