Two Pies are Better than One!

Although I am only cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the four of us this year, I still want our dinner to feel like a feast. A whole turkey, plenty of side dishes, plus two pies for dessert. I think that should do the trick!

Originally, I was contemplating two different kinds of pumpkin pies. I already shared a link with you for Christopher Kimball's new Thanksgiving recipes. I made the Pumpkin Tart (see photo above!) from this collection. But I made a last minute switch after reading through this fabulous cookbook I found at the library:

Dora Charles worked for Paula Deen for 22 years. She managed the kitchen in The Lady and Sons for Paula during her rise to fame and is clearly responsible for a large portion of Paula's success. Her cookbook features down home recipes that make my mouth water. In my opinion, Southern cooking cannot be beat. I am a New Yorker by birth, but a Southerner as far as my tastebuds are concerned.

So I switched from a second pumpkin pie to a Coconut Pecan Pie. The recipe looked so easy, so yummy, and so unique, I had to try it! Most pecan pies call for corn syrup, which I don't particularly like, but this one doesn't. Dora Charles recommends using a store-bought frozen pie crust, and I got right on board with her suggestion. Who doesn't love saving time and effort? And I absolutely abhor making pie crust from scratch. I hate every step of the process, especially the rolling out of the dough and fitting it into the pie pan. So many steps; so many opportunities for me to screw it up! My sweet husband searched the frozen foods aisle until he came up with a frozen crust made from lard. Perfect.

Pre-bake your pie crusts by lining them with tin foil and filling with pie weights (see photo above). In this case, I used dried black beans. After using, you can recycle the beans over and over as pie weights.

I made a few very minor changes to Dora Charles' recipe. Instead of 4 eggs plus one extra yolk, I skipped the extra yolk. I substituted coconut oil for the melted butter. I think butter would also be fabulous, but I was going for a deeper coconut flavor. The vanilla extract is prominent in this pie, so do not omit this!


One deep dish pie crust, prebaked for about 25 minutes at 350F
4 large eggs
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup melted coconut oil (or grassfed butter)
1 teas. vanilla extract
2 teas. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup pecan pieces

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, beat the 4 eggs with the 2 sugars until completely dissolved. Add melted oil and beat thoroughly. Add the rest of the ingredients. Pour into pre-baked pie shell. Bake on top of a cookie sheet for about 50 minutes, or until completely set. Let cool. Serve topped with whipped cream. Makes about 8 servings.