Monday, March 5, 2012
Coconut Cream Pie
This is the kind of pie that you make for really special occasions. This time it was my mother-in-law's birthday. The dinner was good, but the pie was divine! Creamy, smooth, coconut-rich filling, topped with lighter-than-air whipped cream and sprinkled with toasted coconut on top. The flavor was impeccable, and it was much better than any birthday cake I've ever tasted. Try it. There's no going back to cake after this.
Coconut Cream Pie
Recipe by America's Test Kitchen
5 T shredded coconut
10 graham crackers (1 package), broken into rough pieces
2 T sugar
5 T butter, melted
1 14-oz can coconut milk, well-stirred
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup sugar, divided
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 T butter, cut into 4 pieces
Whipped Cream Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups cold heavy whipping cream
1 1/2 T sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 325F. Spread the 5 T coconut in a pie plate and toast in the oven until golden brown, about 9 minutes, stirring occasionally. Watch it carefully, because it will brown very suddenly. Reserve 1 T toasted coconut for topping the pie.
In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers, sugar, and 4 T toasted coconut until you have fine crumbs. Transfer to a medium bowl and add melted butter. Toss with a fork until evenly coated. Pour crumbs in the pie plate and press to the sides and bottom using a measuring cup or the back of a large spoon. Bake at 325F for 22 minutes. Cool crust while making filling.
Bring the coconut milk, milk, 1/2 cup shredded coconut, and 1/3 cup sugar to a simmer in a medium pan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. When the mixture reaches a simmer, whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl to break them up, then whisk in the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and the cornstarch until no lumps remain. Gradually whisk some of the simmering liquid into the egg yolk mixture to temper it, then whisk the entire yolk mixture back into the saucepan. Turn heat to medium and whisk constantly until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla. Pour the filling into the crumb crust, press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the filling, and refrigerate until cold and firm, at least 3 hours.
Whipped Cream Instructions:
In a large mixing bowl, whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla on high until the cream is smooth, thick and doubled in volume. Immediately spread or pipe onto the cooled pie, and sprinkle reserved 1 T toasted coconut on top.