There is nothing better than a summer barbecue party surrounded by family and friends, and a true summer gathering would be remiss without dessert. Whether it is a scoop of sorbet, peach cobbler, berry crisp, popsicles, or perhaps a refreshing coconut cream pie, dessert always has a place at the party.
Recipe developer Jessica Morone brings us this recipe for classic coconut cream pie, which can be enjoyed anytime of the year, but is most typically eaten in summer. Morone says "coconut cream pie is a classic summer dessert so it is perfect for this time of year because it has such a light flavor." Serve it alongside the typical barbecue hits like coleslaw, ribs, and baked beans for the ultimate backyard bash.
Interested in making this dairy-free? Morone notes "you could make this pie dairy free by using coconut cream in the custard instead of whole milk, using dairy free butter, and topping the pie with dairy-free whipped cream." To make this classic version, however, you’ll need some heavy cream and whole milk, which will help add to the creaminess. It is coconut cream pie, after all!
Gather your ingredients for classic coconut cream pie
To make the coconut cream pie, you first need to gather your ingredients. For this recipe, you will need flaked sweetened coconut, refrigerated pie crust, coconut milk, whole milk, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, butter, vanilla extract, salt, and heavy whipping cream.
Toast the coconut and bake the pie crust
To start, preheat your oven to 350 F. Spread ½ cup of coconut flakes onto a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for about 6 to 8 minutes. Be careful — the coconut flakes burn quickly, so keep an eye on them. Then, roll the pie crust onto a 9-inch pie plate and poke a fork several times in the bottom. Then, line the top of the pie crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. This will help to keep the pie crust in perfect shape as it bakes. Now, bake the crust according to package instructions for blind baking (this typically takes 10 to 15 minutes) — the filling itself won’t need to bake, so be sure that the crust is fully cooked after this step.
Start making the filling
Now, you can get started on creating the filling. In a medium-sized bowl, add the coconut milk, the whole milk, and the egg yolks. Whisk the filling until this mixture is thoroughly combined.
Then, heat a large saucepan on the stovetop. Add ½ cup of sugar and cornstarch into the saucepan. Gradually pour in the milk mixture, whisking constantly, as it comes to a boil. Then, using a wooden spoon or a silicone spatula, stir the filling for about a minute. It will begin to thicken thanks to the addition of cornstarch.
Finish the custard filling
Once the mixture has thickened, remove the saucepan from the heat. Finish the custard filling by adding in the butter, 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, salt, and remaining coconut flakes. Stir this mixture well before pouring it into the baked pie crust. Cover the pie with plastic wrap to seal in the freshness. Then place this in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes. This will allow the custard filling to set and hold its shape.
Top the pie with whipped cream and toasted coconut
Now, to finish off the pie, make the whipped cream. In a large bowl, add the heavy whipping cream. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Next, add in the remaining vanilla extract and sugar. Continue beating this mixture with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Then, spread the fresh whipped cream on the top of the pie. Lastly, garnish the pie with a sprinkling of the remaining coconut flakes before serving. If you have any leftovers, Morone advises, "Leftovers should be stored covered in the refrigerator and will last for up to five days."
- 1 ½ cup flaked sweetened coconut, divided
- 1 refrigerated pie crust, softened to room temperature
- 1 ½ cup coconut milk
- 1 ½ cup whole milk
- 4 egg yolks
- ¾ cup sugar, divided
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spread ½ cup of coconut flakes evenly on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 6 to 8 minutes, until the coconut has just begun to brown. Set aside to cool.
- Roll the pie crust out into a lightly-greased 9-inch pie pan. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork, then line with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust according to the package directions for blind-baking (this typically takes about 10 to 15 minutes). Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, whole milk, and the egg yolks until combined.
- Heat a large saucepan to medium-low heat on the stove, add ½ cup of sugar and the cornstarch. Slowly pour in the milk mixture. Whisk constantly until the mixture begins to boil.
- Once boiling, continue to stir the mixture with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula for 1 minute, until the mixture is thick.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and add in the butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, salt, and the remaining 1 cup coconut. Pour the custard mixture into the baked pie crust. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator until set, about 30 minutes.
- In a medium-sized bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peak forms; add in the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Spread the whipped cream over the pie, then top with the toasted coconut and serve.