Coconut cream pie is a cold-served pie that calls for making the pie crust and the filling separately and allowing the finished product to cool several hours before eating. The easy thing to do is to purchase a pre-baked pie crust and focus on the filling, but sometimes, that homemade crust baked just the way you like it can really add a lot of flavour and personality to your dish.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp of salt
- 6 tbsp of butter
- 3 tbsp of vegetable shortening
- 3 tbsp of ice water
- Large bowl
- Cling film
- Rolling pin
- 9-in. pie plate
- Dried beans
- 2/3 cups of sugar
- 1/4 cups of cornstarch
- 3 cups of milk
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cups of shredded coconut
- Coconut milk
- Whipped cream
Make the dough for your pie crust the day before you plan to finish the pie. In a big bowl, mix together 1 1/4 cups of flour and 1/4 tsp of salt. Add in 4 tbsp of chopped cold butter and 3 tbsp of vegetable shortening. Using knives, cut through the mix in a scissor-like manner. When it looks like choppy crumbs, stop cutting.
Add 3 tbsp of ice water, 1 tbsp at a time, and mix with a fork or small whisk just until the dough sticks together. Use your hands to mould the dough into a disk shape, then cover it in cling film and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
Preheat your oven to 218 degrees C and roll out the dough into a flat disk on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Cover the counter top and the rolling pin in flour first to prevent the dough from sticking to the surfaces and tearing. Place the dough inside your pie pan and trim off the extra, leaving just about an inch of crust hanging over the plate edges.
Fold the overhanging crust underneath the pie edges and use a fork to decorate the rim of the pie in any fashion you like. Line the edges of the crust in foil and fill the pan with dried beans. The edges of the pie cook faster than the middle so lining it with foil will help keep the edges from burning.
Bake until the crust begins to set, usually between 10 and 15 minutes. Remove the foil and the beans and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. Use a spoon to press out any areas that might have puffed up during baking. Set it out on the counter to cool.
Make the pie filling. Recipes vary but usually you should add about 2/3 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of cornstarch and 1/2 tsp of salt to a saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add 3 cups of milk slowly, making sure to constantly whisk the mixture until it boils.
Allow the milk mixture to boil for one minute while you continue to stir. Separate four egg yolks from their whites and gently beat the yolks. Very slowly, add half of the hot mix to the yolks and then pour it back into the saucepan. This is called tempering the eggs. It prepares the eggs to be added to the hot saucepan without causing them to cook up and give you scrambled eggs in your pie.
Bring the contents to a boil again and stir it for another minute before taking it off the heat. Add in 2 tbsp of soft butter, 2 tsp of vanilla and 3/4 cup of shredded coconut. Some like to use coconut milk instead of the shredded pieces, or you can use both.
Pour the hot filling into the pie crust. Cover the pie with foil and refrigerate it for several hours. Once cool, dress it up by adding a whipped cream or meringue topping and sprinkling it with more coconut or other tropical fruits like pineapple and mango pieces. Cover with cling film and cool several hours before eating.
Tips and warnings
- Use low-fat crushed graham crackers and light butter when making the pie crust to cut out some of the calories. In this case, heat the oven to 176 degrees C and bake it for only three to five minutes without the foil and beans.
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