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Pirate Coconut/Banana Pie (by Jamie)
2 baked pie crusts (bake the crust at 425 until beginning to brown). When cool, line bottom of pies with banana slices.
In a heavy saucepan
3 cups sugar
8 TBSP cornstarch
2 small cans flaked coconut
6 TBSP butter
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups milk, evaporated milk, half n half or any combination of these
1 cup rum (alternative use 3 cups liquid and 5 drops of rum flavoring)
6 egg yolks (the egg whites can be used for your meringue)
Mix sugar and cornstarch until completely blended. Add liquid slowly and mix completely with a wire whisk. Cook, stirring continuously, over low heat until it begins to thicken. Take out a little warm filling and add to your egg yolks and mix WEL. Pour this back into your saucepan. When filling gets thick add butter and whip with your whisk until it is melted. When your filling is sufficently thick, add vanilla and coconut (reserving 2 TBSP coconut to sprinkle on meringue). Top hot filling with meringue (recipe below), sprinkle with remaining coconut. Bake at 425 until coconut is toasted and peaks of meringue are browning.
Use a clean, dry bowl. The bowl must be grease free, because any amount of fat will wreck a meringue. Glass, ceramic, stainless steel, and copper bowls are all suitable. Plastic bowls may appear clean, but may still have trace amounts of oil; do not use them. Cold eggs separate easily, but eggs whip to a higher volume when at room temperature. The solution is to separate the cold eggs for your pie filling and letting the whites come to room temperature. Separate each egg into two small bowls, one for the white and one for the yolk, and then add the white portion to the larger bowl. This allows you to reserve any with broken yolks for another purpose. Even a small amount of yolk can deflate the egg whites, so be careful.
Add 2 teaspoons cream of tartar to the unbeaten eggs. Whip to medium soft peaks. Beat in 2 tablespoons white sugar per egg white. Continue to beat until egg whites are glossy and hold a firm peak. Spread meringue over piping hot filling, and spread to the edges to seal. Hot filling is necessary to insure that the inside of the meringue cooks, preventing weeping. The preferred baking method is one that combines high temperatures with a short baking time. This prevents overcooking the outside, and thus beading is avoided.