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Food
Helen's Favorite Cream Pie

Helen's Best Pie Crust:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups shortening (she uses Crisco)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons water

Vanilla and Coconut Cream Filling:

  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup coconut

For the crust: Blend the flour, salt and shortening. Add 1 egg beaten with vinegar and water. Recipe makes enough for 2 single shells.

Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.

Tester's note: This is a light and flaky crust recipe that rolls out nice and thin. We had a little trouble with ours pulling away from the pan as it baked -- forgetting a good tip to turn the shell upside down as it bakes.

For the filling: Mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in 1 1/2-quart saucepan. Mix well.

Mix milk, egg yolks and butter well. Add the egg yolk mixture to the sugar-cornstarch mixture slowly, using about 1/4 cup at a time until all is used. (The egg yolk is added slowly to prevent it from scrambling or cooking.)

Heat the mixture on medium heat until thickened. Stir well, so mixture doesn't stick to bottom of pan. Turn off heat. And add 1/2 cup coconut and vanilla.

Pour into warm pie crust. Add meringue (recipe below) and top with 1/4 cup coconut. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until brown. Serve when cool. Do not refrigerate.

The Perfect Meringue

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Mix cornstarch and sugar well, adding water slowly. Cook until thick and clear. Cool.

Beat egg whites at high speed on mixer until almost ready to stand in soft peaks.

Add cooked mixture slowly. Beat 4 to 5 minutes longer.

Seal meringue to edge of pie crust.

"Stone Soup" by the Zen Center of Pittsburgh

Thursday, November 07, 2002

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