02 August 2012

A Sweet Adventure ... Making Coconut Cream Pie

I am considered the Queen of Pies by friends and family, as I am fearless when it comes to pie crusts. I love the process of making pie dough. The real fun for me, though, comes when I find a new pie filling that makes me sit up and smack my lips. This past month, Martha Stewart Living magazine published a cold coconut cream pie recipe that had me drooling. So yesterday, I made pie filling and a sweet crust that got baked and set aside to cool.

Making a sweet coconut cream custard was a cinch. This custard is, however, not for the diet conscious. It has a whole can of unsweetened coconut milk (no lite here). There is also whole milk used to keep the egg custard rich and smooth, egg yolks, and a considerable amount of sugar and sweetened shredded coconut.  Cornstarch is the magic thickening agent that makes for an easy job of thickening things up.

I'm sure there are folks out there who can work this recipe to lessen the fat, but it will still be high in cholesterol and sugar - it's a summertime 'guilty pleasure' that I will treat as a 'once in a blue moon' dessert - a special event. I guess I'm rationalizing, huh?

Anyway, the crust was cooled, as was the thickened custard. Then, the custard was poured into the shell and the pie was chilled overnight.

Today, it was just a matter of toasting some unsweetened shaved coconut to a gorgeous golden brown, whipping a sweet heavy cream and topping the pie. The pieces sliced easily and the pie remained intact when transferred to plates. We loved this recipe!

That Martha shared a great summertime treat!

Coconut Cream Pie
a Martha Stewart Living recipe

Pie Crust:

1 ¼ c. flour
1 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. cold butter, cut into chunks
a scant ¼ c. ice water

Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse for a few seconds.

Drop the butter into the bowl and pulse on/off between each chunk. Pulse until the mixture resembles crumbs

Add the ice water, pulsing the mix until the dough ball forms around the blade.

Try not to over mix; the dough should hold together but not be too wet.

Turn the dough ball onto a piece of plastic wrap. Gather the dough into a ball and chill for about 30 minutes.

Roll the dough on a floured surface to a 12 inch circle. Place in a 9-inch pie pan, folding the outer edges back under the crust to form a smooth outer edge. Crimp a pretty design.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Line the bottom of the crust with a piece of foil and place some pie weights into the shell.

Pre heat oven to 425 °F

Bake for 15 minutes with the pie weights in place. Remove the weights and the foil and continue baking for another 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and cool the pie shell while you make the coconut custard filling.

Filling Ingredients:

½ c. sugar
¼ c.cornstarch
½ tsp. Kosher salt
1 ½ c. unsweetened coconut milk
1 ¼ c. whole milk
4 large egg yolks
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. shredded sweetened coconut

Place the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a heavy saucepan and whisk to combine.

Stir in the whole milk and the coconut milk and place the pan over medium-high heat and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens.

Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl and when the milk mixture has thickened, add some to the eggs, whisking constantly to temper the egg yolks. Add a bit more hot milk mixture and then, turn the egg yolks back into the hot milk mixture whisking to combine. Continue cooking and whisking until the custard is thick and bubbly.

Take the custard off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and shredded coconut. Cool the custard and then turn it into the pie shell. Allow the custard to cool completely on the counter top and then cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill overnight in the fridge.

Just before serving the pie, make the topping.

Topping Ingredients:

½ c. large flake unsweetened coconut
1 ½ heavy cream
2 heaping tbsp. Confectioner’s sugar

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Place the coconut in a single layer on a cookie sheet and toast for 10 to 12 minutes, tossing it a few times during this time.

Whip the heavy cream and confectioner’s sugar to stiff peaks.

Spread the whipped cream over the top of the custard, leaving some of the custard peeking out at the outer edges of the pie. Sprinkle on the toasted coconut and serve!


  1. So delicious looking. I could eat a big piece for breakfast. I see you found the shaved coconut. I just saw that the other day in the grocery store. It is so much prettier than the shredded coconut.

  2. If I see coconut cream pie on the menu I gravitate towards it. At home I rarely make pies since when it comes to pie crust I am all thumbs. I am not adverse to purchasing dough from our local apple orchard though that would be perfect or one of my faces!!

  3. This is my very favorite pie... yours looks AMAZING!

  4. I love coconut pie! This looks delish!

  5. I'm so hungry right now I could dive into that pie and eat two slices without hesitating! LOL!!! Susan, this looks absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe!

  6. Un pastel exquisito y suave me encanta luce increíble,hugs,hugs.

    1. Rosita, muchas gracias! Fue un sueño tropical fresco y dulce de un pastel!


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