A pie that will surely make everyone in my coconut-loving family happy, this classic dessert is straightforward with techniques. A blind-baked standard pie crust, a stove-thickened pudding for the filling and a lightly sweetened whipped cream on top. This is great any time of year, but I like it during the holidays since that’s the only time my family is all guaranteed to be sitting at the table together.
Makes one 9-inch pie
- 1 ¼ cups (163 grams) all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (113 grams) cold unsalted butter
- ¼ – ½ cup cold water
Coconut Cream Filling
- 1 1/2 cups (114 grams) sweetened shredded coconut, divided
- 2 1/2 cups (600 grams) milk
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
- 3 large egg yolks (56 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (230 grams) heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Make the Pie Crust
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour and salt and pulse to combine.
- Dice the cold butter and add to the food processor. Pulse a few times until large pea-sized chunks remain.
- Slowly add the water, pulsing ¼ cup at a time until the mixture holds together when pressed between your fingers. Flatten into two discs, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- On a lightly dusted work surface, roll out the pie dough to about ¼-inch thick and line a 9-inch pie plate. Crimp the edges as desired and dock with a fork and chill for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375˚F in the meantime.
- Line the pie plate with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Blind bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, remove the pie weights and parchment and continue baking until golden brown and set, about another 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely while you make the filling. Leave the oven on.
Make the Filling
- Place approximately ½ cup of the coconut on a sheet pan and toast until golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Add the remaining 1 cup of coconut with the milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain through a sieve, discard the coconut and return approximately 2 cups of the milk back into the pot.
- In the bowl with the remaining ½ cup milk, add the sugar, cornstarch, salt and egg yolks, whisking to combine. Gradually whisk the mixture into the with the milk and set over medium-low heat.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking constantly until it thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes. Once at a bowl, continue whisking for another minute before removing from the heat and adding the vanilla.
- Transfer the mixture to a clean bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool, about 45 minutes.
Make the Whipped Cream
- Pour the heavy cream into a medium sized mixing bowl and whip on medium speed with a hand mixer until it begins to thicken.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar and continue to whip until firm peaks.
Assemble the Pie
- Pour the coconut cream filling into the prepared pie shell, evening out with an offset spatula. Sprinkle about ¼ cup of the toasted coconut on top.
- Pipe or spoon the whipped cream over the pie mixture, sprinkle with remaining toasted coconut and chill for about 30 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.