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Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut cream pie mounded with whipped cream, dusted with toasted coconut.

The Sauce: Coconut Pastry Cream - Contrary to it’s name, pastry cream is made with milk, not cream, and in this case with coconut milk. It’s a tempered filling with a little more thickening agent than pastry cream used for cream puffs, cakes or other pastries. It slices into beautiful pie wedges and is loaded with shredded coconut. This filling is for coconut lovers.


Easiest cream pie on the planet

Did you know that coconut cream pie is the easiest cream pie to make? It’s made just like other cream pies with a homemade pastry cream which requires tempering. Coconut is perfect for practicing because even if the tempering process produces a few small lumps, you can’t tell because of the shredded coconut. And with the simple instructions below, the pie filling will be beautiful and creamy. You can launch out into other cream pies and succeed with Banana, Chocolate and Vanilla Cream. There’s no need for a box of pie filing. Use fresh ingredients, coconut milk and shredded coconut.

Slice-of-Coconut-Cream-PieAnd here’s the other deal. Lots of coconut cream pies are made with vanilla pie filling with the addition of shredded coconut. This pie has coconut milk in the filling, toasted coconut in the graham cracker crust and coconut extract in the whipped cream. It’s a coconut lover’s pie.

Part 3 of 3 “Fabulous Fruit Pie” Series. Part 1 Deep Dish Apple Pie, Part 2 Jumbleberry Pie. For more about fruit pies.

2011 AniversaRecipe – Licorice Caramels

Recipe: Coconut Cream Pie

Prep Time: 25 Minutes | Inactive Time: 4 Hours | Cook Time: 26 Minutes | Yield: 6 Servings | Level: Easy

Toasted-Coconut-Graham-CrackersCoconut Graham Crust

  • 5 Tbsp sweetened shredded coconut, divided
  • 9 rectangle graham crackers (or 18 squares) broken in rough pieces, one sleeve
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 5 Tbsp melted butter

Coconut Pie Filling

  • 2/3 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup cornstarchCoconut-Pastry-Cream
  • 5 eggs yolks
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp cold butter, cut in pieces
  • 2 tsp vanilla
    Coconut Whipped Cream

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp coconut extract

Special Equipment – 9-inch pie plate

Coconut Graham Crust
1 Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place a medium bowl and the beaters in the fridge to chill.

2 Sprinkle 5 tablespoons of coconut in a small baking pan and toast in the oven on 325 degrees stir 2-3 times, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside 1 tablespoon.

3 Process the graham crackers, 4 tablespoons of toasted coconut and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a food processor into fine crumbs. Using a fork or rubber spatula, stir in 5 tablespoons of melted butter.

4 Dump the graham cracker mixture into a 9-inch pie dish and press the crumbs evenly on the bottom and sides forming a crust. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes or until it is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for about 1 hour.
Coconut Pastry Cream
5 Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk 1/3 cup sugar and the cornstarch which will help reduce lumps. Add egg yolks and whisk until smooth. Set aside.

6 Combine the coconut milk, whole milk, 1/2 cup shredded coconut, 1/3 cup sugar and salt in a medium sauce pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, about 3-5 minutes. Take off the heat.

Tempering-the-egg-mixture7 To temper the egg mixture, gradually whisk 3/4 cup of the hot coconut milk mixture into the egg mixture. Add the egg mixture to the sauce pan and bring mixture back to simmer whisking constantly until the surface just begins to bubble and thicken, about 60 seconds. Take off the heat.

8 Add the vanilla, 2 tablespoons butter and whisk until it melts. Pour into the cooled coconut graham crust and smooth until even. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the filling to prevent a skin forming and chill for 3 or more hours.
Coconut Whipped Cream
9 Just before serving, beat the cream and 2 tablespoons of sugar in the chilled bowl. Beat until soft peaks form and add the coconut extract. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

10 Spread or pipe the whipped cream over the pie and sprinkle the reserved 1 tablespoon of toasted coconut. To serve, cut in wedges and store leftovers in the fridge.
Tempering is the process of gradually changing the temperature. Add the hot liquid into the egg mixture to slowly increase the temperature so that the eggs don’t scrabble.

Coconut milk comes in a can and is different than cream of coconut (used in drink mixes).

For whole milk equivalent, use 14 tablespoons skim milk and 2 tablespoons heavy cream. It’s easy to measure by placing the cream in a one cup liquid measurer and adding skim milk to make 1 cup.

While toasting the coconut for this pie, make a cup or two extra and store in an airtight container. Sprinkle on sundaes, coconut cupcakes or cake, layer in a parfait, add to a fruit salad or bake into cookies or quick breads. Or use it for your next Coconut Cream pie. You’ll get requests.

Once the eggs are separated, save the egg whites and whip into meringue for Coconut Meringue Pie.

For a white on white effect, sprinkle untoasted coconut on the top of the whipped cream.

Coconut Cream Milkshake – Make a leftover pie wedge into a milkshake by combining about 1 to 1 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream and 1 slice of pie in a blender. Blend until chunky. Makes two servings.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange unsweetened coconut for sweetened coconut.
  • Exchange coconut extract for vanilla in the whipped cream.

Inspiration –

Buy now for Thanksgiving $20 Coconut Cream PieWhipped-cream-mounded-on-coconut-pie
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: October 23, 2012

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4 Responses to Coconut Cream Pie

  1. Audrey October 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm #

    Yikes this was good. So much better than store bought. It was lighter and fluffier than when you buy from a store.

  2. Christi Bramwell October 24, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    This may be one of the best things I’ve eaten! (Though it helps that you were the one who made it.) So good! I’ll definitely be making this soon.

    • helenhorton October 24, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

      Love the real deal! It’s worth it.

  3. Rachel August 23, 2015 at 7:23 pm #

    This is a wonderful pie and the coconut whipped cream takes it to the next level of deliciousness!

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