And . . . we’re BACK! I’m sure you’ve been wondering where the ladies of 2137 have been. Actually, I’m quite sure our six loyal readers already know where we’ve all gone, but just in case, here’s a quick recap:
1) Jocelyn (moi) moved to Arkansas. Do not ask why. I am still trying to figure that one out, considering I left a lovely home and a lovely job for a graduate student salary and a place very, very far from the 2137.
2) Jennifer moved out of the 2137 very recently, moving approximately three or four blocks away. She is still making beautiful guitar music, and she painted her new bedroom a lovely blue. I am trying to convince her to move to Arkansas and cook dinner for me every night in exchange for a free place to live. But she, like everyone else, fully comprehends the absurdity of the fact that I live in Arkansas now.
3) Just weeks ago, Catherine entered into the blessed union of marriage after dating Trone for nearly seventeen years. Jennifer and I were witnesses to the ceremony, and we approved of it. We also approve of the fact that she and Trone are making the 2137 their home, along with Atticus and Mow Mow.
So, yes. We’re all in slightly different places now, which makes me terribly sad. I mean, I cried all the way to Arkansas. But it’s lovely to know that we’re all still cooking, and crafting, and being arty-farty on a regular basis in our separate abodes. And if things go well, I’ll continue to pester the girls (via G-chat, text message, and email) to continue writing on the blog as well, if only so that I can see what they are up to.
Which leads me to the latest entry in nearly a millennium . . . Pat’s Pies!
When I returned to Tennessee for Christmas vacation (as a student I get actual vacation days, see), my mom arranged for her friend Pat to show us how to make decadent, delicious, meringue-topped pies. If any of you has ever met me, you’re probably aware that I’m obSESSed with pies. I thought the movie Waitress was made for me because the heroine in the film makes loads of luscious-looking, aptly-named pies like “Marshmallow Mermaid Pie,” “I Hate My Husband Pie,” “Lonely Chicago Pie,” etc. Anyway, I’m pretty sure Pat just calls hers Coconut Pie.
Pat’s a good friend of my mom’s, so she didn’t seem to mind if we just sat there and watched her work. And I mean literally SAT THERE. My mom did help me out a little by sitting and writing down the recipe directions, which I will share with you here.
Hey, Ma! Lookin’ good.
And here’s Pat:
Notice that she’s actually doing something.
Anyway, one of the reasons that I like Pat is that she started out her pie with this:
A store-bought pie crust. Sometimes you just don’t have the time or energy to crank out your own crust, you know? Don’t tell Martha Stewart.
Anyway, Pat dresses the pie crust up so nicely. Check out her technique:
Basically: spread, push, pinch. And voila! It’s lovely.
It’s like she’s done this before. 🙂 Once you have beautified your crust, throw it into the oven at around 350 degrees until it’s beginning to look slightly golden and cooked (just a few minutes). Basically, follow the directions on the box.
So first, mix together:
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 (very heaping) tbsp. of flour
- pinch of salt
Pat has the cutest flour container. See?
I kind of wanted to take it with me. Anyway, once you’ve mixed the dry ingredients, add:
- 1 cup PET milk
- 1 cup hot water
Use a mixer to blend it all together in a microwave-safe bowl or Pyrex.
Take the mixture and microwave it on high for 3 minutes. In the meantime, separate two eggs and place the whites to the side.
Once the mixture from the microwave has heated, take the mixture and temper the egg yolks with it. This means adding a little tiny bit of the hot mixture to the eggs, and then beating it together. Raising the temperature of the eggs a little at a time prevents the eggs from scrambling. Once the eggs seem warmed (but not scrambled), add the mixture back to the Pyrex and mix again.
Return the bowl to the microwave and cook it for 3 more minutes. Pat says it will get thick at this point. Remove hot mixture from the microwave and mix it some more.
At this point, add:
- 4 tsp. (half a stick) butter or margarine (no need to melt it because the mixture will do that)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
AND MIX. AGAIN. This recipe requires a lot of your hand-mixer.
By now, the mixture is beginning to look like pie filling. Microwave it one more time: this time for 2 minutes.
By now, your crust is probably ready to come out of the oven. It ought to look like this:
GAWGEOUS. Flaky, golden, but not brown. Remember that it’s going back in the oven!
Last step on the mixture. Add:
- 1 cup of flaky coconut
Sorry about this terrible action shot. I still am an idiot with this camera.
Mix it up, and voila! It’s ready to go into the pie shell.
Yummmm . . .
Oh my gosh.
Do yourself a favor and lick the spoon. And the bowl. Then get to making that meringue.
- those 2 egg whites you set aside earlier
- 3 heaping tbsp. sugar
And guess what? Beat them together with the mixer until they are meringue-y. Or, as Pat says,”until they look good.”
I’m pretty sure these are soft-peaks forming. At this stage, add:
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Incorporate the vanilla, and then PLOP the meringue on top of the pie. Spread it out evenly at first, like this:
Then, using a spatula, try to form some pretty peaks in the meringue, like so:
Top this beautifulness with some more coconut.
Time for cookin’! Gently place the pie back into the 350-degree oven, and wait for about 8 minutes. It ought to look like this:
Try to wait a few minutes, or you’ll probably burn yourself upon eating. This pie tastes delicious hot AND cold. And I would know, because I ate most of it singlehandedly over the course of two days. That’s right–Pat made the pie, then let me eat it.
Thank you, Pat, for sharing your knowledge AND YOUR PIE!