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Healthy Coconut Cream Pie Recipe

My husband's favorite dessert has always been coconut cream pie. He and I are both doing Weight Watchers, so I made this light version for his birthday (it's 7 PointsPlus for 1/12th of the pie). The recipe is involved and takes a long time, but it's worth it.

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The pie turned out fabulous - creamy and better than any other coconut cream pie I've ever had - with 1/2 the calories and 1/3 of the fat. I made it the night before. Since we couldn't wait to taste it, we had birthday pie for breakfast on the big day. The kids thought that was the coolest thing ever :)

Ingredients:

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Fit dough into a 9 inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under; flute. Line dough with foil; arrange pie weights or dried beans on foil (I found small oven-safe plates are perfect for this and the foil helped make for a very flaky crust.)

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove weights and foil, and bake an additional 10 minutes or until golden. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Combine milk and half-and-half in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 cups coconut. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; stir seeds and pod into milk mixture. Bring milk mixture to a simmer; immediately remove from heat.

Cover and let stand 15 minutes. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a bowl. Gather edges of cheesecloth; squeeze over bowl to release moisture. (This was messy and hot. Kitchen gloves would have been nice.) Discard solids.

Combine 2/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk (I used my trusty Kitchen Aid mixer).

Gradually add milk mixture to egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Return milk mixture to pan; bring to a boil, whisking constantly.

Remove from heat. Add butter; whisk until smooth.

Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl for 6 minutes, stirring to cool. It will look like pudding when done.

Pour into prepared crust. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

Meringue:

Place 3 egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form.

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 250 degrees F.

Pour hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over egg whites, beating at high speed until thick. (We didn't do this quite quickly enough and ended up with little candy pieces in the meringue. It still tasted fabulous, but wasn't as smooth as it should have been.)

Spread meringue over pie. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Top with toasted coconut before serving.

Note: You can toast the coconut yourself by spreading on a baking sheet and placing in a 350 degree F oven. Stir every 30 seconds until dry and lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes.

Source: Cooking Light, March 2011

By Stephanie from Hillsboro, OR

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