Sunday, March 17, 2013

Coconut Cream Pie


The last slice of birthday pie!
Made by my daughter Kate xox
My birthday was Friday, and it was a terrific day. As my chronological odometer rolled over from 58 to 59, I wondered how it would feel to enter my last year as a 50-something. One short year from now, I'll be officially "in my sixties" and leading up to that has me a bit apprehensive, but just a bit. If the start of this year of Sixty-Eve is any indication, life is only going to get better. I'm feeling so much better since embarking on this low-carb lifestyle. And there are other changes in the works: after 22+ years and two degrees earned, I just (finally!) jumped from support staff to administration and landed a dream job at Skidmore College where I have worked for decades.  I'll start work at my new position on April 1st.  Such great news...AND spring is almost here!

So, it was a great birthday, beginning with a small celebration at work. Toward the end of a crazy-hectic day (we're about to send out almost 8,000 decision letters to applicants to the College), I was asked to stop by an office upstairs to find that my co-worker Wendy brought in a carb-friendlier cheesecake, and the rest of the staff singing "Happy Birthday." They presented me with a card signed by all and it was a touching moment. We do this for each others' birthdays in our office, everyone assigned their own party planner, and this way we all get a little bit of a big deal on our special day. I loved it.

After work, I stopped by to see friends who toasted my birthday with a little bit of the bubbly (!) and after a sip or two left to meet my family at home for a bountiful and healthy dinner Katie put together, the crowning glory a coconut cream birthday pie, and a low-sugar, low-carb one at that!  Katie found the recipe at Diabetic Living online, and it was not only beautiful, but absolutely delicious and could take its place nicely among much more decadent desserts.  It was a light yet substantial coconut cream crowned in a pillow of sweet meringue, with a confetti of toasted coconut.  I can't even tell you how much I loved it, and have already put my order in for another one on my next birthday!

I'd like to share a little story about the day I was born, a memory my father shared with me when I was a little girl. It was Monday, March 15, 1954, and they were living in Dayton. My dad was 37 and my mom 35 at the time. He was headed out the door to work, saying good-bye to my mother, brother Michael, sister Patsy, and baby Steven, a year old just a week before. (Irish Catholic, no explanation necessary, and they went on to have 3 more after me!)  I was due to be born a month later, on April 15th.  Before he got out of the driveway, my mother called him back.  She was in labor. I was born a few hours later, a tiny 5 1/2 lb. baby girl with a ton of black hair and chubby cheeks. Seems I surprised my family that day, and apparently that's been my M.O. ever since!

Anyway, back to Coconut Cream Pie -- that was a nice surprise! And here's the recipe, followed by a photo of my grandboys and me, just about to blow out the candles!








COCONUT CREAM PIE
Diabetic Living

Ingredients:
Baked pastry shell (recipe follows)
3 eggs, room temperature, separated (whites must be out of fridge for 30 minutes, minimum)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
1 12-oz. can evaporated fat-free milk
3 tbsp. flaked coconut
1/2 tsp. coconut extract
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup sugar
2 additional tbsp. flaked coconut

Directions:
In heavy, medium sauce pan, stir sugar and cornstarch. Stir in milk and evaporated milk. Cook over medium/medium high heat until thick and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and quickly whisk 1 cup of hot mixture into the three egg yolks. Return egg yolk mixture back to pan; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and keep warm while you make the meringue.

In very clean mixing bowl, beat room temperature whites for 30 seconds until soft peaks form. Add vanilla extract and cream of tartar. Beat until stiff peaks form and meringue is thick and glossy, about 2 minutes more.

Pour hot filling into pie shell. Immediately spread meringue, sealing it to the edge of the pastry.  If it doesn't seal, the meringue will shrink and it won't be as pretty.  Sprinkle meringue with the last two tablespoons of coconut.  Bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 15 minutes. Cool 1 hour on wire rack.  Chill 3-6 hours.  10 servings.

Pastry shell:
Oven, 450 degrees Farenheit
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
4-5 tablespoons very cold water

Combine flour and salt in bowl. Cut in shortening until it is the size of small peas.  With for, work in cold water, just a bit at a time, until the dough comes together.  Form into disk and chill.  When chilled, on floured surface roll into 12-inch diameter circle.  Fit into 9-inch pie plate.  Crimp edges.  Prick holes all over.  Line with a double layer of foil. Bake at 450 degrees Farenheit for 8 minutes.  Remove foil and continue to bake 5-6 minutes more until golden brown.  Cool.


Cupcakes for the boys, pie for me!
Who could ask for anything more?  Not me, that's for sure!
60, a year away - bring it on!!!

Nutritional information per serving (1/10th of pie)

Calories: 249
Fat: 10
Cholesterol: 66
Sat. Fat: 4
Fiber: 1
Protein: 7
Sodium: 147

Diabetic Exchange:
Other carbs: 2
Fat: 2

28 comments:

  1. Sounds like you had a super day Jeanne ! This wonderful pie,great weather and your family ! What a way to celebrate your birthday. Love the oicture of you and the boys!! CKJ

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    1. Thanks Cindy! It was a terrific birthday and weekend. I think all birthdays should be on Friday and extend another couple of days!!! I love the photo of my little guys too. They make getting older worth it! :)

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  2. What a lovely birthday celebration, Jeannie! I, too, love the photo of you and your little buddies! ,,,and you are very lucky to have Katie prepare such a beautiful pie for you! Happy 59! xox

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    1. Carol, thank you for such kind words! It was a lovely birthday, and the pie was great! 59 isn't so bad!!!

