Classic Coconut Cream Pie
I wanted to make a delicious coconut cream pie with the most basic ingredients and also with the most coconuty flavour but without using artificial flavours. I have made other desserts and pies with coconut extract and they are good but I wanted a richer coconut flavour and using coconut in the crust and the custard just had to happen. I found two recipes that I was happy with and I used a few components from each to get this yummy recipe right here. I’m very happy with it and so was my family. It’s a great make ahead dessert that is stress free - even the custard I promise. I made the crust and the custard the day before and topped it which whip cream just before serving. Let me break it down and talk about each layer.
As I mentioned before the crust has coconut baked into it. What’s better than the flavour of regular coconut? Toasted coconut! It smelled heavenly while it baked. It’s a tender crisp crust that holds in that creamy custard perfectly. I learned something new when I made this tart from Chatelaine magazine. They suggested brushing a layer of melted white chocolate to the tart crust after its baked and once it’s cooled. Of course adding white chocolate to anything is never a bad idea but this is more than just adding white chocolate for flavour. It is added to create a seal for the crust and prevent it from getting soggy from the custard. It’s a wonderful little tip that I’m definitely holding onto and applying to other pies for sure. It was only appropriate then to add more white chocolate to the recipe as a garnish, so that is what I did. No regrets!
This is a very simple and straightforward custard as far as custards go. Not only does it have shredded coconut in it, it’s also made with coconut milk - told you it was extra coconuty. It’s just a few minutes of whisking and your done. It tasted delicious and I dare you not to have a few spoonfuls (or more) of it as you wait for it to cool. The shredded coconut not only adds flavour to the custard but adds a bit of texture to it too. It doesn’t stay dry and crisp but softens as it cooks and adds a scrumptious texture and flavour to the custard.
It’s hard to resists this pie. The textures and flavours are a real treat for the mouth and tastebuds. The crust is tender and crisp and that custard is creamy and, what is a coconut cream pie without whip cream - I love a mile high whip on my pie but decided to be a bit more creative this time with piped the whip on. The whip adds that perfect light and fluffy layer which compliments the custard and crust so much. Over that I added toasted coconut flakes and white chocolate for extra texture and decadence. It’s a great pie and I do hope you enjoy it.
Adapted from Chatelaine and Tasting Table
For the Coconut Pastry Crust
- 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
- ½ cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup ice-cold water, or more as needed
- 2 tbsp chopped white chocolate, melted
For the Coconut Pastry Cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup canned, unsweetened coconut milk, stirred
- 2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup, plus 2 tbsp, sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons room-temperature, unsalted butter
For the Whipped Cream
- 2½ cups heavy cream, chilled
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Unsweetened large-shred coconut, or substitute sweetened shredded coconut toasted in the oven on a backing sheet for a few minutes.
- White chocolate curls
- For the coconut pastry crust: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, coconut, sugar and salt and pulse once or twice until combined.
- Add the cubed butter and pulse to form coarse crumbs.
- Gradually add the water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing each time.
- Use only as much water as need for the dough to hold together when gently pressed between your fingers.
- Place a large sheet of plastic wrap on the counter and empty the dough onto it.
- Pull the plastic wrap around the dough forcing it into a rough flattened round with the pressure of the plastic wrap.
- Chill for 30 minutes to overnight before rolling.
- Lightly floured board and your rolling pin and roll the dough out into a circle about ⅛ inch thick approx 12-13 inch circle.
- Transfer the rolled dough to a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan.
- Ease the dough loosely and gently into the pan. You don’t want to stretch the dough at this point, because it will shrink when it is baked.
- Trim any excess dough to a 1-to-1½-inch overhang.
- Turn the dough under along the rim of the pie plate and use your fingers and thumb to flute the edge. If using a tart pan trim dough to the edge of the pan.
- Chill the unbaked pie shell for at least 15 to 20 minutes while the oven preheats.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Place a piece of parchment in the pie shell, with sides overhanging the pan, and fill with dried beans.
- Bake the piecrust for approx 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry rim is golden.
- Remove the pie pan from the oven.
- Remove the paper and beans and return the piecrust to the oven.
- Bake for another 10 to 12 minutes, or until bottom of the crust has golden-brown patches.
- Remove from the oven and allow the pie shell to cool completely.
- For the pastry cream: Combine the milk, coconut milk, vanilla extract and shredded coconut in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place the saucepan on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture almost comes to a boil. Then take of the heat.
- In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and flour until very well combined.
- Temper the eggs by pouring a small amount (about ⅓ cup) of the scalded milk into the egg mixture, while whisking. Then add the warmed egg mixture to the saucepan of milk and coconut while whisking.
- Whisk over medium-high heat until the pastry cream thickens and begins to bubble. Keep whisking until the mixture is very thick, about 4 to 5 minutes more. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Add the butter and whisk until it melts. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and place it over another bowl of ice water. Stir occasionally until it is cool or at least room temperature.
- Brush the inside of the cooled shell with melted chocolate.
- Once the cream is room temperature pour custard into prepared shell. Place plastic wrap directly onto custard to prevent skin forming and chill until set, about 2 hours or overnight. The pastry cream will thicken as it cools.
- When ready to serve make the whipped cream: Whip the heavy cream with the sugar and vanilla to peaks that are firm enough to hold their shape.
- Garnish the whole pie or cut the pie into wedges and put the wedges on plates, then garnish each wedge individually with coconut and white chocolate curls.