Coconut Cream Pie

Every part of this fluffy pie from pastry chef Kierin Baldwin has coconut: the crust, the fillling and the topping.

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  • Servings: Makes one 9-inch pie
KEY: Baking, Barbecue/Cookout, Christmas, Dinner Party, Easter, Father's Day, Graduation Party, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, American, Desserts, Pies & Tarts, Make Ahead, Staff Favorites

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  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sweetened cream of coconut, such as Coco Lopez
  • 3 cups Nilla Wafer cookies, crushed (1 cup packed)
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Toasted coconut flakes, for garnish

How to make this recipe

  1. Make the filling In a small bowl, whisk 1/4 cup of the coconut milk with the gelatin. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 1 1/4 cups of coconut milk with 1/2 cup of the heavy cream. Add the sugar, corn syrup, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and the vanilla bean and seeds; bring just to a simmer over moderately high heat. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil, then simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture until dissolved, then whisk in the butter and 1/4 cup of the cream of coconut. Strain the filling through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl; discard the vanilla bean. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling and let cool, then refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, make the crust Preheat the oven to 325°. In a food processor, pulse the cookies with all of the remaining ingredients except the toasted coconut. Transfer the crumbs to a 9-inch metal pie plate. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and up the side of the pie plate, forming a 1/4-inch edge over the rim of the plate. Bake the crust for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, until dry and lightly browned. Let cool.
  3. Meanwhile, make the crust In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream, 2 tablespoons of cream of coconut and 1/4 teaspoon of salt until firm. Fold one-third of the whipped cream into the filling until no streaks remain. Spread the filling in the crust. Mound the whipped cream on top and refrigerate the pie for at least 2 hours. Garnish with toasted coconut before serving.

Make Ahead

The pie can be refrigerated overnight.

Contributed By Photo © Christina Holmes Published March 2015

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