Desserts to Pie For

Coconut Cream Pie
Key Lime Cake
Egg Custard Pie
Egg Pie
Fat-free Chocolate Cake

Homemade delicacies, like pies and cakes, are the perfect end to any meal. But they are also great for other times as well – a quick snack on a rainy weekend, to go with coffee or tea for an afternoon or late-night get-together, to greet unexpected guests or to share with co-workers on a gloomy Monday.

While such treats might not be the healthiest additions to our diets, they are definitely one of the foods we crave the most. Many of the requests we receive for Recipe Box are desserts we remember with fondness and no recollection of calories.

We hope there is a dessert on these pages that elicits a bright memory and a welcome smile from someone close to you.

Add Coconut and Stir

Marian Stovall, of Weatherford, Texas, has lost her recipe for coconut pie that had been on the Argo cornstarch box.
Several readers sent copies of the exact recipe, including Sarah Vaughan, of Waterville, Maine.

Coconut Cream Pie

1/2 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups milk
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup flaked coconut, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 9-inch pie crust, baked
Whipped cream

In 2-quart saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir over medium heat; gradually stir in milk until smooth. Stir in egg yolks. Stirring constantly, bring mixture to boil over medium heat and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Stir in 3/4 cup coconut and vanilla.

Spoon hot filling into prepared pie crust, cover surface with plastic wrap, and cool completely on wire rack. If desired, toast remaining ¼ cup coconut and cool completely.

Spread whipped cream over filling and sprinkle remaining coconut on top. Refrigerate. Chill at least 1 hour before serving. Yields 8 servings.

Keeping It Cool

Janet McRoberts, of Lexington, Kentucky, asked for a key lime cake recipe, preferably one that starts with a cake mix.

Rachel Wooden, of Perry, Georgia, sent this recipe. “Cooking competitions in our area attract many contestants. Our local newspaper prints a supplement called ‘Blue Ribbon Winners and Some That Should Have Been.’ That’s where this recipe came from.”

Key Lime Cake

1 box lemon cake mix
1 package (6 ounces) lime gelatin
3/4 cup orange juice
5 eggs
11/3 cups oil

1/2 stick margarine
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 box (1 pound) confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Chopped pecans, optional

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 9-inch layer pans or a 9-by-11-inch baking dish; set aside.

In large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add orange juice and mix thoroughly. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add oil and stir in thoroughly.

Pour mixture into prepared pans. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until done. Let layers cool before icing.

For icing, cream together margarine, cream cheese and sugar. Add vanilla. Spread icing on each layer and top with pecans.

A Custard of a Pie

Karen Jo Higginbotham, of Palm Bay, Florida, requested a recipe for a good egg custard pie.

Several readers sent their recipes, and Mary Miller, of Boonville, Indiana, sent these tips for making and storing custard pie:

  • Don’t skip partially baking the pastry shell. The delicate custard can’t withstand the higher temperature needed for a golden brown crust.
  • Place the partially baked pastry shell on the oven rack, then pour custard into shell. This will help prevent possible spills.
  • A custard pie is done when the amount of liquid in the center of the filling is smaller than a quarter; the filling will continue to set after the pie is removed from the oven. You can also test the doneness by inserting a knife near the center of the pie. If it comes out clean, the pie is done. Inserting the knife, however, may cause the filling to crack. If a custard pie is overbaked, the filling may weep.
  • Cool the pie on a wire rack for at least an hour. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days. The filling won’t remain smooth and creamy if it’s frozen.

Sylvia Boen, of Clarksville, Arkansas, sent this basic recipe.

Egg Custard Pie

1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
3 eggs, slightly beaten
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 1/4 cups milk

Heat oven to 400°F. Bake pie crust for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

In a mixing bowl, combine eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt and nutmeg. Gradually stir in milk. Blend well. Pour mixture into baked crust; sprinkle with additional nutmeg.

Bake for 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 325° and bake an additional 35 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool to room temperature before serving. Store in refrigerator.

Susan Finlay, of Lucedale, Mississippi, sends a recipe that her mother-in-law used for years.

Susan writes, “This recipe has a different twist – it makes its own crust – but it is oh so simple. My mother-in-law Bernice used to take this pie to older sick folks. She has since passed on, so I thought passing along her recipe would keep her memory alive.”

Egg Pie

3 large eggs
1 can (13 ounces) evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons plain flour
3 tablespoons melted margarine
Nutmeg to taste, 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 325°F. Grease and flour a 9-inch pie plate; set aside.

Place all ingredients in blender and blend well. Pour mixture into pie plate. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.

Cool completely before slicing, then refrigerate remaining pie.

Cherished Memory

Carol Gray, of Haughton, Louisiana, wrote, “My grandmother used to make a syrup cake with dark syrup. It was so moist! I would like to have the recipe if anyone has it.”

Thelma Westmoreland, of Chickamauga, Georgia, sent this recipe.

Fat-free Chocolate Cake

Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup light or dark corn syrup
4 egg whites
1 cup water

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In large bowl, combine dry ingredients until well mixed.

In second bowl, whisk together syrup, egg whites and water. Add to dry ingredients, mixing until smooth. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes, or until done. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes before cutting. /G