Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Perform random acts of pieness.*

January 23 is National Pie Day here in the States. It's a little-known holiday to most, but to bakers in general, and to me in particular, it is a sacred obligation. (OK, I made up that part, or at least the part about to other bakers.) I have long been on record for my love of all things pie, but it never hurts to remind everyone now and again.
Because pie ROCKS.

H has flown off to California for five days, so I can bake whatever I like best and not worry about his tastes. Which means I am making a coconut custard pie for ME. There are exactly two other people in this world who I am aware of liking coconut custard pie - my father-in-law who is currently in Florida, and my friend P who is in California and whom H will be seeing Saturday evening. I will tell H to taunt P with the idea of my coconut custard pie. (Of course, P is the sort of guy who might just hop a plane to get himself a piece of pie.)

Impossible Coconut Custard Pie

4 large eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup Bisquick
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
2 TBSP butter, softened
Coconut to taste (I only use Baker's)

Mix all ingredients in blender till smooth (I throw in a handful of coconut here, too.
Pour into a 9" or 10" pie plate (preferably one with 2" sides).
Sprinkle generously with grated coconut.
Bake about 45 minutes at 350 degrees, until done. Coconut will brown slightly, and a thin knife blade inserted in the middle should come out clean.
Cool on rack, and do not cut until completely cool.
Refrigerate after serving (if there's any left!).
Yummy cold, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or late-night snack.

And this chocolate pie from James Villa's never-let-me-down-yet cookbook My Mother's Southern Desserts will be baked up for the boys who are chocolate fiends. I was initially looking for a basic chocolate pudding icebox sort of pie, but then decided this sounded too good and too easy not to try. I have never baked anything from this cookbook that was not delectable.

Plain Ole Dixie Chocolate Pie

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 large egg yolks
1/8 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 cups milk
2 tsp vanilla
1 prebaked 9" chocolate wafer pie shell (recipe below)
1 cup heavy cream,, whipped to stiff peaks

In large heavy saucepan, combine cocoa, cornstarch, egg yolks, salt, and sugar.
Beat well with a whisk till blended.
Over low heat, gradually add milk, whisk till smooth, and cook slowly until thickened, stirring constantly.
Remove pan from heat, add the vanilla, stir, and let cool.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pie crust.
Chill till slightly firm but not hard.
Serve topped with whipped cream.

Chocolate Wafer Pie Shell
1-1/2 cups finely crushed chocolate wafer crumbs (I may use chocolate grahams if I can't find the Nabisco wafers I like.)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease 9" pie plate.
In medium bowl, mix wafer crumbs, butter and sugar, and mix till well-blended and crumbs are evenly moistened.
Press into bottom and sides of pie plate.
Bake till firm, about 10 minutes.
Allow to cool completely before filling.

Go forth and bake pie.
Or at least eat some.
We will be. And we can't do ALL the work. Some of us are very pregnant and need some help eating pie.

Oh, and here's your bonus pie track for the day: the delectable Ralph of Ralph's World, with Peggy's Pie Parlor Polka. (Follow the link, scroll down, and click on the appropriate player for "Peggy's Pie Parlor Polka.")


*American Pie Council


Peg said...

And there you have it; it took a post about pie to tear me away from the RSS feed and actually come and leave a comment. Can't remember the last time I did this!

You have a special place in my heart for helping me get over my fear of making pie crust from scratch. And now I know what I'm doing with the rest of all these apples!

Jess said...

I'll give you a hand with that coconut pie. Just yesterday I was having a huge coconut craving.

Miz S said...

God. I want pie sooooooo much.

Paula said...

My youngest loves coconut cream pie, he asks for that instead of birthday cake.

And my husband? Will eat ANY kind of pie. He say's 'it's pie, what could be wrong, even bad pie is still pie'.

Caterina said...

I'll eat every last crumb to a coconut custard pie. Deelish!

Hungry in LA said...

I'm assuming you saw "Waitress." If you didn't rent it, Keri Russell plays the best pie baker ever. Who is also, incidentally, pregnant.

Anonymous said...

That chocolate pie was the best thing I have ever tasted. Oh my word!!!