vintage graham cracker cream pie

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Old-Fashioned Coconut Cream Pie

Preserving history is important. With this graham cracker cream pie, I’m giving tastes of growing up in those Appalachian mountains. Delicious, for sure!

Keeping history alive through food is one of my passions. Nothing thrills me more than to have someone share with me a cherished recipe from their family heritage. I’ll usually make that recipe, like these pie crust cookies. Oh, the sweet story behind these cookies. And, it all starts with Sarah, a childhood friend from my growing up in West Virginia.

Coconut Pie Recipe

Sarah PM’d me on Facebook and asked if I remember Miss Opal. Now, Miss Opal and her husband, Talmadge, were lifelong residents of our small Appalachian town and our families were all intertwined in this small mountain community. Sarah said she wished she’d gotten Miss Opal’s recipe before she passed away in her early 90s.

It was her very favorite. Knowing that memories are connected emotionally to food, and knowing that Sarah had these warm special memories, I set about trying to recreate this pie and a recipe for Sarah.

Coconut Recipes

Coconut recipes don’t just have to be for sweets. I just love slurping coconut soups. No the coconut isn’t overpowering. It’s subtle. Just try some of these recipes!

Coconut Curry Chicken Soup

Coconut Cumin Shrimp Soup

Coconut Ginger Orange Pork

Coconut Dessert

Nothing’s better to me than a great coconut dessert. And, do I have a storage chamber of them. Here are just a few!

Coconut Yogurt Blueberry Pie

Easy Sour Cream Coconut Cake

Magic Coconut Banana Pie

Coconut Cream Dump Pie

Pineapple Coconut Dump Cake

Custard Pies

Custard pies have a way of bringing old friends together, especially with today’s social media. Fast forward now some decades later and both Sarah and I are grown, both grandmothers and we still are friends, virtually seeing each other daily on Facebook.

One day Sarah asked me if I’d ever tasted Miss Opal’s creme pie with a graham cracker crust. I hadn’t, so I set about asking Sarah about what made it so delicious. Of course, I probed and questioned, and Sarah described and explained. She insisted that it was a graham cracker crust no bake pie. 

Graham Cracker Crust Pie

I love it when someone tells me about something that they loved eating as a child, growing up, the memories it would evoke. That’s how this graham cracker crust pie came about. Growing up in West Virginia, we had dear neighbors, the Burgess family.

There were two children, Sarah, who was about six years younger than me, and her brother, Gilman, who was maybe ten years younger. I remember when Gilman was born. He was like our real live baby doll that we would play with! I would spend hours in Sarah and Gilman’s kitchen watching Miss Lulah cook, and I learned so much from her!

Graham Cracker Crust No Bake

I’m not sure if this pie is what Sarah’s palate memories are, but I can assuredly say that this pie is one of my family’s favorites. I decided to add toasted coconut to it and make the pie crust, with a graham cracker base, more substantial and with more texture.

This pie is refrigerated and is simply divine. Creamy. Crunchy. It’s like eating a slice of a life long gone. My dear West Virginia home.

Yes, the past. When days were longer, people waved at each other as they drove down the street, kids walked to school, rode their bikes, doors were left unlocked and everyone knew you name and your family.

Pre-Made Graham Cracker Crust

You can save some steps in making this pie by using a pre-made graham cracker crust. But, you’ll be missing some of the elements of cooking way back when in the 1950s and 1960s when we truly did most everything from scratch. 

Coconut Cooking

I have so many recipes for coconut cooking. Yes, I’m a huge fan of coconut. Check out some of my creations: Ally’s Coconut Recipes

vintage graham cracker crème pie with toasted coconut

Yield: Makes two small pies or one large

vintage graham cracker cream pie

vintage graham cracker cream pie

vintage graham cracker cream pie

Ingredients

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • CRUST
  • 3 cups graham crackers, crushed
  • ½ cup walnuts, put in a food processor and pulse into mixture with some small pieces of nuts
  • remaining
  • ¼ cup wheat germ
  • 8 Tbl. butter, salted and melted
  • FILLING
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 5 Tbl. cornstarch, non GMO
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups milk, whole
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbl. vanilla
  • 3 egg yolks, blended
  • 1 cup coconut, sweetened and toasted

Instructions

In a mixing bowl, combine the crushed graham crackers, walnuts, wheat germ and butter. Blend well. Divide between the two pie pans and pat into the bottom and slightly up the sides. Bake in a preheated 375 oven for 5 minutes. Remove. Cool. Set aside.

In a medium size sauce pan, combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt, milk, sour cream and vanilla. Whisk together well. Put on a medium blaze for about 5 to 7 minutes whisking most of the time. It will thicken. Do not let it boil.

Take one-half cup of the hot mixture and slowly drizzle into the eggs tempering them. Whisk well. Now take this egg mixture and slowly drizzle into the saucepan thickened milk mixture. Continue to let it thicken about 3 minutes. (No boiling.)

Remove. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Cool for about an hour at room temperature then pour equal amounts into each pie pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate preferably overnight.

Spread the coconut on a cookie sheet. Put in a preheated 375 oven a few minutes until it starts to turn golden brown.

Watch carefully. Remove, cool and put in an air tight container. Sprinkle on the pie before serving.

Notes

This pie is much better letting it sit overnight in the refrigerator (covered with plastic).

Sprinkle liberally with the toasted coconut before slicing and serving.

Your sharing is GOLDEN! Thank you!

Your sharing and comments help me stay in business! Share a photo if you make the recipe #allyskitchen Thank you! xo Ally


vintage graham cracker crème pie with toasted coconut

34 Comments

  1. Heck yes! Looks delicious!!!

  2. This pie looks great! I love the graham cracker crust!

  3. Looks really amazing!

  4. What a beautiful pie!

  5. Our grandparents definitely knew how to bake, which makes vintage recipes a favorite of mine. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

    • You’re so so right! Thanks for sharing your kind and dear words…my passion is to preserve these retro recipes!! xoxo ~ally

  6. My mouth is watering just thinking about this beautiful pie, Ally… I LOOOOOOOOVE coconut and that creme filling is calling my name! Love it!

  7. I really don’t do sweets, but this one is calling me name! Love it! Looks delicious Ally Girl!

  8. How lovely, a simple traditional recipe can’t be beaten… looks wonderful Ally ♥

  9. Looks amazing!

  10. This is my idea of YUM! Love the graham cracker, walnut, and wheat germ crust. It’s beautifully rustic!

  11. Sharon Gentry

    Old fashioned Graham Cracker pie is one of my favs! I’m sure the addition of the coconut makes it a new twist on an old favorite. I could eat this whole thing, all on my own, any given day! LOL

    • And, I could do the same, Sharon…actually make myself sick…made another one yesterday, and I”m tellin’ ya, it got more rave reviews…the toasted coconut is awesome!! Thanks for hanging w/me, luv xoxox

  12. This looks wonderful!

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