I was lucky to inherit some of my Grandma's recipes when she passed away. Most are hand written by her in the 1930's, when she was the young mother of seven children during the Great Depression. Today I thought I'd share a versatile recipe for Cream Pies. Its basically the pudding base and can be flavored in a variety of ways, depending on the type of pie that is desired.
All of the pies require a pre-baked pie shell. For convenience you can purchase ready made ones at the store, but if you want to go the "old fashioned way", you can make your own. I like this "No Fail Pie Crust Recipe"... Follow the directions (don't forget to pierce with a fork before baking) and bake unfilled pie crust for approximately 15- 20 minutes and let cool.
Now for my Grandma's Filling Recipe:
1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons fat (use shortening, like Crisco)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix dry ingredients with a little of the milk, the add rest of milk. Cook over boiling water, stirring until thick. Cover and cook 15 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.
Add a little of the hot mixture to the egg yolk (to temper the eggs). Pour the egg yolk mixture into the hot mix and cook a few more minutes. Stir in fat and vanilla. (This is basic vanilla pudding, which you can use just like this for your pie!) Pour filling into baked pie shell, cool and top with meringue or whipped cream.
Banana Cream Pie - Slice two peeled bananas into pie shell before adding filling.
Coconut Cream Pie - Add 1/2 cup shredded coconut to filling; sprinkle topping with coconut.
Chocolate Cream Pie - Make filling, adding 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 cup sugar and two and 1/2 squares baker's chocolate.