Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Coconut Cream Pie - To Die For!

I've never made one before, but coconut cream pie just sounded so good! I have a great pie recipe book, THE PERFECT PIE by Susan G. Purdy. So here is her version of

1 1/2 c. unsifted all-purpose flour
1 to 1 1/2 T. granulated sugar
1/2 t. salt
6 T. cold or frozen butter, cut up
3 T. cold shortnening, or canola oil ( I used oil)
1 large egg yolk
2 t. lemon juice, or white vinegar
3 to 4 T. ice water, or as needed  (because of the oil, I only used 2)

2/3 granulated sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 t. salt
2 1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. heavy cream
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 t. vanilla extract
2 T. butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 c. shredded coconut

1 c. heavy cream, chilled
2 T. powdered sugar
1/2 c. toasted coconut

Okay, let's get started by putting together the crust. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, salt, sugar) in a large bowl and whisk to blend. Add the cut-up chilled fats/oils. Working quickly and lightly, pinch and slide lumps of dough between your fingertips until the mixture resembles dry rice. This process layers the shortening and flour together, creating "leaves" that will form flakes when baked. If you use the oil like I did you may find it will be a bit lumpy but that's okay, don't overwork things, just get rid of big butter lumps. Add the yolk, lemon juice or vinegar, and the minimum amount of iced water. I only needed 2 tablespoons. Toss lightly, just until it clumps together. The dough should not be sticky, but clumps easily. The oil helped with that. Now form a flat 6 inch disk, wrap with plastic wrap or waxed paper and chill for at least 30 minutes. When ready to roll out and bake, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, I used the wrap to roll it out on. Be sure to flour the wrap though as the dough will stick to the plastic or paper if you use the oil. Fold in half and place in pan, opening and tucking into pie pan without stretching it. Crimp edges. Chill again then blind bake by lining the crust with foil and filling it 2/3 with dry rice or beans. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes then remove liner and rice or beans and turn oven down to 350 and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. Cool before filling.
To make the filling combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. In a bowl, whisk the milk and cream into the egg yolks. Whisk the egg-milk mixture into the cornstarch-sugar in the pan. Whisk well to be sure all the cornstarch is picked up off the bottom of the pan and dissolved.
Set pan over medium heat and cook the mixture for about 12 minutes, until thickened and brought to a boil. Stir on and off with a wooden spoon for the first 5 minutes, then stir constantly for abot 7 minutes longer, until the mixture really thickens and reaches a boil and you see fat heavy bubbles work up to the surface and burst. Use the whisk instead of the spoon occasionally to remove lumps. Boil for 1 full minutes while stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and add the butter and vanilla. Stir in the coconut and spoon into the cooled pastry shell. Cover with plastic wrap to keep from forming a skin and refrigerate until just before ready to serve. In a cool bowl whip the one cup of cream, the powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Spoon over chilled pie and sprinkle toasted coconut over the top. This is the BEST coconut cream pie I've ever tried, bar none. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Message of Hope

We thank thee O God for a prophet
to guide us in these latter days.
We thank thee for sending the gospel
to lighten our minds with it's rays!
We thank thee for every blessing
bestowed by thy bounteous hand.
We feel it a pleasure to serve thee,
and love to obey thy command.

I woke up this morning with this hymn running through my head, a wonderful way to start off the week. We celebrated our Autumn General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and were blessed to be spiritually fed by men and women of courage and fortitude, faith and love. So I share in part, the message of hope, that He lives and is real and loves us. May we all have a song in our hearts today!