Welcome! I am glad you are here. Join me with a cup of your favorite beverage and see what is going on in my life and what is on my mind. I would love to have you join my site and you can do that on the left side where it says 'followers'. And please leave a comment! Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What's Cooking . . . . Quick and Easy Coconut Cream Pie



I tried this new recipe yesterday, and oh, my! It is s.o.o.o good! I found the recipe here. Coconut Cream is one of my favorite pies, but as my friend said, I have never met a pie I didn't like. If pie is on the menu I will be there!

Coconut Cream Pie

2 package instant vanilla pudding
2 cup milk
1 small container Cool Whip
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 small can coconut
1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked

Mix the pudding and milk together. Let set a few minutes in the refrigerator. Fold in the Cool Whip and vanilla. Add toasted coconut. Pour into pie crust and top with more coconut. Refrigerate. To toast coconut, place on lightly greased cookie sheet and bake until light brown, let cool. 

I tried to make this as frugal as possible, as well as close to sugar free since I don't need those extra calories.

First I baked a single pie crust ( Great Value from dairy case) in a glass pie plate, and while the oven was still hot I toasted the coconut. This was about half of a small bag of coconut that was left after using it in the cookies I made awhile back. It is a good idea to use up the coconut fairly soon as it does dry out. 

 Make sure you prick a lot of holes in the pie crust with a fork before baking. I still ended up with a large 'bubble' in one area. Some good cooks like to put some dried beans on top before baking to hold the pastry down but I didn't do that. There are also pie weights available if you bake lots of pies, but that is just more 'stuff' to find a place for in my small house. This is the first time I have used the Great Value brand from Walmart. I found it to be quite flaky and had a good flavor. The fluted edge did relax a little too much in baking so it didn't look so pretty. Maybe I was in too much of a hurry and didn't pinch it tight enough? It also crumbled very easily, not like the thick and almost cardboard texture of most grocery store pies, and it is a bit cheaper than the regular Pillsbury brand. If you want to make your own crust, my favorite recipe is below.

Watch the coconut very closely while toasting it. I don't leave the kitchen when doing that because it can burn very quickly once it starts to brown. I also stirred it a couple of times while toasting. Allow the crust and coconut to cool before making the pie. This step can be done a day or so before actually putting the pie together.

For the filling I used 2 boxes Great Value brand instant French vanilla pudding mix , sugar free. Great Value is quite a bit cheaper than other brands and I think just as good. I use sugar free as I need to watch sugar levels and don't need those extra calories. For the 2 cups milk I used 1 cup evaporated milk from the pantry and one cup water as I had no regular milk on hand. I did not have to chill the pudding as the directions say as it was already very thick. 

 I prefer Watkin's  vanilla extract. I know there are cheaper imitation vanilla flavorings available but I feel this is not an area to skimp on. It used to be that the only way you could by Watkin's products was to buy from a dealer that went door to door years ago. My Walmart does carry their vanilla as well as their black pepper and cinnamon, their most popular sellers. My daughter made a pumpkin pie from the recipe I always use and said it didn't taste like mine. It was the cinnamon as she didn't have Watkin's.  If you can't find it in a store, it can be ordered online.

The Cool Whip was in my freezer from a time when it was on sale for 89 cents, and I bought several to have on hand. When I added the toasted coconut, I reserved some to sprinkle on top. I have already had a piece and it is yummy! I haven't added up the cost or how much cheaper it is than if I had used the usual brand name, mostly because I can't remember prices of the name brands, plus I hate to take the time to do it. Yes, I am lazy. To guess, I would say it was about $1.00 to $1.50 saved, more if you don't count the cost of the leftover coconut that wasn't wasted.


3 cups flour
1 cup lard
2 teaspoons salt

Using a pastry blender, or food processor (I don't have one) blend the lard into the flour until pea size lumps.

Mix together:
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons vinegar
water to make 2/3 cup

Add to lard/flour mixture until it holds together. Divide into 3 balls as this is enough for 3 one crust pies, or 1 double crust pie and 1 single. Sometimes I use that single one to make treats by cutting into strips, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and bake. I can't get enough of those.

The reason I call this Mom's pie crust is that she found this recipe decades ago and never made any other after that. She might have gotten in from a popular recipe column of a local newspaper back in the 1950's, or maybe from a friend of hers.

I might also add that if you don't like the idea of using lard and use a solid vegetable shorting like Crisco, use about 1/3 cup more. With all the talk about trans fats and hydrogenated fats not being good for us, I am thinking lard is the way to go. It is a natural product. 


  1. that looks just delicious! I have a sign in my kitchen that says "pie fixes everything" We are pie fans!
    I saw that our new Aldi sells sugar free instant pudding too. You don't have an Aldi near, do you?

    1. The closest Aldi is Omaha which is a 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive, but where my daughter lives. There are 6 stores in the Omaha area. I have told my daughter about the stores but she was not impressed - but then they don't try to save either. If I get down there I will have her take me to the closest one. Do they have electric carts like Walmart?

  2. Oh dear ... I have just read your recipe. better put the kettle on Lorita. I'm on my way to your house. " Drool" Sue


I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment.