Let me tell you about our good friends Lily and Gilbert. These two love good food, and they love gathering people together. Two traits that are a match made in heaven. Last fall for their anniversary they threw a big party at their house and invited all of their friends and neighbors to come celebrate with them. Gilbert spent the entire day cooking a whole pig in their backyard. When it was done they laid the pig out on the kitchen counter, and everyone was free to slice off which ever parts and pieces they wanted. It was pretty great.

So, earlier this year, Lily and Gilbert decided that it would be fun to round up a whole bunch of us and have a Sunday night dinner together once a month. We all thought that was a fantastic idea, of course. We’re calling it supper club, and it’s been so much fun! Each dinner usually revolves around some theme, we all bring a dish or two to contribute, and we just hang out together and eat some good food. Really, it has been SO good. There are some highly skilled cooks in our bunch. This month we went with a cajun theme. We had a big pot of jambalaya, some corn bread, hush puppies, grits, sweet potatoes, and the list goes on and on. I don’t usually think of pie when I think of cajun food, but I found this recipe for New Orleans Creole Coconut pie, and it had to be made. The recipe was originally published in the New Orleans newspaper, the Picayune, in 1900. Can’t get much more authentic than that.

Just a warning: This recipe calls for a generous amount of nutmeg. 1 tablespoon is kind of a lot, so adjust it according to your taste.

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New Orleans Creole Coconut Pie

Ingredients:

 Pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbs butter, melted
3/4 cup white wine, apple juice, or white grape juice
1 Tbs. ground nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
6 egg whites
 

Directions:

 
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the pie plate with the pie crust. Line the pie crust, or pierce it all over with a fork, and partially bake it.
 
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, scald the milk by heating it until bubbles appear around the edges and the milk begins to steam. Don’t let it boil. Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
 
In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup of the sugar and the butter and stir with a whisk or a large spoon to mix them together well. Add the wine, nutmeg, and vanilla, and stir well. Add the coconut and the cooled milk, and stir gently to mix them well.
 
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until they become thick and airy and will hold stiff but curly peaks. Add the egg whites into the bowl of coconut filling, folding them into the mixture as delicately as possible, so that the filling is light and puffed up. Quickly turn the filling into the pie crust and seal the edges.
 
Place the pie on the bottom rack of the oven and bake until the filling is puffed, fairly firm, and delicately brown, about 30 minutes. Place the pie on a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature. Just before serving, sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar over the top of the pie and serve.
 
:: Carrie ::