In saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup all-purpose flour or 3 Tablespoons cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Gradually add 2 cups milk, mixing well. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils. Cook 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat. Stir small amount hot mixture into 3 slightly beaten egg yolks; immediately return to hot mixture and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add 2 Tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour into 1 baked and cooled 9" pastry shell. Spread with 1 recipe of Meringue (see below). Bake at 350º for 12-15 minutes. Cool.
Chocolate Cream Pie:
Prepare vanilla cream pie, increasing sugar to 1 cup. Chop two 1-ounce squares of unsweetened baking chocolate. Add with the milk. Top with Meringue and bake as directed above.
Banana Cream Pie:
Slice 3 bananas into cooked and cooled 9" baking shell. Top with vanilla cream pie filling and meringue. Bake as directed above.
Substitute brown sugar for granulated sugar in Vanilla Cream Pie filling. Increase butter to 3 Tablespoons. Top with meringue and bake as directed above.
Coconut Cream Pie:
Add 1 cup flaked coconut to Vanilla Cream Pie filling. Top with meringue and sprinkle with 1/3 cup coconut. Bake as directed above.
Beat 3 egg whites with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add 6 Tablespoons sugar, beating until stiff peaks form and all sugar is dissolved. Spread onf pie, sealing edges. Bake at 350º minutes.