from Phil Bratcher
I'm intoxicated and chocolate takes a backseat when I smell anything coconut. This recipe below combines several of my favorite things like lemon and also buttermilk. This is the best recipe for this type of coconut pie or any custard I have ever used -- good enough to lie down and wallow in if you're home alone! And good enough for your best company.
Preheat oven 375 to 400 degrees F (If your oven is old or tends to be slow or hot, invest in an oven thermometer.)
1/2 c butter (1 stick) room temp
2 c sugar
4 large eggs (XL is fine)
2/3 c buttermilk
1 t vanilla
1 t lemon extract
2 T lemon juice
2 t lemon zest
1 c + 4 T sweetened coconut
1 10 inch pie crust
1/4 to 1/2 t nutmeg (grated fresh)
This recipe is easy-schmeasy. You can use a mixer, but it isn't necessary. Sometimes I only use half a stick of butter, just be sure it's very soft. The lemon zest and juice are really one large lemon. You don't have to be exact, but try using a Meyer lemon if you can find one.
Whisk butter (my Kosher buds use margarine) and sugar until whipped and light colored and beat in eggs one at a time. Whisk in other ingredients except coconut thoroughly and then stir in 1 c coconut. Pour into an unbaked pie shell. I do not make pie crust since the Pillsbury crust in the red box is so good (the refrigerated type). I never use frozen crusts.
Use a large 10" pan because this is a large pie. Sometimes if it's a gift, I buy the 2-pack disposable tins and they are just right. I have even improvised and used 5 or 6 layers of phyllo each brushed with melted butter and molded to the pie plate for crust. Pour mixture into shell and sprinkle with remaining coconut. You could omit the coconut for a lemon pie or leave out the lemon and add 4 oz melted semi-sweet chocolate plus 1 cup pecans or walnuts on top for a German chocolate pie. The recipe is very adaptable.
A word about tools: Treat yourself and buy whole nutmegs. They're cheap and have the shelf life of rocks. You know the rusty grater you have with that fine side you never use? That's for nutmeg. If you're feeling luxurious, go to the Williams-Sonoma or Martha website and order a rasp type grater which is also wunnerful for citrus zest. They're worth every penny. Put a push pin by your sink to hang the grater and you'll be surprised how often you use it. They also make a small grater with a trap door top to hold your nutmeg. If you don't have one, write or call me and I'll send you one for Christmas!
Reverend Phil Bratcher has been a counselor in private practice for over 10 years. Now in his 25th year of ministry, Reverend Bratcher has worked mostly as a therapist and spiritual counselor specializing in spiritual direction, the relief of depression, life strategies and career planning, long-term illness and relationship issues for couples. He is also trained in The Work of Byron Katie, teaching individuals and facilitating groups in the faith community and his community at large.
Often a featured speaker, Reverend Bratcher is a volunteer chaplain for the South Carolina Department of Corrections, Upstate Coordinator for the South Carolina Global Warming Campaign for the Christian Action Council in Columbia, South Carolina, and is past Secretary to the Executive Board for Greenville Faith Communities United which seeks social justice and interfaith understanding.
Reverend Bratcher makes his home in Greenville, SC, where he is a member of the Metropolitan Community Church and is their interfaith representative to GFCU and past chair of their outreach and singles committees. E-mail Phil at Peacefulstar@msn.com.
To read more of Phil's poetry, click here:
Bratcher - II
Bratcher - III
Bratcher - IV
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