Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Basic Cream Pie

2/3 C sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 T cornstarch
1 T flour
3 C milk
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 T margarine
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix sugar, salt, cornstarch and flour in a heavy saucepan. Add milk gradually, stirring well to mix ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Boil two minutes. remove from the heat. Slowly add half of the mixture to the egg yolks, stirring constantly. Return egg mixture to remaining ingredients in the saucepan and blend well. Boil one minute more, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; blend in margarine and vanilla. Cool (unless adding meringue), stirring occasionally. Pour into cooled pie crust. Chill thoroughly for two hours. Top with sweetened whipped cream, which you make by beating 1/2 C of whopping cream until stiff, and beating in 1 T confectioners' sugar and 1/4 tsp vanilla. Or sprinkle with shaved nuts, toasted coconut or fresh berried. Take the chilled pie out of refrigerator 20 minutes before serving; this allows the crust to b e a the peak of flavor.


Follow the basic cream pie recipe, except fold in 3/4 cup moist, shredded coconut just before filling pastry shell. Sprinkle an additional 1/4 cup of shredded coconut on whipped cream or meringue topping (before meringue is baked so coconut will toast in the final baking). I toasted the coconut at 350 degrees until lightly browned and then sprinkled it on the whipped cream.


Follw the basic cream pie recipe, except increase the sugar amount to 1 1/2 cups and add 3 square (3 oz) of chopped, unsweetened chocolate with the milk (or add 1/2 C cocoa with the dry ingredients before adding milk). Top with whipped cream or meringue.


Follow the basic cream pie recipe, except arrange a layer of sliced bananas, 1/2 inch deep, in a pastry shell before pouring in cooled filling. Three bananas usually are adequate. If you use whipped cream topping, garnish with a ring of sliced bananas. To prevent the banans from turning brown, dip them in lemon or pineapple juice or a commercial fruit preservative containing ascorbic acid.

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