Coconut Cream Pie is the epitome of coconut desserts. Flaky pie crust, coconut custard filled with toasted coconut, fresh whipped cream and topped with more toasted coconut. It’s a dream come true.
So guess what. I kind of suck at making pies. BUT this easy coconut cream pie is pretty freaking awesome. It’s like a Pi Day miracle. That’s right, we’re crashing Pi day and turning it into PIE day. Because math sucks too. Just kidding if you like math. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Pi is a math thing. It’s 3.1415blahblahblah. It goes on forever. The math teachers go crazy for it and dress up with Pi shirts, it’s like a holiday for them. But it’s not really a holiday because holiday’s are fun and math isn’t. Just kidding, again.
So enough with the Pi, I’m bored already. (I was a stellar math student… heavy sarcasm)
Pie crusts have always been hard for me. Even before I started baking gluten-free, they were a struggle. They never, ever, ever came out like my mom’s perfectly flaky pie crust that everyone loved. Mine came out ugly, too dark and too chewy. A fellow blogger once described their crusts as “squeaky”, that’s exactly what mine were.
Since I only work with pie crust a few times a year, I don’t really get that much practice. But finally after years of mediocre pie crusts, I’ve finally gotten the rolling, transferring to the pie dish and crimping thing down. Yes, people. It’s taken me this long to get those little basics down. I just don’t have the patience for dough. Also, I use a pre-made pie dough. Pillsbury makes an awesome one in the refrigerated section, it’s available at one of the grocery stores I shop at. My mom uses the Bob’s Red Mill pie crust mix for her gluten-free pies. That one is good too.
Edit 12/2015 – I now use my own gluten free pie crust recipe.
If you’re like me and kind of struggle with pies, this recipe for coconut cream pie is a great place to start. Since you’re only baking the pie shell, you don’t need to worry about baking a crust and a filling together like with a fruit pie. Baby steps, right?
But the star of this pie is the coconut because after all, it is a coconut cream pie. The coconut custard is made with coconut milk and flavored with coconut extract and toasted coconut. The whipped cream is also topped with additional toasted coconut. It’s a coconut lovers dream. It is one of my all time favorite flavors. I would be happy with coconut flavored anything and everything. But I guess I could settle for the best coconut cream pie…
My piece didn’t come out as pretty as I’d like, I lost the lovely layered look to the whipped cream. I pretty much struggle with slicing pie as much as I do making it. Thankfully, it’s so much more delicious than it looks! You can still see the lovely layers in the full pie though. For some reason that didn’t smear, just the part I wanted to get a nice picture of. Whatever. And don’t you just want to give a high five to that little piece of coconut waving from the top of the slice? It’s all like, “heeeey, it’s Pi day, what’s up?!”. Happy
Pi Pie Day! Enjoy!
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Coconut Cream Pie
- 1 9 inch pie crust *
- 1 14 oz. can coconut milk (1 3/4 C)
- 1 1/4 C half & half (or whole milk)
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 C granulated sugar
- 1/3 C cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 C coconut flakes
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- 1 C heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Roll out pie crust, place in pan and poke the bottom and sides several times with a fork. Cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake pie crust for 8 minutes at 450 degrees. Remove aluminum foil and lower oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake for an additional 8-10 minutes or until the pie crust is set and slightly browned.
- Cool completely before adding the custard.
- Toast the coconut in a dry skillet until slightly browned. Remove from heat and cool.
- To make the coconut custard, add coconut milk, half &half, eggs, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk until combined. Heat over medium low heat and whisk (almost continuously) until the custard is thick like a pudding. This step may take 20 minutes (or even longer depending on your stovetop). When the custard is thick, whisk in 3/4 cup of the toasted coconut and 1 teaspoon coconut extract. Transfer to the cooled pie shell and refrigerate 2-4 hours.
- Before serving, use a handheld mixer to whip the heavy cream, vanilla extract and powdered sugar together. Evenly spread the whipped cream over the coconut custard and top with the remaining toasted coconut.
- Refrigerate leftovers.
You can use whatever pie crust you want. Gluten free or not, depending on your needs. Pictured is the Pillsbury Gluten Free Pastry Dough but I prefer my own gluten free pie crust recipe .
I made my coconut custard the day before serving. Instead of transferring the custard to the pie shell, I refrigerated it in a bowl. I put plastic wrap directly on top of the custard to prevent a skin from forming on top of the custard. The day I served the pie, I transferred the custard to the pie shell and then topped with the whipped cream.
Looking for more Pi(e) Day inspiration?
Check out these other great pie recipes:
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Pie from Flippin’ Delicious
Grain Free White Chocolate Matcha Pie from The Joyful Foodie
4 Gluten-Free Pies from Ivy’s Garden Food
Gluten-Free Lemon Meringue and Gluten-Free Tomato Bacon Quiche from Gluten-Free Mama
Deep Dish Gluten-Free Apple Pie from Raia’s Recipes
Gluten-Free Pink Lemonade Pie from The Baking Beauties