The Not-So-Secret Secret Recipe


All photos by Ray Hydrick

Two Thanksgivings ago, I was introduced to the most amazing pie.  It was a simple coconut pie, but what made it special was the fact that it had no crust.  It was literally void of that wonderful flaky, salty crust that complements any sweet or savory filling.  This intrigued me.  I asked Mom to get the recipe.  Well, you would think that this recipe was part of the Colonel’s 11 herbs and spices.  She asked her friend for it, but it took two years to gain this lady’s trust.  I thought I needed a silver briefcase and handcuff it to my wrist even to get home from mom’s house.  What in the hell?  Does this recipe cure all known incurable diseases?  Nonetheless, I was eager to get my mitts on it. 

As I ran through Publix to get my ingredients, I kept looking over my shoulder as if some super-spy from another bakery was following and taking note of my purchases.  I just knew that Mr. Slugworth from Charlie and Chocolate Factory was just waiting at the exit to offer me millions for this prize recipe, but like Charlie, I could NOT be bought. 

At home, I organized my goods to get started and out of the corner of my eye I noticed writing on the coconut package.  It was a recipe.  The title read, Amazing Coconut Pie.  Huh – that’s strange.  It is the EXACT same recipe I so carefully guarded.  Damn it! (shaking my fist in the air)  It was like that episode of Friends where Monica worked for days to recreate Phoebe’s grandmother cookie recipe, only to find it on the Nestle Toll House package.  Stupid secret recipe. 

I wanted to enlighten the culinary world with this ancient find of dinosaur-bone proportion, but since that has been ruined, I decided to change it up a little.  I decide to make these in individual ramekins rather than the suggested pie plate.  If you rather keep to the recipe, pour into a greased 9-inch pie plate and bake at the suggested 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  I made another change from the recipe – it called for a baking mix (like Bisquick), but I didn’t need it to rise.  It would explode over the ramekins, so I just used all-purpose flour.  If you make the pie, use the mix or self-rising flour.  

Super Secret (or so I thought) Coconut Pie
2 cups milk (I used half-and-half because I had it)
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (changed from recipe)
4 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted (1/2 stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flake coconut (I used Baker’s)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine milk, sugar, flour(or baking mix), eggs, butter, and vanilla in blender.  Cover and blend on low for 3 minutes.  ***Okay, so immediately I have screwed up.  I have always heard not to over work flour because it would make a tough product.  I used my mixer with the paddle attachment.  Well, the flour clumped and I felt stupid.  I switched to the whisk attachment to get the lumps out…it took 3 minutes.  So kids, use the blender.

Adding eggs to mix

At this point, you would pour the liquid in the pie plate and top with coconut.  Since I am anti-recipe, I added the coconut to the mix in the bowl and ladled in the greased large ramekins. 

Not all the way to top, need room to expand

I then topped the mixture with a little extra coconut. 

A little extra never hurts, right?

Bake for 40 minutes on a sheet pan to prevent overflow.  The pie will cook according to directions due to no sheetpan; the ramekins will take a little longer.  I added about 10 minutes and took them out when slightly brown. 

Puffy but not too puffy

You can serve warm or cool to room temperature.  I used a knife to loosen the side and placed it on plate.  I topped it with melted semi-sweet chocolate (very globby-looking, I must say) and whipped cream.  I added chocolate shavings for flare.

Maybe this season you find out that family recipe passed down through the generations is just a recipe on a can or bag; don’t fret, make it your own and take it to the next level.   Give it some flare and add a dash of mischief and maybe who knows, you could have a REAL secret recipe of your own. 

Speaking of mischief, our Thanksgiving posts are coming next week.  We’ll add a new recipe and share a family favorite.  I say family favorite…I should start looking for that recipe on the internet, it’s probably on a box out there somewhere.  😉

One Response to “The Not-So-Secret Secret Recipe”

  1. Dawn Says:

    OMG! I laughed so hard! Coconut Cream is my absolute favorite and I am going to try these for Thanksgiving! I can’t wait. Thanks for the afternoon humor.

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