Creamy Dream Pies

Vanilla Cream Pie:
1 c. sugar
dash salt
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. flour
3 c. milk
3 Tbsp. butter, cut up
1 (9 inch) baked pastry shell

In saucepan stir together sugar, flour and salt.  Gradually stir in milk.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.  Cook and stir 1 minute more.   Remove from heat.

In small bowl gradually stir about 1 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks.  Return to saucepan.  Bring to a gentle boil.  Cook and stir 2 minutes more.   Remove from heat.

Stir the butter and the vanilla into the hot milk mixture.  Spread the hot mixture into the baked pastry shell.  If desired spread with meringue to seal edges.

Bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden.  Cool.  Cover; store in the refrigerator.

Makes 8 dessert servings.


Variations:

Banana Pie:  Prepare Vanilla Cream Pie, except slice 3 bananas into the shell before turning filling into it.  Omit meringue; slice one banana on top.   Drizzle with chocolate flavored syrup.

Pina Colada Pie:  Prepare Vanilla Cream Pie, except decrease milk by 1/4 cup.  Sitr 1/4 cup rum, one drained 8 1/4 ounce can crushed pinapple and 1 cup coconut into the mixture along with vanilla.

Dark Chocolate Pie:  Prepare Vanilla Cream Pie, except increase sugar to 1 1/4 cups.  Chop 3 squares (3 ounces) of unsweetened chocolate and add with milk to filling.  Omit meringue.  Dollop with whipped cream and sprinkle with grated chocolate.


Meringue:

4 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. sugar
 

In small bowl, combine egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar.   Beat on medium speed of electric mixer about 1 minute or until soft peaks form.

Gradually add the sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed of electric mixer about 4 minutes more or until mixture forms stiff glossy peaks and sugar is dissolved.  Immediately drop by spoonfuls atop the hot pie filling, spreading as necessary to cover the filling and sealing the meringue to the pastry.  Use back of spoon to make swirls and peaks in the meringue.   Bake according to the pie recipe.

Thad Chamberlain