Heartland Cooks: Thelma's Coconut Cream Pie

Heartland Cooks 6/13/14 - Thelma's Coconut Cream Pie
This week's Heartland Cook Thelma Blumenstock of De Soto, IL. (Source: KFVS)
This week's Heartland Cook Thelma Blumenstock of De Soto, IL. (Source: KFVS)

DESOTO, IL (KFVS) - This week's Heartland Cook says she can't even guess how many Coconut Cream Pies she's made in her lifetime – but the number would be in the thousands. Thelma Blumenstock of DeSoto, Illinois says her pies have made it to tables all over southern Illinois and even into southeast Missouri. She's even sold her perfect pies to raise money for family members. Thelma earned $4,000 to send her granddaughter to Brazil on a foreign exchange trip, and even more to send her daughter and another granddaughter on a mission trip to Africa. Thelma says everyone always asks for her Coconut Cream Pie; after one bite, you'll understand why.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pie crust (pre-baked)

Filling:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut shavings

Meringue:

  • 4 egg whites
  • Pinch Cream of Tartar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake an unfilled pie shell and set aside to cool.

Filling:

In a medium saucepan, combine egg yolks, sugar, corn starch and one cup of milk. Mix well and add remaining two cups of milk. Heat over high heat, stirring constantly until filling starts to thicken. Lower heat to medium, continuing to stir until mixture boils. Remove from heat.

Add vanilla, butter and coconut shavings. Mix well and set aside to cool.

Meringue:

In a mixing bowl combine egg whites, cream of tartar and vanilla. Turn mixer on high and add sugar a little bit at a time. Continue to beat egg whites until they form a peak.

Pie:

Spoon the coconut cream filling into the pre-baked pie shell. Top with meringue. Use a fork to spread meringue to the very edge of the pie, making certain no filling is visible.

Sprinkle coconut shavings on top to taste.

Bake 10-12 minutes until meringue browns slightly on top.

Thelma's tip: let your pie crust and coconut filling cool before spooning it into the shell. This will prevent your coconut cream pie from becoming soggy.

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