Coconut Cream Pie and Banana Cream Pie. This recipe makes 2 pies, and I always make these 2 when I make it because Coconut cream is my husband Ben's favorite and Banana cream is my Dad's favorite. I usually make these on Father's Day, Thanksgiving, and their birthdays--which are close and we always celebrate them together, so both get a pie. I will usually try to make the crusts 2 days before I want the pies, and the actual pies one day ahead, then I don't make the whipped cream until right before I serve them. But if you can't do it that far ahead, which sometimes I can't, then it will work to make the crusts in the morning, make the cream filling as soon as the crusts are cool, let them set up several hours and then serve them late evening. I just like to make them ahead so I know for sure the cream part is set. If you want to half the recipe to just make one pie, then I would use 4 eggs. This is a versatile Vanilla cream pie base, so you can add whatever you want to it. We just always do banana and coconut. I put together the banana cream pie first and then just stir in 1 cup coconut to the remaining cream to make the coconut cream pie.
Vanilla Cream Pie
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
5 cups milk
3 TB butter
1 TB vanilla
In a large saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium-high heat till mixture is thickened and bubbly**be sure to stir it the whole time or it will burn! Reduce heat and cook and stir for 2 minutes more then remove from heat.
Separate egg whites from yokes and set whites aside for another use. Beat egg yokes light with a fork and gradually stir in 1 cup of the hot filling into yokes. Return all to sauce pan and bring to a gentle boil while stirring. Cook and stir 2 minutes more once it comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla.
**For banana cream pie, put a small spoonful of cream into the crust and spread it around. Slice up 2-3 bananas and place all over the thin layer of cream filling in the pie crust. Top with remaining cream filling.
**For coconut cream pie add in 1 cup flaked coconut per pie after the butter and vanilla. Put into baked pie crust.
Refrigerate several hours until pie is set. Then whip cream --about 1 cup whipping cream per pie, and spread over top. For Coconut I like to toast some coconut to put on top of the whipped cream. You can do this is a pan on the stove or in the oven. I usually just put a handful in a pan and heat it and stir until it becomes toasted. Cool before putting on top of the whipped cream.