This recipe for Coconut Cream Pie makes a dazzling dessert filled with coconut custard and topped with homemade whipped cream and toasted coconut. Once you try this American classic, it will soon become a family favorite. I’ll be honest, before creating this recipe, I never tried coconut cream pie. I don’t know how I grew up in America and never once had this amazing dessert, but it’s the truth. I love coconut and have other great recipes, such as Coconut Lovers Dream Cake with Coconut Buttercream Frosting and Homemade Coconut Mounds Cups.
To make this coconut dream desert start with preparing the pie crust. For more details on making your own, see my post on how to make pie crust.
Roll it out and place it in the pan for baking. I used my own pie crust that I always have in the freezer, but if you’re short on time, you can always use store-bought.
I know I always preach about homemade being best and yes, it’s how I suggest making it, but I know it’s something that not everyone has time for and I know there are some pretty good brands out there so do whatever works for you. I’ve included my pie crust recipe for those of you who want to give it a go.
I started with blind baking the crust. I don’t own pastry weights so I used some split peas to weigh it down. There was a bit of shrinkage, but nothing that concerned me. You’ll see from the photos I make my crust quite thin which makes it harder to handle without some tears, but I just patch the tears with extra dough and I also put a second later around the sides (which unfilled looks pretty messy, but who’s going to see it (besides all of you)? Bake until golden brown.
Next for the. When I went to work with researching and creating my own version. All of the recipes I came across used plain cream to make the custard.
Having never tried it before, I had nothing to base my recipe on besides my own personal taste and my gut said, plain cream just wouldn’t give it enough coconut flavor. I mean that’s what I’d expect if I ordered it as a dessert, so I used coconut cream to make my custard.
If this makes it non-traditional, I apologize, but it’s what I thought created the best layers of flavor. I also added the whipped cream in two layers.
Once the base is baked and cooled, I made the coconut custard. I know most recipes call for cornstarch, but I didn’t have any and opted for flour. If you get lumps, don’t worry you can strain it before adding the coconut.
I separated it into and mixed toasted coconut into the fist layer and topped it with plain whipped cream and sprinkled that with a good layer of toasted coconut. The end result was smooth and creamy pie rich with coconut flavor.
Cover with plastic wrap to cool. Be sure to make sure the plastic touches the filling to keep it from forming a skin.
Once it’s cooled and set, you can add the topping.
The layers of custard and cream with the coconut mixed in make one amazing dessert.
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Let's Make Coconut Cream Pie
For the pie crust:
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3-6 tablespoons ice water
For the custard:
- ½ cup superfine or granulated sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 14-ounce can coconut cream
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
For the whipped cream:
- 2½ cups Whipping Cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon skimmed milk powder optional
- ½ cup toasted coconut
- Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C
For the crust:
- Sift the flour onto some baking paper and then add it to a food processor.
- Add the sugar, and salt and pulse a couple times to mix.
- Add about half of the butter and pulse several times.
- Then add the rest of the butter and pulse 6 to 8 times until the largest pieces of butter are about the size of large peas.
- Sprinkle the mixture with about 2 tablespoons of the ice water (leaving the cubes behind) then pulse again.
- Then add more ice water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing once or twice after each addition until the dough just barely begins to hold together.
- You know that the mixture is ready if when you pinch some together with your fingers and it holds together. Be careful with the amount of water you add, too much and the crust will be tough.
- Empty the crumbly dough mixture from the food processor onto a clean, dry, floured surface.
- Form a mound with the mixture and knead briefly (just a couple of turns). Form into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour (although it can be up to a few days or even frozen at this point).
- Once chilled, let the dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling.
- Roll out the crust on a lightly floured surface to about ¼ inch thick.
- Fit into a 9-inch pie plate, prick bottom and sides of piecrust with a fork.
- To blind bake the crust:
- Line the pie with baking paper. Make sure it's snug the lining right up against the edges and sides of the pie.
- Fill the pie with weights (this can be store bought weights, raw rice, dried lentils or dry beans). Pour the pie weights into the pie dish. Make sure they cover the bottom of the pie and press against the sides of the pie. This will keep the pie from puffing up or shrinking.
- Bake for 10 minutes and remove the weights and baking paper.
- Return to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes or until golden brown.
For the filling:
- Combine 1/2 cup sugar and flour in a heavy saucepan. Whisk together coconut milk and egg yolks.
- Gradually whisk egg mixture into sugar mixture; bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute (this will make a thick pudding like custard); remove from heat.
- At this stage, if there are any lumps, you can strain the custard into a bowl.
- Stir in butter, 1 cup coconut, and vanilla.
- Pour into the cooled crust, cover with plastic wrap, gently pressing it directly on filling in pan; cool for at least 30 minutes or until set.
For the whipped cream topping:
- Add powdered sugar, skimmed milk powder (if using - This is to help give the whipped cream structure so it doesn't flatten out too quickly), and vanilla to the cream.
- Using a food processor, whip the cream until it thickens (this doesn't take long at all so check often).
- Separate into two portions.
- In one portion, ad 1/2 pf the toasted coconut and spread over the pie.
- Spread the remaining whipped cream over the pie and sprinkle with the remaining toasted coconut.