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Coconut Cream Pie

Old Fashioned 92 year old recipe
Old Fashioned 92 year old recipeJ. Robinson

When you love Coconut you are sure to fall in love with this Coconut Creme Pie. This is an old fashioned recipe that recommends that you use freshly grated coconut, but in today's fast paced world there are not too many people who want to spend the time grating fresh coconut. If you do, feel free to grate away; if not, then you can substitute dried coconut flakes that have been soaked in milk and this will work just fine. As a matter of fact, even as you pour milk into the measuring cup filled with coconut flakes, you will watch as it immediately begins soaking up the milk. One cup of coconut flakes will double up to two cups in just a few minutes. If you have to let it soak overnight in the refrigerator and it seems to be a tad bit dry, just add a touch more milk to re-moisten the flakes. Ready? You have all of your equipment in place? OK. What equipment...I need equipment for this recipe? This recipe dates back 92 years and it is probably older than that in all reality. It originally came out of California from an unknown contributor to the 1922 edition of “Good Housekeeping's Book of Menu's, Recipes and Household Discoveries” that this writer purchased at an estate sale.

Coconut Creme Pie

4 eggs
1/2 c. sugar
1-1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. cream
1/2 c. freshly grated coconut
1 tsp. vanilla
Pastry

Combine the eggs, sugar, milk, cream, and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes. (You can use an electric mixer, but I used an old rotary beater.) After beating, add coconut (make sure to drain the coconut if you soaked it in milk.) Pour into a pie plate with your pastry already laid down and edges fluted. Bake at 450° F. for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 325° F. for 30 minutes. If so desired, you can add some sprinklings of nutmeg on top of custard before baking. After cooling pie, make sure you keep it chilled in refrigerator until serving it for dessert.

Ingredients
Ingredients J. Robinson

Ingredients

4 eggs
1/2 c. sugar
1-1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. cream
1/2 c. freshly grated coconut
1 tsp. vanilla
Pastry

It is always more convenient for any cook to have all of your ingredients ready to be used before you begin your recipe.  In my younger days, I actually would begin cooking and then grab my ingredients as I went, but I soon found out that it took twice as long.

Mixing with rotary beater
Mixing with rotary beater J. Robinson

Mixing with rotary beater

You do not have to use an old fashioned rotary beater as I am using in this photo.  If you prefer you can use an electric mixer, just make sure you beat the ingredients for the 2 minutes.  When all the ingredients are satisfactorily mixed together, have your pastry shell already in the pan waiting to be filled.

Straining coconut
Straining coconut J. Robinson

Straining coconut

If you chose to use coconut flakes rather than to grate your own fresh coconut, make sure you drain the coconut flakes to remove as much of the milk liquids before adding coconut to the other ingredients.  If you leave it for some reason, you will have to bake it for a longer period, which would probably mean that your crust will burn.

Pie filling ready to be baked
Pie filling ready to be baked J. Robinson

Pie filling ready to be baked

After laying your pastry into the pie pan and fluting the edges (if you so desire), and then you have poured the custard filling into the pan, you can sprinkle powdered nutmeg on the top if you wish.  Bake at 450° F. for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 325° F. for 30 minutes.  This cook has a quirky oven and I often have to adjust my recipe times when I bake, so that my recipes come to the same conclusion as they show.  If you have one of those ovens, I had to increase my time an additional 17 minutes, plus when recipe calls to reduce oven to 325 degrees I had to leave it on at 350 degrees.  If you have to adjust as I do, go ahead but have your testing knife ready so that you do not leave it in too long.  If you do your custard will be dry.

Pie is done!
Pie is done! J. Robinson

Pie is done!

Just look at those crusty edges, not overdone but just right.  I had to bake it longer than the traditional recipe (they might have been using wood cook stoves) but I used a knife to test for doneness and it came out clean.  The next step is to let it cool and then we can prepare some home-made whip cream to go on the top and we can use some of the heavy whipping cream that was left over.  Yum!