I am a fan of coconut. A big fan. My first memory of coconut was when I was just a child, probably 3 or 4. My dad used to work at a restaurant called The Hawaiian. He was the MC of the polynesian show there with my uncles as the band members and my aunties were the dancers. We would go and watch them every weekend. Check out those costumes, the 70’s were awesome. That’s my dad in the black satin suit.
I feel like a lot of my childhood was there. It was awesome. It was decorated like Hawaii and even had a rain storm before the show started. They served coconut snow pina coladas and I probably drank my weight worth every time I went there. Have you ever tried these? My sisters and I ordered a case of these years ago and we probably made 5 gallons of it and drank it all by ourselves, just the three of us, we were in our own tropical paradise in the middle of winter, and then the company discontinued them and we haven’t been able to find them since. Sad.
They were amazing and I that is where my love of coconut began. Not just pina coladas, but cake, pies, cookies, ice cream, coke (yes, I put coconut syrup in my coke…almost every. single. day). But that is a whole different story. Let’s get back to desserts-coconut desserts, coconut pie. This coconut pie.
I am not a fan of the fake, over-sweetened pie that you can purchase. I am a fan of this one. It is full of coconut flavor, isn’t too sweet, is buttery and coco-nutty and one of my very favorites. This recipe is easy to make from scratch, it takes a little time, but it is worth every minute.
A perfectly flakey crust filled with a homemade coconut custard and topped with whipping cream and toasted coconut makes this a winner and will make you a winner once everyone takes their first bite.
This recipe calls for using some coconut milk in the coconut custard. I love the extra coconut flavor, but if you don’t have it on hand, you can use whole or 2% milk as well.
It also calls for my homemade pie crust, but if you need to use a refrigerated pie crust instead in a pinch, it works just fine!
To toast the coconut, place it in a non-stick pan over medium low heat. Stir every few minutes until the coconut becomes lightly toasted. Remove and let cool. The only coconut that needs to be toasted is the coconut for the topping. To pipe the whipped cream, I placed it in a piping bag with a tip, but you could put in a zip lock bag, cut off corner and pipe onto your pie.
- 1 baked 9 inch pie shell
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 1/4 cups milk, divided
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/14 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/14 cups coconut, divided (toast 1/4 cup if desired)
- Whipped cream for garnish
- Place 1 can of coconut milk plus 1 1/4 cups milk in pot; add half-and-half, butter, and 3/4 cups of sugar and stir. Heat over medium-high heat until butter is melted.
- In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks; add remaining 1/2 cup sugar and salt and whisk. Slowly add egg mixture to hot milk mixture stirring constantly; cook for 15-20 minutes stirring frequently.
- Mix 1 cup milk and cornstarch in a small bowl and add to hot mixture. Continue stirring for at least 2 minutes and then stir every 5 minutes for 15-20 minutes.
- Once pudding is thick, stir in vanilla and 1 cup coconut. Pour filling into cooked pie shell.
- Cool and chill in refrigerator 3-4 hours.
- When ready to serve, pip whip cream on top and top with 1/4 cup coconut.
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Recipe adapted from Lion House Pies.