Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Southern Living's Best Coconut Cream Pie.........

I know, I know, where in the world have I been????? And why have I not posted anything since December? Well in the last few months we have sold our house in Tuscaloosa, AL and bought a new home in Trussville, AL. Thad has switched jobs and in between all that time there has been a whole lot of packing and unpacking. We have have been busy but it has been a great move. We are loving Trussville and we love our new little community we live in. We have been in our new home for just over a month now and I am just now feeling like we have a normal routine back in place.

Our new home in Trussville, we love it!

In Trussville there is a BBQ joint called Jim 'N Nick's and we have come to love their salads and amazing muffins and they serve a coconut cream pie that is literally out of this world. So since having their coconut cream pie, I have had it on the brain. And in my unpacking I came across a magazine that caught my eye. It is a Southern Living Special Edition and is titled "Our Best-Ever Cakes & Pies". So with a title like that how could you not stop everything you are doing and sit down and read each page full of yummy desserts.

Once I had thoroughly examined the magazine, it was given to Thad, with orders to pick a dessert for Sunday and he chose their Coconut Cream Pie, which was genious, like he was reading my mind. And after making it, let me tell you that it was pure heaven. The homemade pie crust, fresh coconut custard topped with whipped cream....need I say more. Just trust me on this one, so worth your time!

Coconut Cream Pie Filling
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 cups half-and-half
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipping Cream Topping
2 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Garnish: toasted coconut

Start off by preheating the oven to 425 degrees.

Using your favorite pie crust recipe, roll out the pie dough and place it in a 9 inch pieplate. Prick bottom and sides of pie crust with a fork. Make sure to make the pie crust edges pretty too (I always crimp the edges.) Then bake the pie crust for 12 to 15 minutes until the crust is a golden brown. Once golden brown, remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.

While the pie is cooling, begin the coconut cream filling. Using a medium saucepan combine, a 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch. In a small separate bowl whisk the half-and-half and egg yolks together. Then gradually whisk egg mixture into sugar mixture; then bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Once boiling, boil 1 minute and then remove from heat. Lastly, stir in the butter, 1 cup coconut, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cover the filling with plastic wrap, placing plastic wrap directly on the warm filling in the pan; let stand 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes remove the plastic wrap from the cooled filling and spoon custard mixture into the cooled crust, then cover and chill for 30 minutes or until set. My philosphy is the longer it has to set the better and we love our coconut pie cold so I place it in the refrigerator for as a long as possible.

Next beat the whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add 1/3 cup sugar and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, beating until soft peaks form. Spread or pipe whipped cream over pie filling and garnish your gorgeous pie with toasted coconut, to top it off.

*To make toasted coconut, I set the oven to about 350 degress and place in a tin pan and spread out about 1/4 to 1/2 cup coconut (depennding on how much you like as garnish) and place it in the oven for about 5 minutes. I always set a timer because I get busy doing something else and forget it is in there. I also check it about half-way through and make sure it is not burning and getting an even golden brown look.

This pie will seriously change your life. And if you have coconut lovers in your family, this will blow them away. Coconut cream pie is perfect for an Easter dinner or even just a perfect spring dessert. So give it a try, you will not be dissappointed.