Something Old, Something New

Three weeks ago I made a pie, and I’m just now getting around to writing about it. (Lately, that’s nothing new.) Something I figured out, not having time to do both:

It’s a whole lot more fun to eat pie and not write about it than it is to write about not eating pie.

I’m sure you would agree. Nevertheless, I thought I should at least share the pie with you. I mean the pie recipe. The pie itself is long gone. The recipe, however, is something old. Before I share it, I’ll fill you in on…

Something New
You may have noticed the straying from my usual format of a few photos with captions laced in between. That’s thanks to one of my favorite blogs, Small Things. Ginny Sheller shares about her life with her family in their 1800s farmhouse in eastern Virginia, where she raises six children, knits, and tries to maneuver life around her husband’s renovations. Most importantly, she shares their life in beautiful photographs that always seem to bring a sense of peace and calm pouring over me. My photos do not come close to measuring up to Ginny’s talented eye, but I thought I’d deliver them today in a way that might string together a story without me having to explain every detail, and let you put it together for yourself.

Of course, I’ve been known to over-explain in duplicate, sometimes even in triplicate, my random thoughts now and then. (Just ask my husband. I’m sure he’d be more than happy to confirm that for you.) So, there’s a chance that by the time you’re done reading, I will have given you the whole story in words anyway. I thought I should warn you. But then, I guess you will have figured that out by the time you are done reading…

Something Old
As you may have guessed, I collect cookbooks. I have hundreds of them. (Okay, I haven’t counted, but the tally is up there.) One of the series I continue to add to is my collection of Iowa State Fair cookbooks. A recent find is of the fair’s eighth edition, “History in the Baking,” during Iowa’s sesquicentennial celebration. The recipes contained within its pages are from three years of competition: 1993, 1994, and 1995. A special section includes recipes of yesteryear, a sampling representative of Iowa’s 150-year past.

While not from the section of historical recipes, I came across a recipe for coconut cream pie that looked to have the simple, old-fashioned flavor I was looking for. This pie won first place in the cream meringue class in 1995 and was prepared by Clifford R. Ellington of Des Moines. He topped the pie with meringue, but I was in the mood for a sweetened whipped cream. The only other adjustment I made to the recipe was adding a bit of coconut flavoring to the filling. The result was divine. I could have eaten it all day.

(Oh, wait…I did.)

Three weeks ago was also the first warm day of Spring for us, and the first weekend of soccer games. My kids wanted to spend their down time “playing sports”, so I snapped photos while they did so with their dad. And I observed a few more birds (a mourning dove and a brown thrasher) to add to our growing list of sightings.

Whether you’re doing something old or something new, I hope your Spring is off to a warm start.

Yours in pie,

Old-Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie

(From “History in the Baking: Recipes from the Iowa State Fair," with slight changes)

For the filling:

1 c. sugar

¼ c. cornstarch

¼ tsp. salt

3 c. whole milk

4 egg yolks, slightly beaten

3 T. butter

1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

¼ tsp. coconut flavoring

1 c. flaked coconut

In saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Cook until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir a little hot mixture (about 1 c.) into beaten egg yolks. Return to saucepan and heat until bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in butter, vanilla, and coconut flavoring. Stir in coconut; mix well. Transfer mixture to a bowl and place bowl in ice water bath, stirring to cool. When completely cool, transfer mixture to baked pie shell, cover surface with plastic wrap, and refrigerate several hours.

For topping:

1 c. whipping cream

¼ c. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Toasted flaked coconut (about 2 T.)

Beat whipping cream in bowl of electric mixer until frothy. Gradually begin adding sugar, beating continuously until soft peaks begin to form. Stir in vanilla. Top filling with whipped cream and sprinkle on toasted coconut to garnish. Store pie in refrigerator.

I shared this recipe on:
Full-Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage and
Church Supper at Everyday Mom's Meals.


  1. Hi, just came from Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday. I'm a big dessert fan and pie fits in that category. YUM coconut cream pie sounds delicious. I'm pinning this, I can't resist.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Joanne/Winelady Cooks

    1. Joanne,
      Thanks for visiting! I hope you get a chance to make the pie, it really is such a good basic coconut cream. Enjoy!

  2. Gorgeous pie! I found you from Everyday Mom's Meals.

  3. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Hope you have a very special Mothers Day weekend and enjoy your new Red Plate.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen


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