A finished slice of the ‘Impossible Pie.’
                                 Mark Guydish | Times Leader

A finished slice of the ‘Impossible Pie.’

Mark Guydish | Times Leader

… and it seems to form its own ‘crust’

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<p>Eggs, butter, sugar, Bisquick, flaked coconut, milk and vanilla are the simple ingredients for Impossible Pie.</p>
                                 <p>Mark Guydish | Times Leader</p>

Eggs, butter, sugar, Bisquick, flaked coconut, milk and vanilla are the simple ingredients for Impossible Pie.

Mark Guydish | Times Leader

“I’ve never had pie before,” Times Leader taste tester and reporter Hannah Simerson said when offered a slice of this week’s test kitchen recipe.

Impossible, you think? Well, that would be appropriate.

It seems like ages ago when my mom tried a new recipe called “impossible pie,” but you know the immediate response without ever seeing the dessert. I got it multiple times when I toted it into the den of ink-stained wretches.

“Why is it impossible?”

Mom said it was because the pie made its own crust. Back then I had never made a pie crust — regular readers know I only recently started to master the art (chocolate cream pie, Oregon blackberry pie, pumpkin pie) — so that “impossibility” meant little to me as a kid. But there’s also the easier explanation: It seems impossible that a pie can be so simple to make.

Both apply, I think, though “crust” is relative. It’s really just a matter of letting the bottom caramelize. Purists will surely not accept it as a crust, but it has a bit of a crust feel both on top and on bottom if you make sure it does brown — using a clear glass pie pan lets you actually make see if the bottom is dark enough before removing from oven.

The ease, on the other hand, is close to irrefutable. Put everything but the coconut in a blender (I’m assuming a food processor would work fine), let it mix for five minutes, stir in the coconut and you’re pretty much done.

But you are, wondering how Hannah made it through high school and Wilkes University without eating pie. Surely her grandmother, like all grandmothers, baked a pie!

”A lot of people in my family bake,” she said. “I was just always afraid to try it.”

Well, add that to the explanation of why this is called impossible pie. It was Hannah’s first, and she said she liked it, noting the coconut “added a little pizzazz.

“Now,” she said, “I think I’m pie-curious.”

Page designer Mitch Hall cited the lack of a real crust as a bonus. “I liked it,” he said. “Sometimes the crust in a pie can be too much. The fact that it had no crust made it better for me.” Then he went back for seconds.

Page designer Ashley Bringmann said it had a chewy texture, but she liked it. Reporter Margaret Roarty said she’s not a fan of coconut but that “It’s really good,” and the coconut didn’t bother her in this dish.

Editor Roger DuPuis said “It was kind of eggy and tasted almost like an omelet. It’s not that I dislike it, but it’s more eggy than what I’d prefer for a dessert.” Reporter Kevin Caroll, on the other hand, didn’t mind egginess and said he liked the pie. “There’s something about it I couldn’t quite place. Kind of reminds me of an omelet, or hash browns.’

Which (to quote another test kitchen chef) “gentle readers,” brings me to confess a gaffe in making this pie. Astute observers will notice the picture of ingredients only shows ¼ cup sugar, yet the recipe calls for ¾ cup. I just misread the ingredients list and omitted 66.6% of the recommended sugar. I thought it came out great anyway, but others did not agree. Feel free to try what you think will work.

Dobru chut!

Impossible Pie (Uncle Jake’s Favorite Recipes)

4 tablespoons (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature

4 eggs

1/2 cup Bisquick

2 cups milk

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup shredded coconut

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350

Put all ingredients except the coconut in a blender and mix for five minutes. Add coconut and mix by hand. Pour into a 9 or 10 inch pie pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes. test with knife for firmness in center. Using a glass pie plate lets you see if the bottom is browning.

Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg if you like. Let cool to room temperature or so, then chill in refrigerator before serving

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Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish