Ladies and gentleman, I give you a favorite. As in lifelong-all-time-I-will-always-go-for-this-pie pie. It’s actually tied with Banana Cream Pie, but either will do. And I’m not sure why it’s a favorite, but it has been since childhood days. And when it comes to Coconut Cream Pie, I’m embarrassed to admit I like them all, from homemade to the trashiest frozen version. Guilty pleasure, I suppose. But today’s recipe is definitely a winner, and why shouldn’t it be? It comes from Cook’s Illustrated so you can rest assured it’s delicious and that it works. This pie always disappears instantly in our house, even though I actually like it the next day once the topping has had a chance to thicken and deflate a bit. It just gets denser, if that makes sense.
Coconut Cream Pie
6 ounces animal crackers
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 (13 1/2-ounce) can coconut milk
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3/8 teaspoon table salt
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 2 pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whipped Cream and Garnish
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (cold)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted in a small dry skillet until golden brown
1. For the crust: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. In food processor, pulse animal crackers, coconut, and sugar to fine crumbs, eighteen to twenty 1-second pulses; then process until powdery, about 5 seconds. Transfer crumbs to medium bowl and add butter; stir to combine until crumbs are evenly moistened. Empty crumbs into 9-inch glass pie plate; using bottom of ramekin or 1/2 cup dry measuring cup, press crumbs evenly into bottom and up sides of pie plate. Bake until fragrant and medium brown, about 15 minutes, rotating pie shell halfway through baking time. Set on wire rack and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
2. For the filling: Bring coconut milk, whole milk, shredded coconut, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt to simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally to ensure that sugar dissolves. Following illustrations 1 through 6, whisk yolks, cornstarch, and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Whisking constantly, gradually ladle about 1 cup hot milk mixture over yolk mixture; whisk well to combine. Whisking constantly, gradually add remaining milk mixture to yolk mixture in 3 or 4 additions; whisk well to combine. Return mixture to saucepan and cook until thickened and mixture reaches boil, whisking constantly, about 1 minute; filling must boil in order to fully thicken. (To determine whether filling has reached boil, stop whisking; large bubbles should quickly burst on surface.) Off heat, whisk in butter and vanilla until butter is fully incorporated. Pour hot filling into cooled pie shell and smooth surface with rubber spatula; press plastic wrap directly against surface of filling and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 12 hours.
3. For the whipped cream: Just before serving, beat cream, sugar, and vanilla with electric mixer until soft peaks form, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Top pie with whipped cream and then sprinkle with coconut. Cut pie into wedges and serve.
Recipe from Cooks Illustrated