Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wonder Pie in the Sky

Someone recently posted a request for the Wonder Pie I mentioned in an earlier post, and since I remember it being a snap to make and that I finally have some free time after two weeks, I decided to crank it out. Also, it ties in nicely with the premiere of "Pushing Daisies", with it's pie-shop-dwelling characters, so I'll post this recipe and one or two other pie recipes later on.

So, when I sat down to make this, I realized I didn't have my mother's original recipe anywhere. I remember it being hand-written on an index card and stuffed in a small cardboard box with a jumble of recipes clipped from magazines and newspapers, and copies of stuff from my uncle and grandmother. I checked the Internet, and nothing I found recalled my mother's recipe. Some were close (and by close I mean they contained eggs, sugar, and coconut), but none were the original. So, I called my mom up.

Me: "Do you remember a recipe for something called Wonder Pie?"
Mom: "No, I don't think so."
Me: "I made it for that food class I took in high school, remember?"
Mom: "Oh, that's right - Ms. Cavanaugh's class."
Me: "Yeah, it's got coconut in it - you had it written down and you kept it in a box with some other recipes."
Mom: "Yes - do you need it? Hold on a sec."
*shuffling noises, followed by her scolding one of her dogs*
Mom: "Ok, got it - I have it as Impossible Pie, but I have 'aka Wonder Pie' on it. Here it is:"

Impossible Pie (aka Wonder Pie)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 c Oleo
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1 c. coconut
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

  • Blend ALL ingredients at once in a food processor. Pour into a buttered 10" pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

    Me: "A 'buttered pie shell' - like a ready-made crust?"
    Mom: "Maybe, why?"
    Me: "I thought it made it's own crust - aka the WONDER part of Wonder Pie."
    Mom: "Hmm - maybe I meant a buttered pie plate. Oh well. So, just don't use the crust - if it doesn't work you'll have coconut custard."
    Me: "I don't need a dish of CUSTARD, I need a PIE."
    Mom: "So, make it both ways. It sounds easy to make."
    Me: "It's not made in the microwave?"
    Mom: "The microwave? No, should it be?"
    Me: "The recipes I found online that sounded close to this were made in the microwave."
    Mom: "My dear, microwaves weren't invented when I wrote this recipe down."
    Me: "Oh... really?"
    Mom (annoyed): "YEAH, really."
    Me: "Ok - just one more question."
    Mom: "Yes?"
    Me: "What is this 'Oleo'? Is it some kind of cookie, or something?"
    Mom: "..."
    Me: "What?"
    Mom: " just love making me feel old, don't you?"

    Love ya, Mom.

    Well, I didn't make it both ways - I went with my gut, which said my mom's recipe meant a buttered pie plate. It turned out really well, with a nice golden brown coconut topping and a nice custard filling in the center. I wound up using unsalted butter instead of Oleo and I had to go with skim milk since it was all I had on hand at the time. It jiggled rather alarmingly when I first checked it, until I remembered that it's mostly eggs and milk, and would probably set when it cooled. It did (WHEW), and it was delicious, particularly with a little pineapple ice cream topping spooned on it and some real whipped cream.

    My mom isn't the only one feeling old right now. Out of nowhere today, I had a sudden realization that Super Mario Bros., my favorite video game when I was a kid, is almost 25 years (a QUARTER of a CENTURY) old. Uch, I need to lie down.