Desserts Pies / Tarts / Pastries / Sweet Things in Pans

impossible pie

 not so impossible, especially with awesome live music ::::

After a quick love affair with the crack pie I made awhile back, getting over the addiction, I’m filling the void with something impossible.  Kind of.

In the late 1990s, Eat and I lived in Atlanta, Georgia while attending graduate school at Emory University. It was a fun time in my life, frequenting coffee shops and live music shows, learning how to play guitar during study breaks from Biostats classes and Epidemiology. There was a plethora of open mics that I attended, watching unsigned artists craft their art.

One night, I decided to see a local band at the famed Eddie’s Attic music venue, one of the members a graduate student in the same graduate program I was attending, in fact. They were the opening act for a locally popular folky group Soul Miner’s Daughter. As the venue quickly filled with people between acts, the temperature rose, the excitement grew, I realized that I shouldn’t miss the headliner. After hearing an a capella  number belted out effortlessly by Jennifer Nettles, her guitar duets with beautiful harmonies from her partner Cory Jones, and down-to-earth interaction with the audience, I was ready to see them play live every night. Jennifer has gone on to bigger things, namely country-pop with Sugarland (though her coffee shop performances with Cory will always be better). And, as foodie celebrities often are, she was more recently featured in an issue of Food & Wine magazine extolling the magic of her grandmother’s Impossible Pie. I revisited my Soul Miner’s Daughter tunes and made some Impossible Pie, quite possibly the easiest pie one can make.

The pie’s name comes from the non-pastry crust that forms while baking, with a wonderfully chewy toasted coconut top. I argue that truly more impossible is the musical reunion of Jennifer and Cory; the pie just has a silly name. I can only dream and hope that I can find replacements for my scratched CDs.

And that, I might just do soon. Tomorrow. I’m off to Atlanta for a few days next week (without the family – that freaks me out a bit) to attend a conference for work. Here’s to visiting my old stomping ground, hoping I can make some time to see an open mic with budding musicians abounding.


impossible pie recipe
Recipe type: dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing pie plate
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup self-rising flour (or use ½ cup all-purpose flour + ⅔ teaspoon baking powder + pinch of salt)
  • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 cups milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and butter two 9-inch glass pie plates.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter with the sugar.
  3. Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Stir in the flour, coconut and milk.
  4. Divide the mixture between the pie plates and bake in the lower third of the oven for about 1 hour, until the pies are firm to the touch and golden. Transfer the pies to a rack and cool completely before serving.
  5. Make ahead: The pies can be refrigerated overnight. Return them to room temperature before serving.


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