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  3. I think I will try that pie...looks so good. And congrats on the new job. Love and kisses

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    1. Christian, thanks so much for the comment! Now you're in the running for the big prize! So appreciate it, and thank you too for the congrats. I am very happy to start my new position. Who says you can't recreate yourself at 59? What's that they say about old dogs and new tricks? Not true! xox

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  4. This looks so go, Jeannie. Not a big fan of meringue, but LOVE coconut creme pie. Will have to try this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful recipes...and those pictures of your sweet darling grand-babies.

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    1. Thanks so much Joyce (this is Joyce, isn't it?! - Sounds just like you!) So glad to find your comments, which are lovely, just like you!

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  5. I am so happy to hear of your new position, what a positive change in your life. Congratulations!!! I know you will do a great job.
    JK

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    1. Thanks so much, Judy! I am so excited about this new beginning. Who knew that turning 59 would bring so many exciting changes! Look forward to seeing you soon again, I hope!

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  6. I must be blind, Jeannie! I just came back to read the recipe again...and saw Chris' comment on your new job. I went back up and re-read your post. How did I miss such an important event? CONGRATULATIONS on your promotion...well deserved!!! xox

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    1. Thanks so much Carol! It's a great opportunity and I just had to go for it. The biggest surprise was - I got it! Just shows we're never too old to reinvent ourselves! I so appreciate your kind words! xox - Jeannie

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  7. jeanne as I said on facebook this is my favorite pie !! it looks so good thanks for posting the lighter versioned recipe ! sharron

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    1. My pleasure Sharron! It's a great pie, light or not!

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  8. Thanks for posting these lighter versions of desserts Jeannie! Great ideas and great for those of us with a serious sweet tooth--or ten! I know a coconut pie lover who might be getting a version of this pie--though I don't know if I can make it quite as picture perfect.

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    1. Marla, it's been fun (and rewarding) coming up with lighter versions of our favorite desserts! You can make this pie - go for it!

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  9. You are a remarkable woman, Jeannie. And what a great way to nudge closer to the next decade -- improved health, new job, and wonderful recipes to share with the many who look forward to them. Enjoy every minute of 59. Cheers to you...crh

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    1. CRH, you are too kind (and I love it!). I will enjoy 59 and glide into my sixties with as much healthy and happy energy as I can, and hopefully bring a lot of you along for the ride!

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  10. Congratulations on the new job! Sara and I were just talking about Skidmore this past weekend and were wondering if you had gotten it. Sounds like the perfect job for you. Coconut cream is my mom's favorite so I will be making this for her birthday. The recipe is a lot more nutritional than the one I currently use.

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    1. Thanks Lynne! So appreciate your comment, and your congrats for the new position. I am VERY excited about it!

      Try this pie - it's SO good! Please give my best to Sara, and tell her how much I miss seeing her every day!

      All the best to you! - Jeannie

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  11. As usual I am late .. Happy Belated Birthday! Congratulations on your new position!!!! It is the best when the kids do special things for us - and Katie sure made your day special. The pie looks scrumptious and knowing it is healthier makes it all the better. Hugs!

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    1. Thanks so much Loraine! And you're right, it's great to see how giving and generous our kids have grown up to be. :) The pie was AMAZING and I think it's time for another one! xox

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  12. I have to agree with everyone else, that the pie looks amazing. I'm thrilled to know that the new job went through, because I know how much you were looking forward to a change. My favorite part of this particular post...the pic of you with your 2 guys! Henry and Pete are blessed to have you as their Grandma! Here's to 59!

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    1. It was a GREAT pie! And thanks about the new position. I'm very happy about it and it already feels like the perfect fit, and I haven't even started yet! Thanks too about the photo with my little guys - I am so fortunate to be their Grandma! Glad you and Bob had a great vacation in the tropics, again!!! Did you bring back any recipes? :)

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  13. Looks like a wonderful birthday, and great pie. I'm thinking almond flour might be a nice substitution too. May have to try this one!

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    1. Elitza, almond flour would make a great crust! If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

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  14. Hello there, I was googling Kitchenaid mixers when I came across your website. I have now been looking through all your lovely recipes-(and photos). This pie looks absolutely delicious and I am going to give it a go. I hope your Kitchenaid is still going well-(I am from Australia and they are ridiculously expensive here!). Thanks for sharing.
    Jennifer.

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    1. Jennifer - hello! How exciting to have a reader from Australia! My daughter and her husband honeymooned in New Zealand and Australia and loved every minute! So glad you enjoy my recipes and photos! Try the pie recipe - hope you enjoy it! And yes, my Kitchenaid is going strong but it has a few signs of wear - I have to unplug it from the wall to turn it off! It needs some attention but I can't be without it long enough to have it serviced. Will keep unplugging it as long as I have to! Hope you come back for another visit!

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