Thursday, January 20, 2011

impossible pie

You know what else feels impossible? The colour green. Flowers. The sight of cement.

Yes, it's snowing again and I'm getting just a little depressed about it. I'm never one to get depressed over winter. It's nothing new to me. It's something I've had to live with my entire life. But now I've had enough.

Probably because I've been mostly housebound since we moved. I'm pretty comfortable driving myself around in these conditions, but not so comfortable driving alongside the other drivers. So I'll admit I've mostly done it to myself, but at least it's motivated me to shuffle through a lot of things I've been ignoring for too long.

I found this recipe while unpacking a box of unsorted personal papers. Don't you just love those boxes? They're full of "important" things, but they're all scrunched and folded and thrown together in the dirtiest box you've got (preferably one that's had its lid ripped off years ago). That's really how you label a box 'important papers' professional organisers be damned! These specific papers and pictures have been stuffed in this box since we last moved and this time, I figured I'd go through it and finally make the decision as to whether any of it was actually worth keeping.

Surprise of all surprises, a large amount of it was junk (didn't see that coming, I bet). Half of it wasn't even mine, and about a handful of it was handwritten recipes. Some from my great aunt, some from friends of ours long since forgotten, some from mom, and even some from young me. This recipe is one of mom's. Scribbled out on daytimer paper and horribly stained, you know it's got to be good.

I remembered the name of the pie, I remembered making it with her, but I couldn't remember how it turned out or what it tasted like. It was freshly impossible again! And that was really what motivated me the most to make it. That and because I wanted to stage some pictures with these fake daisies I found (in another box). Little fake icons of summer.

I feel almost badly that I'm even bothering with pictures of the pie. I feel like I'm ruining it for you. That leap of faith, that devil-may-care attitude, that thought that goes through your mind when you read the ingredients and the method. This shouldn't work into a pie. This can't be right. There's got to be a step missing. An ingredient! Something! And then you gingerly measure ingredients out and put them together and you keep reading and rereading the recipe just to make sure you've got it right. All of that is going to be lost on you, and that's sometimes half the fun of baking. Something I really miss. There's not a recipe out there these days where there isn't a picture of it (somewhere) or ratings from a gaggle of reviewers letting you know exactly what it is you're getting yourself into. I chose not to google this recipe until after I made it, and now I know there are pictures out there already (big surprise). So I figured I might as well have fun with my daisies because anyone who reads this will run over to google and search it anyway. I probably would have, too, if it hadn't have been my mom's recipe.

So on that note, I think this pie is pretty neat. The flour settles to the bottom to form a crust, the eggs make up a slightly sweet eggy custard in the middle (on par with jello texture), and the coconut floats up to form a crusty topping. When you first take it out of the oven, it's puffed up and flat, but as it cools, it all sinks together leaving a delicious crispy coconut trim. That's my favourite part.

4 eggs
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla (I'd love to try coconut next time!)

Put everything into a blender in the order listed. Blend until combined (scrape the sides down if you notice some flour stuck there). Pour into a greased 10" pie plate. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until the top is golden and it no longer wobbles.


Lael said...

The flowers are sure a cheery sight in all this winter ick:)
I keep looking outside,expecting to see green and come up each time,sad. Just a few more months to go..

Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot said...

Looks like a lovely pie! Not a big fan of coconut but I can still appreciate that it must be tasty to a coconut fan. I am also loving that silverware of yours! It's the quintessential antique silverware pattern. What's not to love?

GALaxy said...

Lael: I'm starting a countdown right now!

Lindsey: I was trying to think of something else you could use instead of the coconut, though I can't think of anything similar in texture since I think that's important to it rising up. Maybe you could omit it altogether and pipe some whipped cream on top instead. Then it would just be an eggy custard. For some reason, I really want to make it chocolate, too, but I think I just have chocolate on the brain right now.

Deborah said...

This is so great! I love how you just blend it all together and bake it and it decides just how to sort itself out! Also, loved the part about how a box should just be labeled "Important stuff" rather than whatever is actually in it. When we moved from a beloved home and I was so sad to take the theater set (meaning the decor of our lives there) down and pack it away, I ended up labeling many boxes "My Best Stuff". Still a family joke for us but that's what each box contained - little bits of my favorite things in no particular category.

erika said...

Looks so yummy! I can't wait to try the recipe. Thanks for sharing!

DeniseinVA said...

Love the look of this pie and the ingredients. I am going to try this one next time I make dessert. Thanks so much. Thought the fact that this is your Mother's recipe was lovely, every one of those stains is a little bit of history in the kitchen. Your daisies looked very cute too. No googling here.

Elizabeth said...

For those of us who DO love coconut, I wonder if the milk could be subbed with coconut milk for a more coconutty flavor.

GALaxy said...

Elizabeth: I don't see why not. I thought about using coconut extract instead of vanilla, but your idea makes more sense. I think it would definitely make the custard more coconut flavoured than just a simple eggy custard.

Sarah said...

I found this pie (almost identical) in The Sweet Potato Queen's Big Ass Cookbook and Financial Planner. She calls it Miracle Pie and I made it the second I read it. It was SO good. Lovely post. Great pictures.