Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Coconut Cream Pie

Cream pies are my go-to favorite. At Thanksgiving I skip the traditional pumpkin and pecan and head straight to the creamies. Banana cream was a previous favorite but this sweet pie is puttin' up a fight for #1 in my book.  The cream has a great pudding consistency but what really sets this apart from other coconut creams is the meringue. Most coconut creams are topped with a whipped cream topping but this meringue is light and toasty like a marshmallow. I also love that the egg yolks used in the cream leave egg whites to be used and the meringue takes care of that. (I hate leftover egg yolks or whites.)

Coconut Cream Pie

1 blind-baked 9-inch pastry shell
2 1/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup for egg whites
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups toasted coconut
1 Tablespoon butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a saucepan, whisk the 2 cups of the milk and 3/4 cup sugar together. Place the pan over medium heat and bring the liquid up to a simmer. Whisk the egg yolks together. Temper the hot milk into the egg yolks. Whisk the egg mixture into the hot milk mixture. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining milk, making a slurry. Whisk the slurry into the hot milk mixture. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until the filling is thick, about 4 to 6 minutes. Fold in the vanilla, coconut, and butter. Mix well. Pour the filling into the prepared pan and cool the pie completely. Using an electric mixer with a whip attachment, whip the egg white to soft peaks. Add the remaining sugar and whip the egg white to stiff peaks. Spread the egg whites over the top of the pie. Place the pie in the oven for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown.
Recipe courtesy of Emeril on the Food Network.

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