Move over, boxed pudding mix! This Homemade Coconut Cream Pie is the best I’ve tried and I consider myself a pie connoisseur. Rich, velvety coconut custard in a deep dish flaky pie crust and topped with a huge mountain of fresh whipped cream. Heavenly!
I really, really love pie.
And like, not to brag or anything, but I consider myself somewhat of a pie connoisseur. It just happens when you consume so many slices of pie throughout your life that you just naturally rise to expert level.
I don’t quite understand people who don’t like pie. Do you not like happiness? Joy? Comfort and coziness? Okay, so to be fair there are certain popular desserts I don’t like: carrot cake for one, red velvet flavor for another… but saying you dislike pie is kinda sorta the most un-American thing you can do. (Not really of course; I am being facetious!).
I think those who dislike pie usually prefer their desserts to be without fruit. I can understand that. If I had to choose between, say, a fruit crisp or a slice of chocolate cake, I’m more apt to choose the cake.
But if fruit is your pie hang-up, this pie is blissfully without fruit (so I know coconut is a fruit but whatever). And if you prefer fruity pies, this one is still worth trying!
The custard is like heaven on Earth: creamy, decadent, silky smooth and flavorful with vanilla, butter and coconut. It imparts so much of that rich, delicate coconut flavor that a good coconut cream pie must have! For the crust, you can use your favorite homemade crust recipe, or a frozen deep dish pie crust, which is what I used. I find they save so much time and are pretty good in a pinch! Plus, any shortcut I can save is a bonus with me!
First you’ll bake the crust, whether it is homemade or frozen. Poke holes all over the crust’s bottom and sides using a toothpick or tines of a fork; this helps it from poofing up while it bakes… you could also use dried beans or pie weights! You only want to bake it just until it turns golden brown since the pie will not bake after you add the custard.
While the crust bakes, make your custard. It starts with granulated sugar and cornstarch, followed by half and half and egg yolks for richness. Don’t worry, we’ll be cooking the custard in a saucepan which will cook the yolks so they’re safe to eat – but keep a close eye on them and stir the pot constantly so that you don’t end up with scrambled eggs in your custard!
Once the mixture gets thick and bubbly, take it off of the heat and stir in butter, vanilla, and of course – coconut! Once combined, you’ll cover the mixture and let set for about a half an hour, then pour it into the crust and chill for about an hour or two to completely set up.
Just before serving, top the chilled pie with fresh whipped cream. Seriously, if you do anything, make sure your whipped cream is freshly made from scratch. I love whipped topping, but this pie is light-years away BETTER with homemade whipped cream!
To really drive home the coconut flavor, I added some toasted coconut to the top. Not only is it gorgeous, but your house will smell incredible as it toasts! So glorious.
I mean, if there is a heaven, they definitely serve this pie daily!
*adapted from Southern Desserts
- One frozen deep dish pie crust (or you may use homemade), baked according to package instructions
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 Tablespoons butter, cubed
- 1 & ¼ cups sweetened flaked coconut
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ⅓ cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted*
- In a medium saucepan, add in the ½ cup granulated sugar and cornstarch; whisk together until combined. Add in the half and half and eggs and whisk until smooth and combined. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat and whisk in the butter, 1 & ¼ cups sweetened flaked coconut, and vanilla extract, whisking vigorously until combined. Cover the pan with plastic wrap, placing the plastic wrap directly onto the custard for 30 minutes.
- Pour the custard into the prepared pie crust and smooth out the top. Refrigerate until set, about 1-2 hours.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the heavy whipping cream and confectioners' sugar together on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 5-7 minutes. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the pie; top with the toasted coconut. Store leftovers covered in the fridge up to 3 days.
- NOTE: to toast coconut, simply place the coconut in a dry small skillet and cook over medium-low heat for about 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until nutty, fragrant and toasted. Cool.
Silky coconut custard in a flaky crust with sweetened whipped cream… this pie is absolutely delectable!
Have a super sweet day!