Truth be told, I cannot make a pretty pie. Try as I might, the crust is beyond my ability. I have made them with lard, shortening, butter...then thought maybe it's the type of counter or rolling pin. No, it was the handler each and every time.
I usually stick to press-in shortbread crusts or really cheat and but the pre-made crusts that I can unroll and put into my own pan. You know, to make it look like I made it. Add a little bit of flour dusting to my apron and hair, and voila.
That said, I hardly ever use canned fillings. I love making the blueberry fillings, the cherry, raisin... even the cavity inducing butterscotch filling.
Last year I absolutely forgot about the Perfect Pie Contest and missed submitting one.
This year.... I made it just in time to their cut off of 10:30 am! I submitted my entry at 10:20.
As I said earlier, I do not make pies. My entry was not pretty. It was Perfectly Imperfect. Delicious, but not pretty.
I made a Toasted Coconut Cream pie with a meringue top and a coconut shortbread crust. It was submitted into the Meringue Category. Fingers crossed!
Either way, I enjoyed making it with my daughter who kept me entertained with her antics, except for when she dropped all the sugar onto the floor and my dog got a sugar high.
Next year... I'm thinking one of my pot pies (which I am actually good at!) and a fruit one. As they say, practice makes perfect.
Just in case you want the recipe:
Coconut Custard Filling:
4 egg yolks
1/3 c. plus 2 tsp cornstarch
3 cups of whole milk (1 can of coconut milk + enough milk to equal 3 cups)
3/4 c sugar, plus 1 TBL
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 TBL butter
1 c shredded coconut* I like mine toasted but either way works
Whisk the yolks in a bowl, set aside. Stir cornstarch, sugar, salt together in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the milk carefully to avoid lumps. Cook, stirring constantly over medium heat. Let it boil one minute, then add half the filling into the yolks, whisking to temper the yolks. Add the mixture back into the pan and cook over heat, boiling for another minute. Remove from heat. Add vanilla, butter, and coconut. Cool the filling slightly (about 30 minutes) and pour into a baked pie shell. Cover custard with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours until set.
To toast coconut: spread sweetened, flaked coconut over a cookie sheet and put into a 400 degree oven. Stir occasionally and shake around until coconut is golden brown. Don’t walk away (I’ve burned many, many sheets of coconut walking away.) Cool before using as a topping.
1 cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup confectioners sugar(powdered or icing sugar)
1/2 cup butter, cut into small chunks
1/4 cup reserved toasted coconut (can be left out)
In a bowl, place the flour, sugar, coconut, and salt to combine. Add the cold butter and mix until the pastry starts to come together and form clumps. Transfer the pastry to a pan and, using your fingertips, evenly press the pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. (Can use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface of the pastry.) Gently pierce the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork. (This will prevent the pastry crust from puffing up while it bakes.) Cover and place the pastry crust in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill. (This will help prevent the crust from shrinking while it bakes.)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven.
Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust until golden brown, about 13 - 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. It is now ready to be filled.
Use the 4 reserved egg whites from the coconut custard
A dash of cream of tartar
1/4 tsp of lemon juice
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
**I always use glass or metal bowls as plastic can retain a residue and your peaks will be limp.
Add the lemon juice and using an egg beater, beat the egg whites until frothy. They should form what’s called soft peaks. Peaks are the "hills" that pull up when removing the beaters from the foam. You’ll know your peaks are soft when the tips gently fall over.
Gradually add the sugar, 1-2 tbsp at a time until it is all incorporated and the peaks become glossy. Continue beating until the foam forms stiff peaks and all of the sugar has been dissolved. To test if the sugar has dissolved, rub the beaten meringue between your thumb and forefinger. If it feels gritty beat the eggs a few more seconds until smooth.
Pile your meringue onto your warm dessert and bake at 425˚ F (218°C) for about 4 or 5 minutes - just enough to gently brown the peaks.
Hi, i'm jodi!
I am a wife to a railroader, mother to two daughters, caretaker of two Golden Retrievers and a Himalayan cat. I live in a small town with a big heart. I enjoy antiquing, furniture re-habbing, D.I.Y's and painting.