May 8, 2012

Coconut Cream Pie

I am sure you can relate to the times when you're eating, and even though you’ve begun to feel full, you cannot stop yourself from just one more bite. And then maybe one more. That is what happened to me the last time I had coconut cream pie. My sister and I had taken our folks to dinner and we ladies capped off the meal by sharing an oh so creamy, melt in your mouth, slice of coconut cream pie.

May 7th may be Coconut Cream Pie day, but this dessert can be enjoyed any time of the year! My only note is to be careful not to let the custard heat so much that it overcooks. If you are worried about that, cook on top of a double boiler. It may take longer, but could spare you unnecessary stress. The pie is not very sweet and so pairs perfectly with sweetened whipped cream. As usual, I didn’t wait very long once it was completed to dig in. That may or may not be why there is only one pie in the picture…

Coconut Cream Pie
single disc of flaky pie dough
1/3 C sugar
1/8 t salt
1/4 C corn starch
4 egg yolks
2 C half and half, divided
4 T unsalted butter, room temp
1 t vanilla
1-1/2 C sweetened, flaked coconut
additional 1/4 C sweetened, flaked coconut, toasted for sprinkling if desired
sweetened whipped cream

This will make enough for one 9-inch pie or four 5-inch mini pies. (I cut the recipe in half and made two 5-inch pies.)

Roll out and blind bake pie dough as per recipe method and then set aside to cool.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm 1-1/2 C of the half and half.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, salt, corn starch. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 C of the half and half with the egg yolks. Pour the egg mixture into the sugar mixture and whisk until well combined.

Remove saucepan of half and half from the stove. While whisking the egg and sugar mixture, slowly stream the heated half and half to temper the mixture. Once tempered, return everything to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat. Stir the mixture occasionally and cook until thickened, about 5-7 minutes.

Remove from heat and whisk in the butter, vanilla, and coconut. To avoid forming a skin, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the custard and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Once your custard has cooled, spread the filling into the pie shell. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with toasted coconut prior to serving.

Sweetened whipped cream: whip 2 C heavy whipping cream just until it begins to firm. Add 1/4 C confectioners sugar and 1/2 t vanilla and continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Toasted coconut: Place 1/4 C coconut in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake for 3-4 minutes, shaking the pan a couple of times to evenly toast. You can do this while your pie shell is blind baking.

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