Officially, this one is Coconut Cream Pie w/Toasted Coconut Crust. In my heart, I call it the anti-anxiety pie! My brother gets the finder’s fee for this one – and by finder’s fee, I mean the biggest piece of this one he wants!
This recipe is a combination of several different ones that I’ve honed over the years. It is a favorite of my family, and a must for the coconut lovers out there!
SPOILER ALERT: The trick to making the coconut cream is going to give you a whole new meaning to keeping calm and baking on! It’s a revelation, people!
Here we go!
For the coco-nut-y crust:
- 2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
- 1 egg white
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
First step is toasting coconut for the crust. Preheat your oven to 325 and toast for 10 minutes. Toss, then toast for another 6-8 minutes and allow to cool at least 15 minutes. (This makes the house smell yummy, too!)
Whisk together the egg white, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl until combined. Fold in the toasted coconut. Press into a greased pan (I HIGHLY recommend any by The Pioneer Woman, as you can see!) and form a 1/4″ crust on bottom and sides. Bake until toasted and brow, 22-25 minutes. I found that the full 25 in my oven was the perfect crunch. Twenty-two was a little softer than I would recommend, but your oven may vary (YOMV!)
Side Baking Horror Story: this New Year’s, I somehow forgot to grease the pan, and while the pie was still delicious, it did not come out of the pan well! Still not sure how I managed that, as PAM baking spray is usually glued to my hand in the kitchen, but as my favorite consulting detective would say, “I always miss something!”
While the crust is cooling (at least 15 minutes), it’s time to get the pie filling itself ready. And, like I promised, this is where the real magic happens!
The coconut cream for this coconut cream pie? Made in the MICROWAVE!
No more standing over a pot on the stove sobbing because you missed the 2 second window between runny soup and burnt goop!
What you need for the pie filling:
- 4 tbsp corn starch
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
In a microwave-safe bowl, whisk the corn starch and sugar. Once that is good and mixed together, add the milk and heavy cream, whisking together (make sure you’re getting edges of the bowl for lumps!). Then add the 3 egg yolks and whisk some more! Set aside the coconut and vanilla for the end.
Microwave for 2 minutes and the whisk the mixture together. Continue to microwave for 1 minute at a time, whisking after each minute, until you reach the desired thickness. (In my microwave it is 4, 1-minute intervals – 6 minutes in total to the perfect consistency!)
Stir in the vanilla and coconut. Then, stick that beautiful bowl of awesome in the fridge to cool for a bit!
Okay, so you’ve got a crunchy coconut crust and a yummy luscious cream filling. So, how do you finish it? With whipped cream and more coconut, of course!
For the topping:
- 2/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- 1 ¼ cup whipping cream (chilled)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/8 tsp vanilla extract (you can do coconut extract, if you really want to go there…I won’t judge.)
Toast the coconut! You can do this in the oven, too, if you want, but I think you get a better toasted topping from a frying pan – the oven does it more evenly, but I find that I don’t like that for the topping. My family tends to like the uneven toast for the top. I never claimed we were normal!
While you’re toasting the coconut, stick your beater and whipping bowl in the freezer. Get it good and cold.
Whip the heavy cream, sugar and extract until peaks form.
Oh – that’s my Kitchenaid, btw. Love her!
Assemble the pie:
Spread the pie into your crust, then top with the whipped cream. Take a moment to enjoy the way this beauty comes together! Then, sprinkle with your toasted coconut and stick in the fridge until you’re ready to eat!
Credit where credit is due: The crust recipe was taken from a video on the Food Network Facebook page and sent to me by my aforementioned brother. The genius pie filling recipe – while it includes almost the EXACT ingredient list as my Great Grandmother’s – came from a post on the Sunshine and Summer Breeze blog for mini pies. I adjusted the recipe a bit, but give all credit and honor to the lovely lady behind that blog who saved my sanity with this methodology! Here is the link to the original post – which includes a meringue topping for you adventurous types: http://sunshineandasummerbreeze.blogspot.com/2012/11/mini-coconut-cream-pies.html