- 1). Make the dough for your pie crust the day before you plan to finish the pie. In a big bowl, mix together 1 1/4 cups of flour and 1/4 tsp. of salt. Add in 4 tbsp. of chopped cold butter and 3 tbsp. of vegetable shortening. Using knives, cut through the mix in a scissor-like manner. When it looks like choppy crumbs, stop cutting.
- 2). Add 3 tbsp. of ice water, 1 tbsp. at a time, and mix with a fork or small whisk just until the dough sticks together. Use your hands to mold the dough into a disk shape, then cover it in plastic wrap and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
- 3). Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and roll out the dough into a flat disk on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Cover the counter top and the rolling pin in flour first to prevent the dough from sticking to the surfaces and tearing. Place the dough inside your pie pan and trim off the extra, leaving just about an inch of crust hanging over the plate edges.
- 4). Fold the overhanging crust underneath the pie edges and use a fork to decorate the rim of the pie in any fashion you like. Line the edges of the crust in foil and fill the pan with dried beans. The edges of the pie cook faster than the middle so lining it with foil will help keep the edges from burning.
- 5). Bake until the crust begins to set, usually between 10 and 15 minutes. Remove the foil and the beans and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. Use a spoon to press out any areas that might have puffed up during baking. Set it out on the counter to cool.
- 6). Make the pie filling. Recipes vary but usually you should add about 2/3 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of cornstarch and 1/2 tsp. of salt to a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add 3 cups of milk slowly, making sure to constantly whisk the mixture until it boils.
- 7). Allow the milk mixture to boil for one minute while you continue to stir. Separate four egg yolks from their whites and gently beat the yolks. Very slowly, add half of the hot mix to the yolks and then pour it back into the saucepan. This is called tempering the eggs. It prepares the eggs to be added to the hot saucepan without causing them to cook up and give you scrambled eggs in your pie.
- 8). Bring the contents to a boil again and stir it for another minute before taking it off the heat. Add in 2 tbsp. of soft butter, 2 tsp. of vanilla and 3/4 cup of shredded coconut. Some like to use coconut milk instead of the shredded pieces, or you can use both.
- 9). Pour the hot filling into the pie crust. Cover the pie with foil and refrigerate it for several hours. Once cool, dress it up by adding a whipped cream or meringue topping and sprinkling it with more coconut or other tropical fruits like pineapple and mango pieces. Cover with plastic wrap and cool several hours before eating.
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