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Home of Economy-Herald pies: Brenda Dufault's 'Mom's Coconut Cream Pie' left an impression in first round

Whereas Dufault’s mother-in-law might have created the heirloom recipe, Dufault showed she has all of the kitchen skills required to make it come to life.

Brenda Dufault's coconut cream.jpg
Brenda Dufault's "Mom's Coconut Cream Pie."
Grand Forks Herald
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Brenda Dufault’s mother-in-law must have been quite a baker, too.

Brenda Dufault.jpg
Brenda Dufault, of Grand Forks.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

When Dufault was interviewed by the Grand Forks Herald prior to the Home of Economy-Grand Forks Herald Pie Bake-off earlier this year, she hinted that she probably would be entering a coconut cream pie, created from a family recipe.

“It’s a recipe from my mother-in-law. She just kind of threw it together, so it’s notes from her,” Dufault said. “I don’t know that I have seen a similar recipe anywhere. We had to fight her to write the recipe down, because she was just doing it in her head. I probably hadn’t even tasted a coconut cream pie until I had hers. It has always been a hit.”

It sure was when Dufault entered it in the first round of the Home of Economy-Herald competition, which featured 16 bakers from Greater Grand Forks and the region in a summertime baking tournament.

Titled “Mom’s Coconut Cream Pie,” it featured a bright, distinct coconut flavor under a classic – and picturesque – meringue. Whereas Dufault’s mother-in-law might have created the heirloom recipe, Dufault showed she has all of the kitchen skills required to make it come to life.

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Judges were appreciative of the pie and so were those who were allowed in the judging room, including Herald Publisher Korrie Wenzel. Even though it was a first-round entrant, he considered it among the best three or four pies of the 30 that were entered in the four-week tournament.

Following is Dufault’s recipe. During the holiday season, the Herald will be publishing the recipes of all of the pies entered in this year's Home of Economy-Grand Forks Herald Pie Bake-off.

Recipes will variously publish in print, e-editions and online and will be compiled on the Herald's website.

Mom’s Coconut Cream Pie

Baker: Brenda Dufault

Hometown: Grand Forks

Business sponsor: Toasted Frog

Crust

1-¼ cups flour

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½ tsp salt

3 Tbsp butter, chilled and cubed

⅓ cup vegetable shortening, chilled

¼ cup ice water

Directions:

Mix the flour and salt together. Add butter and shortening using a pastry cutter or food processor until it resembles coarse meal. Drizzle in the ice water, 1 Tbsp at a time. Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Form into a disc and refrigerate for 2 hours or more. Take from fridge, roll out, place in pie tin and trim. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes.

Filling

¾ cup sugar

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⅓ cup flour

2 cups whole milk

2 egg yolks

2 handfuls of coconut flakes

Directions: Bring first 4 ingredients to a boil. Continue stirring until thick. Add 2 handfuls of coconut. Pour into baked crust.

Meringue

4 egg whites

½ tsp Cream of Tartar

½ tsp vanilla extract

⅓ cup sugar

Directions:

Beat egg whites for 1 minute, then add Cream of Tartar and vanilla. Increase mixer speed and beat for 4 minutes, gradually adding sugar.

Spread over hot pie filling, sprinkle with coconut flakes and bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes, until flakes are browned.

Everybody loves pie
Here is Olson’s recipe for “Strata Pie.” During the holiday season, the Herald published the recipes of all 30 pies entered in this year's Home of Economy-Grand Forks Herald Pie Bake-off.

Related Topics: GFH PIES
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