Mama Perry’s Coconut Pie

Published in Carolina Country Magazine May 2019

Pie. Simple pie.  That’s what this pie is, and even makes its own crust!

My paternal grandma Perry (“Ma Perry”) was a simple country farm lady, who cooked what was in the garden or pantry she’d put up. Good simple food. I don’t have a lot of memories since she died when I was only 12, and hadn’t yet realized my passion for cooking. But I do have a few memories, like the plate of biscuits with molasses and soft butter that was always the centerpiece of her kitchen table.

I also have memories of her cracking fresh coconuts and grating the delicious meat inside. Yet to this day, I don’t recall ever doing that myself.  This is her coconut pie recipe she made so many times, and one I included years ago when I complied a Perry Family cookbook.  The recipe makes 2 pies, but I added a little twist and sometimes make in a mini muffin pan for little bite-size pies. Those are perfect to “make and take” when headed to a pot luck, family or church reunion, when folks eat a lot and want “just a little something sweet” to end their meal. Or where there are lots of goodies to pick from… and folks want to try a little of this AND that.

With Memorial Day ahead, you can make these pies, full or mini size, to add to the table… and make quicker than you can go buy some old store bought dessert (and save money too).  Surprise your guests or hostess with my Mama Perry’s Coconut Pies.  You’ll be glad you did!!

PS:

What is sweet milk?

Sometimes you might come across a vintage recipe like this one that calls for “sweet” milk. This is nothing but regular white milk. Back in the day, milk was referred to this way to delineate it from the other most frequently used milk, buttermilk. So if you come across an old family recipe that calls for sweet milk, just grab your plain old milk and cook!

Mama Perry's Coconut Pie

My grandma made many a pie raising five children in Franklin County long ago … a proper meal wasn’t “fit’n” without dessert! I remember her cracking fresh coconuts and grating them, especially for her cakes, but you don’t need to do all that. This recipe quickly makes two pies, or use mini muffin pans for bite-sized treats for snacks and parties.

Course: Brunch, Dessert, Pie
Cuisine: American, Southern Desserts
Author: Wendy Perry

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup self rising flour
  • 2 cups sweet milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 10-14 ounces grated coconut, sweet or unsweetened
  • ½ stick butter, melted

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix all ingredients and pour into two 8" pie plates. Bake for about 40 minutes until solid in the center.

Notes

What is sweet milk?

Sometimes you might come across a vintage recipe like this one that calls for “sweet” milk. This is nothing but regular white milk. Back in the day, milk was referred to this way to delineate it from the other most frequently used milk, buttermilk. So if you come across an old family recipe that calls for sweet milk, just grab your plain old milk and cook!
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