Thursday, February 18, 2010

Coconut Cream Pie

Well, okay, this isn't a recipe out of Dorie Greenspan's book. But it's a pie that my mom used to make to celebrate her birthday and ever since she died, I've made the pie on (or about) her birthday. Today she would have been 89 years old!

This pie always looked so elegant and tasted so good; I was completely amazed because I never saw my mom consulting a recipe to put this together. Shortly before I left for college, I asked her to make the pie and I watched as she made it, pausing to measure what she "threw" in. A "hunk of butter" is a little over a tablespoon, a capful of vanilla is about 1/2 tsp.

I always think that my pie doesn't live up to hers and it may just be a memory trick or it may be that she used organic, farm fresh eggs. Who knows? No matter, really. I always smile and think of her when I bake this lovely pie.

Betty Terlau's Coconut Cream Pie
Bake a pie crust and set aside to cool.

Scald two cups of milk. In another saucepan combine 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour and some salt. Gradually pour in the scalded milk, stirring constantly. After a bit, separate three eggs. Break up the yolks in a small bowl, then pour a little of the hot milk mixture into the eggs, then pour the eggs back into the milk mixture. Continue to heat and stir till thick and plumpy. Remove from the heat. Stir in a handful of shredded sweetened coconut, a hunk of butter, a capful of vanilla. Allow to cool while you make the meringue. With a mixer, beat the egg whites at high speed, adding gradually 6 teaspoons of sugar and a drop of vanilla. When stiff peaks form (or you can turn the bowl upside down), spoon the meringue on top of the pie and swirl with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle on some coconut. Bake in a 350 oven until the meringue begins to brown and some of the coconut turns a little brown. Cool. Enjoy!


  1. This is the best pie ever. The only problem is that since it's so light and fluffy you can never get enough of it. Happy birthday grandma!

  2. This looks delish! Love your blog, Baking is one of my favorite cookbooks. I have an extra 10 pounds that confirms this love! I'll check back often to see what's cookin in your kitchen.

  3. How special to recreate this in honor of your mom and your great memories. Looks delicious...Mark and Matt would make short work of this...and no chocolate, so I would have a piece as of our favorites of all time. Fun to read and hear what is near and dear to your cooking heart!