I found a recipe for Coconut Cream Pie on a website called Leite's Culinaria. The recipe came from the book Southern Pies by Nancie McDermott. It sounds delicious and it will be a nice treat to share with my grandpa. He just got home from a quick stay in the hospital and I know it will make him happy to eat this with me. He loves pie even more than I do!
Coconut Cream Pie
For the custard filling
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large egg yolks
2 1/4 cups milk, preferably whole milk
1 1/4 cups shredded or flaked coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the meringue
3 large egg whites
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
Make and blind bake a crust using a recipe of your choice.
Make the custard filling
1. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl. Use a fork or a whisk to mix them well. In another small bowl, beat the egg yolks.
2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk almost to a boil, stirring it as it begins to steam. Scoop out about 1/2 cup of the hot milk with a measuring cup and pour it into the beaten egg yolks, stirring constantly as you pour. This warms up the eggs and discourages them from curdling. Pour the bowl of egg yolk-milk mixture into the milk in the pan over medium heat and stir well.
3. Add the sugar-cornstarch mixture to the warm egg-and-milk mixture and stir until dissolved. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard mixture becomes very smooth and has thickened to about the consistency of cream. Cook for about 1 minute more and then remove the pan from the heat.
4. Add 1 cup of the coconut, the butter, and vanilla to the custard in the pan. Stir to mix everything. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard and set it aside to cool to room temperature. When the custard has cooled down, remove the plastic wrap and pour it into the piecrust.
Make the meringue
1. Heat the oven to 350° F (176°C)
2. Beat the egg whites in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until foamy. Increase the speed to high and gradually add the sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time. Beat the egg whites until they swell up into plump, shiny, soft clouds that hold firm, curly peaks.
3. Scoop the meringue on top of the cooled custard filling, spreading the meringue all the way to the crust and mounding the meringue up slightly in the center of the pie. Create swoops and swirls in the meringue for decorative effect and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of the coconut over the top of the meringue.
4. Place the coconut cream pie on the middle rack of the oven and bake until the meringue is a beautiful golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Place the pie on a cooling rack or a folded kitchen towel and let cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature or, if desired, refrigerate and serve chilled.