Awesome Coconut Cream Pie


CurvyMama’s pretty happy with her fine self at the moment. After months of dissatisfaction and tinkering, she’s come up with a kick-ass coconut cream pie. I always like it when I get to the happy place with a pie; that place where you pretty much know that you’ve got The Recipe. But it was especially important to me to get to that place with coconut cream. There was something of a genetic imperative involved; hardly anything on earth can make my dad as happy as a union with an outstanding slice of coconut cream pie. And as DNA would have it, it’s one of my favorite kinds as well. Coconut Cream Pie I had made it one of my winter goals to perfect my cream pies. I went a long way toward that by finding a more reliable way to keep my fillings thick enough to hold their shape when sliced. And then I went the rest of the way there by making my coconut cream even coconuttier by doing something so obvious that I’m embarrassed that it eluded me this long: substituting coconut milk for some of the half-and-half I use in the filling. IMG_1213I haven’t gone as far as incorporating coconut into the crust. My friends on Pie Nation tell me that Seattle’s Tom Douglas is famed far and wide for his Triple Coconut Pie, which looks amazing in its sexy photos. He’s very free with the recipe, too, so you can see exactly what he does. The “triple” comes from coconut in the crust, the filling, and sprinkled on top. That sounds like a lovely idea, and I bet I would love his pie. But right now, I’m feeling very peaceful with the “double” approach: coconut in the filling and sprinkled on top, but contrasted with a simple, classic pastry crust. So here’s what I did, my dears: IMG_1241 IMG_1087I blind-baked a 9-inch pie shell and left it to cool completely. I also toasted a few tablespoons of coconut til they were golden brown and fragrant. I whisked together the sugar, cornstarch, flour, and salt in a heavy, medium saucepan. With medium-high heat under the pan now, I whisked in the coconut milk and half-and-half, making sure to get rid of any lumps. I whisked in the egg yolks and kept cooking over medium-high heat, whisking constantly and taking special care to whisk against the sides of the pan where the custard is most likely to cling and thicken first. I kept cooking and whisking until the custard thickened and came to a boil. I kept it at a boil for a minute or two, whisking all the while, and then took it off the heat. I stirred in the shredded coconut, and then the vanilla, coconut flavoring, and the butter. I poured the custard into a bowl and pressed plastic wrap directly onto its surface so a thick skin wouldn’t form.

Keeping a thick skin from forming.

Keeping a thick skin from forming.

I put the custard in the refrigerator to cool down to at least room temperature, and preferably cooler. Later, I assembled the pie. I filled the shell with the custard and put the plastic wrap back on, to combat that thick skin, since I wasn’t going to put the whipped cream on until an hour or two before serving. (You don’t want the air to go out of the cream.) Closer to serving time, I whipped the cream in the chilled bowl of a stand mixer, along with the powdered sugar, until it was stiff. I slathered it on top of the custard and sprinkled on the toasted coconut as a crowning glory, as you can see in the whole-pie picture above. It’s best to make the custard at least 6-8 hours before you plan to assemble the pie and serve. I have found that it takes this long–and sometimes longer–for it to firm up enough to show itself off nicely when sliced.

CurvyMama's Coconut Cream Pie
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  1. 1 blind-baked 9-inch pie crust
  1. 3/4 cup sugar
  2. 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  3. 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  4. A dash of salt
  5. 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  6. 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  7. 4 egg yolks
  8. 1 1/2 cups sweetened, shredded coconut
  9. A few drops of coconut flavoring (I like LorAnn brand)
  10. 1 tsp. vanilla
  11. 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  1. 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  2. 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
  3. 2-3 Tbsp. shredded, sweetened coconut, toasted til golden brown
  1. In a medium, heavy saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt.
  2. Putting a medium-high heat under the pan, whisk in the coconut milk and half-and-half, making sure there are no lumps. Whisk in the egg yolks.
  3. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens and reaches a boil. Keep it boiling for a minute or two (still whisking!). Remove from heat. Stir in the coconut flavoring, vanilla and butter.
  4. Pour the custard into a bowl and press plastic wrap onto the surface. Chill until at least room temperature, preferably cooler.
  5. Within a few hours of serving, whip the cream with the powdered sugar in a chilled bowl until stiff. Spoon the custard into the piecrust, and top it with the whipped cream and a sprinkling of toasted coconut.
CurvyMama Pies http://curvymamapies.com/


  1. Jenni
    This recipe works like a charm and is delicious! I had a brief moment of panic because the coconut milk seemed to seize up with the cornstarch when I put it on the heat, but I kept whisking and added the egg yolks, and it smoothed out very quickly. I do not have coconut flavoring, so I added a little extra coconut, and it is very pleasingly coconutty. :-) Yum! This is a keeper recipe. Thanks for sharing!
  2. Curvy Mama Pies
    So glad you liked it, Jenni! That makes me really happy!