Yesterday was Easter and that means that we got to indulge in coconut cream pie. Now, coconut is not my favorite food in the world. In fact, I usually try to avoid it at all costs. I love the flavor of coconut but I really don’t care for the shaved coconut part. It just gets stuck in my teeth and yeah..
But then I found finely shredded coconut! Now that was something I could get behind. It provides all the coconut flavor without the coconuty feel.
For the crust
- 5 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut (DO NOT use finely shredded coconut here)
- 9 graham crackers
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 14-ounce can coconut milk, well stirred
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces
For the crust:
- Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 325F. Spread 5 tablespoons coconut into a 9-inch glass pie plate and toast in the oven until golden brown. About 9 minute. Be sure to stir the coconut 2-3 times to prevent it from burning. When cool, reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish.
- Pulse the graham crackers and remaining 4 tablespoons toasted coconut in a food processor until the mixture is evenly fine crumbs. Transfer crumbs to a bowl and add the sugar. Mix to combine. Then add the melted butter and toss until the crumbs are evenly coated. Wipe out the now empty pie plate and empty the crumb mixture into it. Use the bottom of a 1/2 cup measuring cup to press the crumbs evenly into the bottom an dup the sides, forming a crust. Bake it until deep golden brown, about 22 minutes. Cool crust on a wire rack while making the filling.
For the filling:
- Bring the coconut milk, milk, finely shredded coconut, 1/3 cup sugar and salt to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar.
- When the mixture reaches a simmer, whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl to break them up. Add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and cornstarch until there are no lumps. Gradually whisk the simmering liquid into the egg mixture to temper it. Then return the mixture to the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly until thickened, about 30 seconds. Off the heat, whisk in the vanilla and butter.
- Pour the filling into a cooled crust. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the filling. Refrigerate until the filling is cold and firm. At least 3 hours.
- To serve, spread or pipe some whipped cream over the chilled filling (you can also choose to spoon out the whipped cream as you are serving the pie) Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon toasted coconut.