Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ponderosa's Coconut Pie

Ponderosa's coconut cream pie. Photo courtesy of the Cooking Corner

    There are times, whether it's a church pot luck, a family reunion or a holiday dinner, that you might need to cook for a crowd. My food friends, Amy and Eric Georges from Ponderosa, shared with me how they do a coconut pie for a crowd. Who would know better than ones that operate a buffet?
    Their coconut pie is done casserole-style for easy serving and is made in three steps. There's the creamy pudding filling, a graham cracker crust and toasted flaky coconut. Made on their scale, each half batch serves 32 people and they make at least 4 batches a week. It's a very popular item and is almost like a coconut flavored cheesecake.

    Two nice things about this dessert is that it can be prepared in advance if you need it for an "occasion." Two days prior this can be assembled, topped with plastic wrap and refrigerated, then topped with reserved coconut before serving. Also, if you're doing a fancy dinner party, the coconut pie can be made in ramekins to serve individually.

Ponderosa's Coconut Pie (scaled down)

Graham cracker crust
3 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter

Combine all in a large mixing bowl, on low speed until combined and moist.

Press 1 cup of mixture into the bottom of a baking dish or in bottom of ramekins. 

Makes 2 - 13x9x2 pans.

Toasted coconut
4 cups sweet flaked coconut

Spread coconut on bottom of sheet pan. Bake at 350 for 2 minutes. Toss to evenly coat and return to oven for 1 more minute. Be careful not to burn.

Cool completely and store for later use.

3-3/4 cups vanilla pudding mix (or 2-4 oz. pkgs.)
6 cups whipped topping (3 - 16 oz. cartons whipping cream)
2-1/2 cups milk
4-1/2 cups toasted coconut

Put whipped topping into large bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. Add pudding mix and milk. Stir to combine. Add coconut. Mix until smooth. Gently pour filling over crust, using spatula to spread evenly. Put plastic wrap over top and refrigerate for two hours.

Cut into pieces using clear knife washed. Sprinkle with toasted coconut. Serves 32.

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