It’s November, and I’m hungry for pie every day. Toasted Coconut Cream Pie is such a special dessert, it’s really not very difficult, but it feels elegant and special. I like to paint my crust with chocolate which puts it totally over the top. There is just mind blowing flavor and the chewy toasty coconut bits make it have incredible texture. It’s hands down one of my favorite pie experiences and I’m going to need to bring this to my November pie line up for SURE. A cool bonus is that once you learn this recipe you have the foundation for pretty much all my cream pies. I use it for banana cream pie, strawberry cream pie, chocolate cream pie, and more! Seriously guys, stop being intimidated by pie, it’s really fun, easier than you think, and such a joy to eat and serve. You have a Caroline or two here for you every step of the way.
For the crust:
single 9-10 inch traditional pie crust 1/3 cup chopped chocolate or chocolate chips
1 teaspoon coconut oil
For the filling: 1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 3/4 cups whole milk (if you don’t have whole use what you have, or mix lowfat milk with cream)
7 egg yolks (save whites for a fancy frosting or meringue in your baking future)
3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
Make your crust:
Pre-heat oven to 450. Roll your crust into your pan, I like to use a medium pie pan, not the little tiny ones, and not the super deep dish, but you can make any size work, you might need to just keep a little filling as some pudding for later or you might need to bulk up your coconut and add cream on top. And you can always roll our traditional pie crust nice and thin for a deep dish or have a little extra for a standard 9″
Blind bake your crust, ours takes about 8 minutes in a 450 oven on the top rack. Use either pie weights or poke loads of holes (that’s the twocarolines method). You want it nicely browned on edges and if it slumps a little just use a tea towel to reshape while it’s hot. Keep your oven on but turn to 325 to toast coconut.
Melt your chocolate and teaspoon of coconut oil in a pyrex or heatproof bowl. I prefer to do this in the microwave on defrost power so it never gets too hot. If you don’t have a defrost setting melt 20 seconds at a time until chocolate starts to loose its form then let it sit and add a few seconds at at time until you can whisk it smooth.
Spread your chocolate into the crust of your baked pie crust painting up on to the sides halfway and all across the bottom. Let this cool while you make your filling so the chocolate gets hard.
Toast your coconut:
Set oven to 325. Spread out 1 1/2 cups shredded sweetened dried coconut on a baking sheet for about 8-10 minutes stirring a few times until it’s got some nice color and smells amazing. Set aside.
Make your filling:
Put sugar, cornstarch and salt into a medium/large heavy saucepan. I use this all clad one, anything decent sized with a good thick bottom will work.
Gradually whisk in your milk
Vigorously whisk in your egg yolks one at a time until no yellow streaks remain.
Stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat once bubbles come up and scrape down the corners of your saucepan and whisk until smooth.
Return to heat and whisking constantly, bring a simmer and cook for 1 minute.
Take off the heat and whisk in your butter, vanilla and coconut extract.
Pour about 1/3 of your filling into baked pie crust, layer with coconut and another 1/3 of your filling alternating and ending with coconut on top. If you’re topping your pie with whipped cream save some coconut to put on top of that.
Chill for a good 4 hours before serving. This pie keeps nicely in the fridge for a good 5 days or so.
There are times when you just want a cream pie because they are fantastically delicious and there are also times when you call your husband from the store to see if you are low on milk and he doesn’t realize there’s an extra gallon in the other fridge so you end up with 2 and a half gallons, this pie works brilliantly for both of these times. It has a really handy versatility, I served it multiple ways throughout the week, I enjoyed the raspberries the most, but I did strawberries as well and its also nice with blueberries or even drizzled in a nice chocolate sauce like the one we used for our coconut crunch cake. You will likely recognize the recipe because I use this as a base for my banana cream pie, coconut cream pie, and chocolate cream pie, it’s my cream pie go to for reasons you will certainly taste and agree with. I doubled the recipe for this pie which easily fills a deep dish pie pan and leaves enough extra filling for 2-3 ramekins of pudding to give your kids for snacks or put in your mouth at that low energy sugar hungry time between 2:30 and 4, you know what I’m talking about. Now go get your cream pie on people!
Crust: Single 9-10 inch traditional pie crust 1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup Crisco shortening
4 tablespoons ice cold water
Chocolate layer: 1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
Filling: 1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 cups milk (recipe calls for whole milk, I was trying to burn through 1% so I used mostly that and about 1.5 cups cream, but it would turn out fine with whatever you have)
8 egg yolks (you could get away with 7, recipe actually calls for 10, but I don’t usually use that many for such a large quantity of filling)
4-5 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups or so raspberries
2-3 teaspoons sugar
raspberry syrup (optional)
To make the crust, mix your flour and salt, then add the Crisco and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender as you add the cold water. It will start to come together at which point you can pull in all the dry parts with your hands and quickly knead it into a ball. Flour your work surface and roll it into a thin circle. Roll it on to your rolling pin and slowly into your (ungreased) pie pan. Make a ridge around the outside and crimp as desired. Poke all over with holes or put beans or pie weights into your crust with parchment before baking. Blind bake at 450 7-9 minutes until lightly browned.
While crust is cooling make your chocolate layer. You’re welcome to skip this if you want, but I love having a chocolate painted crust, its just a thin layer but adds so much to the over-all flavor. Melt your chocolate and butter (or oil) in a glass pyrex in the microwave on defrost or in 20 second increments until the chocolate loses it’s shape and you can whisk it all smooth. Paint the bottom and sides of your crust with this chocolate and put it into the freezer or fridge so it can harden while you make your filling.
Put sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan with a thick bottom. With your burner on medium/high (I keep mine just above medium) slowly pour in the milk and stir until combined then add your egg yolks one at a time, whisking after each until no yellow streaks remain. Now switch to a heat proof rubber spatula and stirring constantly bring to a simmer. Once the bubbles come up scrape down the sides of the bowl and whisk until smooth then return to the heat and stir constantly for 1 minute while your mixture slowly bubbles (wear an apron!). Remove from the heat and stir in butter and vanilla until all is combined then pour into your prepared pie crust. Remember this is a double quantity so you will likely have extra to eat as pudding or save for a donut or eclair filling!
Put plastic wrap directly over the top before refrigerating. Be sure to let it cool a solid 4 hours or so then it will be set before you slice and serve.
To make the Raspberry sauce, smash up about 1/3 of the raspberries with sugar then mix that up with the whole raspberries and syrup (if using) and pour on top of each individual piece as you serve. It’s also fantastic with a little whip cream on top of the raspberry sauce.