Sunday, January 30, 2011

Homemade Coconut Cream Pie

The crust for this pie isn't homemade, but the filling is. We love to bake up a couple of pie shells and make one coconut cream and one banana cream. Here's the recipe for our favorite coconut cream.

1 pkg. Marie Calendar's frozen pie shells

2/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. milk
4 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. butter, cut in to pieces (use REAL butter, not margarine)
1 cup coconut + more for toasting

Remove frozen pie shells from the freezer and cook according to package directions (this recipe only makes one pie). Cool pie shell. While oven is on, sprinkle a little bit of coconut on a cookie sheet and bake for about 3-5 minutes until nicely toasted. Remove from oven and cool.

In a saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in milk, a little at a time and stir well to dissolve the cornstarch. Next, whisk in the egg yolks. Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until mixture starts to thicken and bubble. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for one more minute. Remove from heat. Stir butter and vanilla in to the hot pudding. Slowly stir in the 1 cup coconut. Pour mixture into the pie shell and allow to cool. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (overnight is best).

**TIP. I often bake up both of the pie shells and make one coconut and one banana cream. You can even use this same recipe for the banana cream, but instead of stirring in coconut, cool the pudding first and stir in fresh sliced bananas instead and sprinkle the top with a bit of crushed graham cracker crumbs.

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