Cream pies with variations

Coconut Cream Pie

Cream Pie
5 Tb. cornstarch
3/4 to 1 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you want it; the lesser amount is fine)
1/4 tsp. salt
2-1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup half and half
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 Tb. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Add the milk and half and half (you can vary the individual amounts or use cream instead of half and half as long as you end up with 3-1/4 cups liquid). Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and thick. Pour about 1/2 cup of the mixture into the egg yolks and mix well. Pour egg-milk mixture back into the saucepan and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. You can substitute vanilla bean sugar for the vanilla extract, using it in place of the plain sugar. You can also scrape the seeds out of a vanilla bean pod and add them to the milk before you start to cook it. Pour custard into a baked 9-inch pie crust. If you think there might be lumps, strain the custard before pouring it in the crust. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and cool completely in the fridge for 3-4 hours. Before serving, remove the plastic and cover the top of the custard with sweetened whipped cream. Based on a Lion House recipe.

Variations
Coconut Cream Pie: Add 1/2 cup toasted coconut to the pie filling before pouring it into the crust. Sprinkle another 1/2 cup toasted coconut over the whipped cream on top of the pie before serving it.
Banana Cream Pie: Slice bananas into the bottom of the baked pie shell before pouring in the custard.
Chocolate Cream Pie: Decrease sugar to 3/4 cup and add 1/2 cup chocolate syrup to the custard before pouring it into the pie shell. Instead of the chocolate syrup, you can mix in 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips and stir until melted.
German Chocolate Pie: Reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup. After the custard is made, stir in 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, 1/2 cup coconut, 1/4 cup chopped pecans, and 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping. Stir until well-blended and chocolate chips are melted.
Raspberry Pie: Slice bananas into the bottom of the baked pie shell. Pour custard over the bananas and chill. Mix 1/3 cup raspberry jam with 1 Tb. warm water. Spread over the chilled custard before serving.
Almond Coconut Pie: Mix in 1/3 cup coconut and 1/3 cup chopped and toasted almonds into the custard. Put 1/2 cup grated chocolate into bottom of pie shells. Pour filling over and cool. Garnish with chocolate, coconut, and almonds.
Tropical Pie: Mix in 1/2 cup coconut, 1/3 cup drained crushed pineapple, and 1/3 cup drained mandarin oranges.
Pralines and Cream: Mix in 1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping and 1/2 cup chopped pecans.

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