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~ Snowstorm Fun: 'Impossible' Coconut Custard Pie~

IMG_2725A photo of "impossible pie" appeared on my Facebook newsfeed last night.  If you are on Facebook, you know the type of post I'm talking about:  Quick and easy recipes using just a few ingredients and often a boxed mix of some sort.  Obviously not my style, but, in reality, lots of people "eat this stuff up".  "Oh no", was my reaction to this one -- to the photo, not the recipe. The photo was nasty looking.  Not at all like I remembered this 1970's "blast from the past" pie.  Of course, I was hardly in a position to criticize it too much since I have NEVER, EVER made or tasted one (that I can remember).  But, I do know more about these pies than you might think:

IMG_2732A bit about impossible pies:  Back in the 1970's Bisquick printed a recipe for "Impossible Coconut Pie" on the back of their box.  It was called "impossible" because the ingredients get quickly mixed together in one bowl and poured into a pie dish.  As the mixture bakes, the ingredients go their separate ways.  In the case of this pie, the flour sinks to the bottom to make its own bottom crust (not a dry crust, but a crust nonetheless), the beaten eggs and milk form a creamy, custardlike center, and, a layer of golden coconut forms on the top.  "That's impossible!"

IMG_2778During the 1980's I had many encounters with impossible pies. Our boys were all in elementary school and I did more than my share of classroom volunteering, attending organizational potlucks, and, baking for fundraising bake sales. Impossible pies showed up everywhere, and Betty Crocker did her part by publishing cookbooks dedicated solely to the art of:  "back-of-the-box cooking"!

IMG_2775For example:  On page 427 of Betty Crocker's Ultimate Bisquick Cookbook,  there are at least 40 recipes for sweet and savory "impossibly easy pies" made with Bisquick.  Yes, Betty changed the name, but, when you think about it for a moment, it makes more sense.

At the risk of being called a food snob, I simply had no interest in this style of cooking, and, it didn't matter to me that some of it tasted really good (and it did).  I know, because my kids ate at their friends homes all the time.  They loved it and they told me they loved it.  However, when my family ate "kid-friendly fare" like cheesesteaks, pizza, spaghetti, tacos, etc., I made them from scratch -- along with cakes and real-deal "possible pies"!

Me, Mildred Pierce and my very 1st impossible pie!

ImagesLast night, HBO was rerunning their five-part mini-series:  Mildred Pierce.  I love their version of the original movie.  Mildred, a poor divorcee during the depression, gets a job as a waitress and bakes enough pies and cakes to earn enough extra money to open up her own chicken and waffle restaurant -- my kinda gal! I was sitting at my kitchen counter, watching the show on my kitchen TV when the impossible pie photo showed up on my iPad.  I decided to have a bit of fun.  Chalk it up to cabin fever!

IMG_2630~ Step 1.  In a large bowl, beat:

4  large eggs, at room temp

2  cups whole milk

1 cup sugar

2  teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4  teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2  cup all-purpose flour

1/2  cup butter, melted (1 stick)

1  cup shredded IMG_2635coconut

no-stick cooking spray, for preparing 10" pie dish

~ Step 2.  Pour into prepared pie dish.  Note:  This "skinny" pie is going to puff up a lot when it bakes. If you mistakenly think you can bake this in a 9" pie dish, be prepared:  it will spill over the sides into your oven.  I poured it into a 9" dish, and, am thankful I made the on-the-spot decision to transfer it to a 10" dish.

~ Step 3.  Bake on center rack of preheated 350 degree oven, until puffed up and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes.  This pie baked for 40 minutes:

IMG_2641~ Step 4.  Place on a rack to cool completely prior to slicing and serving at room temperature:

IMG_2742Go ahead take a bite:  It's really very, very good!!!

IMG_2751Snowstorm Fun:  'Impossible' Coconut Custard Pie:  Recipe yields 1, 10" pie, or 8-10 servings.

Special Equipment List:  1-cup measuring container; old-fashioned, hand-crank egg beater or whisk; 10" pie dish; cooling rack

IMG_3853Cook's Note:  For a "real-deal" custard pie, try ~ My Southern Favorite:  Jeanne White's Chess Pie ~.  I enjoyed this pie many times back in the '70's at the dinner table of Mrs. White, my close highschool friend Sue's mother.  

You can find the recipe in Categories 6, 18, 19 & 20!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2014)  


I'm so happy Marilyn! I kind of knew it would be -- you are the inspiration for this fun-loving post!

Mel~ the pie was a big hit! Tomorrow, having the magic cookie bars.
I made those tonight. One of these days I'll muster enough guts to send you a pic!
Enjoyi hearing about your busy week!
Hang in there.

Marilyn, your friend!

Marilyn! PS: I'm so happy you got to see that video -- you were the inspiration for it!

Marilyn! The eggs, yes. It says that in the recipe, "at room temp". The milk, it doesn't matter that much. I usually measure it and let it out while the eggs are coming to room temp. Your friend, Melanie!



I making this pie for our church rummage sale lunch tomorrow.
Do you have your eggs and milk at room temp when you bake this?

Thanks! Your friend, Marilyn

P.S. love the video!

Good Morning Marilyn! I baked another pie this AM just to make sure the sugar omission was the only glitch. Once again, the "impossible pie" came out great. The pie dish is important. Mine are 10-12 years old, but if I needed to purchase one today, this would be it:

Dear Melanie Preshutti! Absolutely no problemo! I thought it was me. I always hate to bake anything, not my thing. Give me a 3 course dinner recipe anyday!
I'm going to try it again. Not sure what to do about the plate issue. Wish I could 'borrow' one of yours! Have a great weekend, dear friend!

Marilyn. Well, I owe you an apology. The recipe I used (I called my friend Patty for hers because I know what hers looks like and I knew it would work) calls for 1 cup of sugar (not 3/4 cup). After 2 solid proofreads, neither Joe or I caught that sugar was not on the ingredients list. If you used no sugar at all, that is the problem and it is all my freekin' fault. Other than that, both recipes are similar, except, Pat does not put the ingredients into a blender or sprinkle the nutmeg over the top. That being said, pie dishes (and casseroles) are measured across the bottom, not the top. Pat was clear on the size of her dish, and, my white ones (the one pictured) are just shy of 10", measured across the bottom.

Mel~ I just took the pie out of the oven. It looks awfull! I could only find a 9 1/2 inch pie plate. Butter or liquid was floating on top of it! It just dosn't look right. I followed your recipe to a T. When I checked the ingredient list of the post I shared, I saw it had 3/4 cup of sugar in it! Did yu add sugar and not list it? All of my ingredients were room temp, so it was not that. Your thoughts?

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