November is my favorite month. I was born in November, and although I actually would rather have a tooth pulled than celebrate my birthday, I still love this month. The weather gets and stays cool in November. And autumn seems to have all of my favorite colors to see in nature (and to wear of course), and pie season officially begins!
Actually, pie season for me is 365 days of the year. If it’s hot outside, I find a reason to make ice cream pie – or a yummy lemon icebox. But when it’s cool and windy – and Thanksgiving is just around the corner – there seems to be a million wonderful reasons why I need (yes, need) to bake a pie.
From apple and pecan to pumpkin and the divine coconut cream, November is all the excuse you need to practice your pie-making skills and enjoy all the fruits of your labor. And listen, if you aren’t an expert at making a pie crust, don’t let that stop you from trying your hand at baking. It’s perfectly alright to use a store-bought crust and save yourself some time and worry.
But I will say this, practice does make perfect, and knowing how to make a pie crust is a great skill to conquer when you have some free weekend time on hand.
Coconut Cream Pie
1(9-inch) pie crust, prebaked
3 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
3 cups whole milk
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 Tbs unsalted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3 Tbs sugar
Preheat oven to 325° F. Stir together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and just enough of the water to make a smooth paste. Heat milk in top of a double boiler over simmering water. When milk begins to steam, gradually whisk in egg mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 3/4 cup of the coconut, the butter and vanilla.
Pour the filling into the baked crust. Set aside to prepare meringue.
For the meringue, combine egg whites and cream of tartar in a chilled bowl and beat with an electric mixer on slow to medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the sugar 1 Tbs at a time and continue beating on slow to medium speed until the whites form stiff peaks, but are not dry. Pile lightly over the pie, sealing the edges well.
Sprinkle the pie with the remaining 1/4 cup coconut.
Bake for 30 minutes, until meringue is golden brown and firm to the touch (be careful not to poke a hole in the meringue). Cool on a wire rack for two hours before slicing. Serve at room temperature.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 513, Total Fat: 22.9 g, Sodium: 309 mg, Carbohydrates: 68.2 g, Protein: 9.5 g
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