Monday, November 18, 2013

{Pie Week} Coconut Cream Pie

In less than 2 weeks, Thanksgiving will be among us and that means it's time for baking pies! In my world, pie is the official dessert of Thanksgiving. The wonderful thing about pie is that there is so many different types! You can make something as simple as the traditional pumpkin or pecan pie, or go all out and crazy with non-traditional pies....for example, this coconut cream pie!

The men in my life LOVE cream pies. My dad loves coconut cream pie and my husband and father-in-law are big fans of banana cream pie. The great thing about this recipe is that you can switch out the coconut for bananas and make either pie! Personally, I'm on Team Coconut Cream Pie, but I won't turn down any slice of pie that is placed in front of me!

I must tell you, the only reason I can make a decent pie crust at all or make this gorgeous coconut cream pie is because of my fabulous mother-in-law, Julie. She is the queen of pie! Her pies are famous in Dusty's home town and people pay big bucks for her amazing pies, and rightfully so. They are amazing! Lucky for me, she has taken me under her wing over the years and has taught me the ways of the pie and pie crust. I'm slowly getting there with my pie crust and hopefully someday my pies will be as legendary!

Call me crazy, but when it comes to Thanksgiving, I'm not a fan of the traditional pumpkin pie. I was the high maintenance kid in the family that refused to eat pumpkin pie and only wanted apple pie. Which is funny because not a lot of my family members liked apple pie. They would go out and by an apple pie from Perkins and I was the lucky kid who had an entire pie to myself on Thanksgiving. If you ask me, I was the smart one....they all had to share a pumpkin pie, and I had a whole apple pie to myself! My current favorite apple pie is this Gooey Apple Pie. So good!

Whether you are making pumpkin, apple or coconut cream pie.....pie is delicious!!!! A flaky crust with any filling of your choice. What can be better? That is why I'm excited to share with you on "Pie Week" all things pie with these fantastic variations of pie from my favorite bloggers!

{Hill Country Cook}- New Mexico Apple Pie
{From My Sweet Heart}-Cranberry Cherry Ricotta Pie
{The Girly Girl Cooks}- Coconut Cream Pie
{Comfortably Domestic}-Mile High Apple Pie

{Inside NanaBread's Head}-Black & White Coconut Tart
{Le Petite Pancake}-Pineapple Pie
{The Grommom}-Papaya Pie

{Tenaciously Yours}-Grandma's Chocolate Pie
{Bakeaholic Mama}-Chocolate Cream Pie
{Comfortably Domestic}-Maple Sweet Potato Pie

{Pineapple & Coconut}-Boozy Pumpkin Eggnog Pie
{Bakeaholic Mama}-Sweet Potato Tartlets
{Buffy & George}-Deep Dish Apple Pie

{Munching in the Mitten}-Sweet Potato Pie
{Decadent Philistines Save the World}-Refrigerator Pumpkin Porter Chocolate Pie with Toasted Pumpkin Marshmallow "Meringue"
{Climbing Grier Mountain}-Mini Butternut Squash Pie Stacks with Marshmallow Frosting

{Wannabe A Country Cleaver}-Biscoff Pie with Whiskey Mallow Fluff
{Comfortably Domestic}-Berry Cherry Pie

Coconut Cream Pie
{Serves 8}

-1 (9 inch) baked Pie Crust
-2/3 cup Sugar
-1/3 cup Cornstarch
-1/2 tsp Salt
-3 cups Whole Milk
-4 Egg Yolks-slightly beaten
-2 tbsp Butter
-2 tsp Vanilla Extract
-1 cup Sweetened Flaked Coconut-divided
-1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
-1 tsp Vanilla
-2 tbsp Sugar

In a saucepan, stir together the 2/3 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt. In a bowl, blend the milk and egg yolks together; gradually stir into the sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and begins to boil. Once the pudding mixture starts to boil, allow it to boil for exactly 1 minute and continuously stir.

Remove the pudding from the heat and add in the butter and 2 tsp vanilla extract. Stir together until blended. Press plastic wrap onto the filling in the saucepan and allow the pudding to cool to room temperature. Once at room temperature, stir 3/4 cup of coconut flakes into the pudding. Set aside. In a stand mixer, combine the heavy whipping cream, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tbsp sugar. Beat over medium speed until soft peaks form. Set aside.

To toast the coconut, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and sprinkle 1/4 cup of coconut on a small baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes until the coconut become golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.

Pour the coconut pudding pie filling into the baked pie crust and chill the pie for 2 hours with the plastic wrap pressed over the pudding. After 2 hours and when the pie is chilled, top it with the whipped cream and sprinkle the toasted coconut on top.

ENJOY! Happy Pie Week!

For the Banana Cream Pie version: Line the baked pie crust with 3 sliced bananas. Pour the pudding mixture (without coconut) over the bananas and top with the whipped cream.

Recipe By: Julie Ahrens

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Dobie Love: 3 Things

Yesterday I just got back from a much needed time at home with Dusty and Duke. I hadn't been home for a visit in over 1-1/2 months and it was glorious. I was able to cook my favorite things and smother my puppy (and husband!) with lots of cuddling. Although, after not being home for over a month I learned 3 things....

#1...My puppy isn't a puppy anymore....he's a dog!
7 months old and 82 pounds of pure Doberman.
Holy cow!
But trust me. He may look like a big Doberman, but he is still a huge BABY! A total goober. Goofy, fun and adorable in every way. I've missed this pup so much!

#2...The bed no longer has room for me. Apparently Dusty and Duke have become snuggle sleeping buddies and now that Duke is over 80 pounds, there is no room for me in the bed!
Looks like we are going to need a bigger bed!
And #3....Don't waste your money on a $30 stuffed monkey for your puppy when he can destroy it in 0.3245 seconds.

Duke originally had an old Ty Beanie Baby giant monkey that he loved dearly. In fact he loved it so much that he ripped it to shreds and then millions of little beanies became scattered across the floor taking about 1 hour to sweep up!
Dusty called and asked me to get Duke a new "monkey" from Toys-R-Us while I was in Billings before coming home to replace the old one. A lot of good that did! I was so excited to give Duke his new monkey and after a trip to the grocery store, I walked in the door to find the "monkey massacre" that had taken place in my living room. Poor monkey didn't even stand a chance! The poor monkey's fluffy guts were spread all around. The living room, dining room, the backyard, the bathroom and bedroom. Evidence of "the massacre" was everywhere! 

It's only 28 days until I'm finished with nursing school and 28 days until my life can return back to normal. I've missed Duke, Dusty and my life on the Hi-Line so much. My trip home was much needed and just the motivation I needed to finish the last stretch of school. It felt so good to get back in the kitchen and make some of my favorite foods. Only 28 days until I'm back to cooking and more importantly....blogging! I've missed it and you guys so much!
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