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Linda Lewis’s Pumpkin-Coconut Pie

Poring over Saginaw postal worker and author Patty Pinner’s new book, Sweety Pies: An Uncommon Collection of Womanish Observation, with Pie, makes me feel warm, womanly and wise. In addition to recipes for Aunt Marjell’s Strawberry Hand Pies, Miss Eudora’s Cream of Wheat Custard Pie and Cousin Eunice’s Grated Carrot Pie, Pinner shares witty stories and priceless advice from women in her life who “whispered their recipes to me as though they were love potions.”

Besides the way to a perfect fresh raspberry pie, Pinner’s mother also taught her “you can’t do for others, and not do for yourself.” Which is exactly why this Thanksgiving, I am making my family this pie combining pumpkin and coconut, two of my very favorite ingredients.

Recipe From Patty Pinner, Sweety Pies


  • 1 9-inch single flaky pie crust (your own, or consult Sweety Pies for Pinner’s foolproof recipe), rolled out, fitted into a pie plate, and edge trimmed and crimped
  • 2 cups cooked, drained and mashed fresh pumpkin (canned works fine, too)
  • 1⁄2 cup sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup molasses
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1⁄4 cups whole milk
  • 1⁄2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare the pie crust and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar and molasses thoroughly. Gently beat in the eggs. Pour in the milk and evaporated milk. Stir in the cinnamon, salt, cornstarch and melted butter, blending together well. Fold in the coconut. Pour the filling into the pie crust, place in the oven, and bake until the center is set, 1 to 1 1⁄4 hours. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Serve each slice topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Makes one 9-inch pie.