Coconut Cream Pie

I love anything coconut flavored.  The one exception used to be coconut pie with a pastry crust.  Why?  Because the crust would get soggy and there was no textural difference between the smooth, creamy filling and the crust.  Once I started making it with a graham cracker crust I realized what I'd been missing.

This is like a rich, creamy pudding in a crust, so the crust needs to be pre-baked.  The coconut flavor comes from the coconut milk {not cream of coconut - there is a difference and they're not interchangeable in this dessert} and the shredded coconut.  If having the shredded coconut in the pie isn't your thing, you can certainly leave it out.

Coconut Cream Pie
source: America's Test Kitchen
makes 1 - 9" pie

1 Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers) - *I put my crackers in a zip baggie and use the rolling pin to roll over   
             them and crush them*
1/4 c. granulated sugar
6 T. unsalted butter, melted

1 (14 oz) can of coconut milk {low-fat coconut milk does not provide much coconut flavor for this recipe}
1 c. whole milk
1/2 c. sweetened shredded coconut
2/3 c. granulated sugar, divided
1/4 t. salt
5 large egg yolks
1/4 c. cornstarch
2 T. unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract

1 1/2 c. heavy cream + 1/2 t. vanilla extract and 2 T. sugar {granulated or powder} whipped over medium-high to high speed with an electric mixer until cream forms soft peaks.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter.  Press into a 9 inch pie pan, making sure to get an even thickness around the pan.  Bake 10 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.

Bring the coconut milk, whole milk, shredded coconut, 1/3 cup of the sugar and the salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

While the milk mixture is cooking, in a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks, remaining 1/3c. sugar and cornstarch.

Once the milk mixture comes to a simmer, remove 1 cup of the hot liquid and slowly whisk it into the yolk mixture to temper, then slowly whisk the tempered yolks back into the simmering saucepan.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook, whisking vigorously, until the mixture is thickened and a few bubbles burst on the surface, about 30 seconds.

Off the heat, whisk in the butter and vanilla extract.  Let the mixture cool until just warm, stirring often, about 5 minutes.  Pour the warm filling into the baked and cooled pie crust.  Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling and refrigerate the pie until the filling is chilled and set, about 4 hours.

Remove the plastic wrap and top with whipped cream.

**I toasted a little of the shredded coconut for the top - heat a small non-stick pan over medium heat and toss in the coconut.  Watch it very closely {VERY closely} and stir it or shake the pan frequently.  It can go from beautifully toasted to nasty and burnt quite quickly.**

1 comment:

"Alone again.... naturally!" said...

Mmmm, it's not something I have made, and therefore haven't had in a really really long time, but it sounds so good, I may have to indulge. Cathy