Back in the days of Vaudeville, and when variety acts and shows were a really big deal, slapstick comedy was a must. You know, the days when they would use a cane to get you off the stage if they thought you stunk, because it would save you from being pelted with rotten tomatoes. Back then (and now, really) a pie to the face was FUNNY. There is actually a name for it: pieing.
For some reason, it was always a coconut cream pie. This was not considered a waste of a perfectly good coconut cream pie, either, because it was something that brought a smile to your face. All the great comedians did it: Soupy Sales was the master of it, Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, The Three Stooges…heck, Charlie Chaplin even made the first movie that ever had pieing in it, Behind the Screen, in 1916. Can you believe that?? 1916!!
So I think it’s a fair statement that pieing has been around for a while. I would even venture to say it is part of comedic history. Why? Because a coconut cream pie to the face can bring a smile.
Well, I pied my friend. And I’m proud of it. Yes, I put a coconut cream pie in her face……and it made her smile. I baked my special coconut cream pie and delivered it to my friend Kacey and within an hour, I received a phone call. “This is the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth!! No, all kidding aside, it makes up for everything bad that has ever happened in my life!” I have to tell you that brought tears of joy to my eyes, because I had baked it with 100% love in the recipe. (Remember Flat Biscuits?) It truly was one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received – so I guess I’m part of comedic history!
So, Ladies and Gentlemen, without further ado, I am avoiding being caned off-stage for not sharing the recipe for this pie. But a word of caution: love is not listed as one of the ingredients in the recipe – that should just be a given. There is a secret ingredient that will make the entire pie amazing…but without creating this masterpiece with love, it just won’t taste the same.
Sometimes we may feel as though we’re on the receiving end of pieing. It can make us feel like rotten tomatoes are being pelted at us. But remember that some of the greats got pied and made history! And also remember that being on the receiving end of a pie-to-the-face isn’t ALWAYS a bad thing.
Coconut Cream Pie-to-the-Face Pie
Ingredients (I use all-organic, but it’s not necessary)
5 cups sweetened flaked coconut
7 tablespoons butter
About 1/2 cup chocolate chips (the secret ingredient!) – I don’t measure, I just cover the entire crust with the chips
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
Additional sweetened flaked coconut, toasted – NECESSARY!
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Mist a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Place 3 cups coconut in a bowl. In a pan, melt 5 tablespoons of the butter. Stir butter into coconut until it’s all moistened. Press into the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Bake until crust is deep golden brown, which is usually about 25-to-30 minutes. Check on it often—if edges are browning before the bottom does, cover the edges with foil. Take the crust out of the oven. Sprinkle chocolate chips over hot crust and let stand for 5 minutes, until melted. Gently spread chocolate over bottom of crust. Refrigerate crust for 10-to-15 minutes.
2. In a bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, flour and vanilla until smooth. Warm milk in a pan over medium heat until nearly simmering, BUT DON’T LET IT BOIL. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot milk into egg mixture (this is called tempering so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs in your pie). Return milk mixture to pan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil and thickens enough to coat back of a spoon, which usually takes about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the remaining 2 cups coconut and last 2 tablespoons butter; let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour custard into crust. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing directly against surface of custard, and chill completely, and hour-and-a-half.
3. Using an electric mixer, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Spread whipped cream over custard, swirling decoratively. Chill pie for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.
4. Put it in yer face. SMILE.