Happy National Pie Day eve! You know I’m not one to let a baking holiday go by if I can help it, so we’re going to talk about my favorite pie – coconut cream. You can use this basic method for any cream pie, substituting chocolate for the coconut, adding bananas to the bottom, whatever scratches the itch. I like to line the crust with chocolate to help keep it crisp but it’s optional.
Since I love coconut, I have done a few things to pump it up. First I infuse the milk with coconut, then I add some more to the filling. Finally I top it with a saucy dollop of whipped coconut cream.
Coconut Cream Pie, Makes one 9″ Pie
1/2 batch of never-fail pie crust
2 c. milk (You can add heavy cream or half-and-half in place of some of the milk for a richer filling.)
2/3 c. flaked coconut, sweetened + 1/3 c.
1/3 c. sugar
2-1/2 T. cornstarch
1 t. almond extract
1 t. vanilla
1 T. butter
1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
1 can coconut milk (full fat, not light or low-fat) – COLD
Roll out the pie crust and line a deep 9″ pie dish. Flute the crust and dock it (poke holes all over with a fork). Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until it is pale brown and flaky. As soon as you take the pie crust out of the oven, put the chocolate chips on the bottom. When they have melted spread them out in a thin, even layer with the back of a spoon. Let cool, the chocolate will harden.
Beat the two eggs together in a separate bowl and set them aside. Add the milk to a saucepan and add the 2/3 c. coconut.
Heat over medium for five minutes, or until it just barely comes to a boil. Move the pan off the burner and let stand for 10 minutes. Turn the heat back up and return the pan to the heat.
Stir the cornstarch and sugar together until there are no lumps, then whisk it in to the milk.
Stir constantly over medium heat until it thickens.
Temper the eggs – add a couple spoonfuls of the hot pudding to the eggs and stir.
Then add the egg mixture to the pan, whisking constantly. Cook and stir for two minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the additional 1/3 c. coconut, the flavorings and the butter.
Pour the cream into the pie shell and dust the top with coconut.
Let cool completely before serving and garnish with whipped coconut cream. It’s not as good as yours Evelyn but it will have to do!
Whipped Coconut Cream
I doubt that this is any better for you than regular whipped cream, but it feels nice and light. It makes a great ice cream, which I’ll cover in a future post.
Pour the can of coconut milk into a mixing bowl. The cream will be in a hard lump in the can, and you’ll probably need to pry it out with a spoon. Whip on your highest speed until light and fluffy. You can add 1 T. of sugar and a dash of almond extract if you like. The colder everything is the better it will whip up. It will never get much past the soft-peak stage, but on the bright side it won’t collapse like regular whipped cream.