While I was living in Savannah with my sister and her kids we would shop for groceries at the PX sometimes, which meant we saw a lot of exotic produce and packaged goods that might not be so readily available in other grocery stores. Occasionally we would try some of them for fun. So when my toddler nephews saw a coconut and wanted to try it out, of course we obliged.
The coconut was pre-scored, but even so, MAN was that thing hard to crack! We wrapped it in a towel and pounded on it with a hammer, put a screw in it, and I don’t even remember what other suggestions we followed off the internet. It’s harder than it looks on TV.
Eventually we finally got it cracked and drained the coconut milk. We tried that, and then (since the kids were too little) I spent hours painstakingly cutting the meat out and grating it into a useable form so we could eat it.
Once that was done I researched some recipes that would make nice use of some fresh shredded coconut. Of course coconut cream pie would be at the top of the list!
I found a recipe for Old-Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie on Allrecipes.com, and made it on September 25, 2012.
Old-Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
3 cups half-and-half
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (9-inch) pie shell, baked
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake it, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the half-and-half, eggs, sugar, flour and salt and mix well. Bring to a boil over low heat, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in 3/4 cup of the toasted coconut and the vanilla extract. Reserve the remaining coconut to top the pie.
- Pour the filling into the pie shell and chill until firm, about 4 hours.
- Top with whipped topping and with the reserved coconut.
We made some substitutions – obviously we used fresh coconut instead of sweetened, and we used fresh, homemade whipped cream. But I did use a store-bought crust.
This recipe was delicious, and the fresh coconut was amazing! I don’t know if I’d go through the trouble of cracking a whole coconut like that again, but I’m sure there’s some middle ground that’s a lot easier but still as tasty. Yummy!