Cooks Exchange

Readers love coconut pies

Coconut fans love a good coconut pie.

Longtime friend Hope Redmond loves coconut, but her husband, Bidwell Redmond, does not.

My late-husband and I spent nearly every Friday date night with the Redmonds. Sometimes we would dine out, but most of the time we would cook together and simply enjoy visiting.

My husband, like Hope, loved anything coconut, and from time to time Bidwell and I would pacify them with a coconut creation.

On birthdays, I would make a coconut cake that was the creation of the late Carrie Garner, whose coconut cake I would even eat, and I do not like coconut.

Like reader Dottie Fleming of Bradenton, Fla., Hope’s and Allen’s favorite coconut dessert was coconut pie. Fleming asked for an easy coconut pie, not a coconut cream pie. Readers have shared a variety.

Pamela Merritt of Bradenton and Toni Betyn of Palmetto, Fla., e-mailed a pie recipe, Big Jimmy’s Coconut Pie, from the Bradenton Herald in last week’s column.

The amount of coconut was omitted, and coconut lovers messaged wanting to know the amount. Like I said, coconut fans love coconut pie. The Big Jimmy’s Coconut Pie recipe, complete with coconut, is reprinted today.

Gulfport’s Dora Harrison offers a recipe for easy coconut cream pie, and Jackie Crawford of Pass Christian, a coconut cream and a French coconut pie. Fleming has four recipes from which to choose.

“Here are two recipes that are our favorites,” Crawford writes. “Both are easy to make. A friend made the French coconut pies for me and gave me the recipe several years ago.”

“This easy coconut cream pie, may look fancy, and hard to make, but it is easy to whip up in no time,” Harrison writes.

COFFEE CAKE

Maureen Broussard of Biloxi asked for a good, basic coffee cake with streusel topping or an apple kuchen recipe that she could double to feed about 20 people.

I have a sour cream coffee cake recipe that is simple to do. It has a brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon layered onto cake batter. Another recipe uses a yellow cake mix as a base.

Readers, please share your coffee cake recipes, especially if you make an apple kuchen. Let’s give Broussard a variety of choices.

WANTED: BEET GREENS RECIPES

“Do you know if beet green tops are edible like other greens”? asked Lynette Faul of Gulfport. “It seems to me that they kind of remind me of Swiss chard.”

Beet greens are edible and are like kale. Not a big fan of beets, I haven’t cooked the greens, so readers, please share your recipes for cooked beet greens.

BIG JIMMY'S COCONUT PIE

2 eggs

1/2 cup white granulated sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 1/2 cups sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 ounces shredded unsweetened coconut

1 unbaked pie shell (9-inch)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together.

Add the cornstarch, milk, and butter and blend well.

Add the coconut and stir until incorporated.

Pour the filling into the pie shell. Bake until firm, about

40-45 minutes. Cool and serve.

Submitted by Pamela Merritt and Toni Betyn

COCONUT CREAM PIE

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

2 cups milk

3 eggs (separated); keeping egg whites for meringue

1/4 stick of margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 package (6 ounces) coconut

Baked pie shell

Mix together dry ingredients. Stir in milk and egg yolks. Cook until thick and bubbly over medium heat. Add margarine, vanilla and coconut. Pour into cooled, baked pie shell. Cover with meringue and brown.

Submitted by Jackie Crawford from a 1981 edition of the Clarion Ledger

FRENCH COCONUT PIE

(Makes 2 pies)

5 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 stick butter, melted

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 to 1 cup of coconut

2 unbaked pie shells (regular size)

Beat eggs. Add sugar, melted butter, buttermilk and vanilla. Pour into pie shells. Add coconut until filled. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes in unbaked pie shells. Makes 2 pies.

Submitted by Jackie Crawford

EASY COCONUT CREAM PIE

2 packages (3.4 ounces each) Jell-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding

2 cups cold milk

2 cups thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping, divided

1 cup Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut, divided

1 ready-to-use graham cracker crumb crust (6 ounces)

Beat pudding mixes and milk in large bowl with whisk 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup Cool Whip and 3/4 cup coconut; pour into crust.

Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. Meanwhile toast remaining coconut, if desired.

Top pie with remaining Cool Whip and coconut.

Kraft Kitchens tips: Healthy living: Trim 4 grams of fat per serving by preparing with fat-free milk, Cool Whip Lite Whipped Topping and a ready-to-use reduced-fat graham cracker crumb crust.

How to toast coconut: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spread coconut in shallow pan. Bake 7 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently.

Submitted by Dora Harrison

SOUR CREAM COFFEE CAKE

3 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup butter

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 pint sour cream

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 cup chopped pecans

Mix first 4 ingredients and set aside. Cream butter and sugar and beat well. Add eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add vanilla. Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream mixing until smooth. Mix next 3 ingredients in separate bowl.

Put 1/3 of the batter in a well-greased Bundt pan. Spray with nonstick spray before greasing to make sure cake comes out perfectly. Sprinkle 1/2 of nut mixture over the batter. Repeat, adding 1/3 of batter on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm. Also freezes well.

From ‘Hush Puppies and Other Gourmet Delights’

CINNAMON COFFEE CAKE

1 box yellow cake mix

1 small box vanilla instant pudding

2/3 cup oil

3/4 cup water

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon butter flavoring

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Filling:

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring

Milk

Mix cake mix, pudding, oil, water, eggs, vanilla and butter flavoring and beat for 5 minutes. Grease and flour a Bundt pan. Cover bottom of pan with brown sugar and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Mix sugar and cinnamon for filling. Alternate cake batter and filling in three layers of Bundt pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes. Mix ingredients for glaze; pour 1/2 glaze over cake while it is still in pan. Cool cake for a few minutes, then remove from pan and top the cake with remaining glaze.

From ‘Lone Star Legacy’

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