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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Coconut Cream Pie Cooking View

It’s 3.14, people, and you know what that means.  It’s Pi Day!  It’s the one food holiday I make sure to celebrate each year.  Sure, most of us make pies for Thanksgiving, but those tend to be the classics – pumpkin, pecan, etc.  I like Pi Day because it gives me a chance to bake a new pie I haven’t tried yet, and the very date on the calendar is a perfectly legit reason.  As I do every year at this time, I mulled over many choices in my mind, considering both sweet and savory options.  This time it was coconut cream pie I couldn’t get out of my mind.  Believe it or not, I’ve never actually tried coconut cream pie before this.  Newsflash (to probably only myself) – it’s fabulous.

Never having tried another version, obviously I have no basis for comparison, but I loved this pie.  The coconut custard filling is silky smooth and luscious without being too rich.  A cloud of freshly whipped cream on top makes nearly any pie better, and this is certainly no exception.  I went the extra mile and made fresh coconut curls for the top (tutorial coming next week) – such fun and so pretty.  I just love the way they look!  Are you celebrating Pi Day with pie?  I want to know what flavors you all are making!

And as always on this day, I would like to dedicate this pi(e) to the world’s best calculus teacher (and almost certainly the world’s best teacher), Mr. Strawn.  Thanks for being awesome!

Coconut Cream Pie
Yield: about 8-10 servings

Ingredients

1 (9-inch) blind-baked pie crust*
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks, melted
4 large egg yolks
3 cups unsweetened coconut milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
5 tbsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt

For topping: 
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Toasted coconut curls (or toasted shredded coconut)

Cooking View

Directions

  • Be sure the blind-baked pie crust is completely cooled before proceeding.  With a pastry brush or small spatula, brush a thin coat of melted bittersweet chocolate over the inside of the pie crust.  This will act as a barrier between the crust and the filling, preventing the crust from becoming soggy.  Chill about 10 minutes or until the chocolate is set.

  • To make the filling, place the egg yolks in a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup and whisk briefly.  In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut milk, sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Bring the mixture just barely to a simmer over medium heat.  Slowly add a bit of the coconut milk mixture to the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling.  Continue adding until at least half of the liquid has been added to the bowl.  Return the coconut-egg yolk mixture to the saucepan and whisk to blend.  Continue to heat, stirring and whisking frequently, until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken.  The mixture should thicken significantly.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps, then smooth the coconut custard in an even layer in the prepared pie shell.  Cover with a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the coconut custard (this will prevent a skin from forming).  Transfer the pie plate to the refrigerator and let chill until well set, at least 4 hours.

  • Just before serving, combine the heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment.  Whip on medium-high speed until medium-stiff peaks form, being careful not to over beat.  Blend in the vanilla.  Remove the plastic wrap and smooth the whipped cream in a fluffy layer over the coconut custard.  Top with toasted coconut as desired.  Slice and serve.

  • *To blind-bake a pie crust, preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Roll pie dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 12-inch disc.  Place it in a 9-inch pie plate, trimming away the excess and creating decorative edges as desired.  Prick the bottom and sides of the crust with the tines of a fork.  Line the crust with a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill with baking beads.  (If you don’t have baking beads, dried beans or rice also work.)  Bake 15-20 minutes.  Remove the baking beads and foil and bake about 5-10 minutes more, until light golden.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

Source

  • http://twitter.com/wvanillasugar Warm Vanilla Sugar

    I’ve never tried coconut cream pie! It sure sounds lovely though! Happy Pi day!

  • http://www.kerrycooks.wordpress.com/ Kerry

    This looks absolutely delish! And I love you dedicating it to your teacher, how sweet you are Annie as always!

  • Julie

    Where did you get that fabulous plate? Thanks for posting, can’t wait to try it! Love your blog!

  • Karen C

    I can’t believe that you have never tried my favorite pie!! I am a huge cream pie/ custard pie person, having tried more kinds than I can even begin to count, and Coconut Cream is my all time favorite. I am going to have to make your version, it sounds yummy!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lauren.ochoa.961 Lauren Ochoa

    I was going to make your chocolate silk pie for pie day (omg, it’s so good I love it so much) but we decided to take the kids to Disney today instead. So it will probably be a pie-less pi day for us. All is not lost though; I just got to explain to my extreme nerd of a husband why 3/14 is national pie day and he was visibly, ahem, impressed. I’m pretty sure he had no idea that I even know what pi is.

  • annieseats

    This plate is from Anthropologie :)

  • Stefanía Chan

    This looks unbelievable! Love everything coconut :)

  • rita

    I made a chocolate chip/oatmeal pie. This year it was about using stuff already in my kitchen.

  • Jill

    I love that you use coconut milk and not a coconut flavored pastry cream! I’ll have to try it.
    However, today we will celebrate pie day with Blackberry Lattice Pie.

  • LisaR @ Who Stole My Baby?

    Pi Day! Pi Day! It was a sad day, and now it’s Pi Day! (Thank you for reminding me.)

  • Caroline L.

    Happy Pi Day! Mathematicians and pie lovers everywhere, rejoice! Off to enjoy some xx

  • marcie @ flavor the moments

    This is one of my all time favorite pies. I love the use of coconut milk here. What could possibly be a better place for it? I forgot it was Pi day….bummer. I guess it’s not too late to make one!

  • grace

    oh yeah. those toasted coconut curls on top really make this look extra elegant–nice touch!

  • http://www.facebook.com/cindy.harris.7796 Cindy Harris

    I am not a pie maker but I did not want to be left out this year–I would make a pie for PI day. And I did and it turned out yummy! I made a delicious chicken pot pie!

  • Sarah @ Cubicle To Kitchen

    I love the coconut curls. I made Peanut Butter Pie for my co-workers and Coffee Mallow Pie (made with a meringue crust) for the family. The recipe for the Coffee Mallow Pie came from Kir Jensen’s The Sugar Cube. It was delicious!

  • Lindsay Merrill

    Oh YES I’m celebrating pi day! :) I’m a math teacher and I’m in grad school and so I made two cheesecakes for our class tonight. (I don’t love pies and I’m not the best at making them, so cheesecakes won out this time. I’m counting it. :D)

    Happy pi day!

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephanie.l.thompson.7 Stephanie Long Thompson

    Looking forward to you coconut curl tutorial! :)

  • http://weliketwocook.com/ Celine

    I’m making coconut cream pie too! I’ve made this (http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/coconut-cream-pie-50400000110459/) version from Cooking Light twice now, and I love it! Sometime, though, I may try yours- the coconut curls look like such a nice touch!

  • Erin- Table for 7

    We always celebrate Pi Day, of course, I am married to a math teacher, so, it’s a must :) New reader to your blog…it’s lovely. Pie looks amazing!

  • http://vanillasugarblog.com vanillasugarblog

    one of my all time favorite pies!
    nicely done!

  • Lauren

    Yesterday I made a banana cream pie for Pi eve. Today I also made a coconut cream pie.

  • http://twitter.com/HBHarvest HalfBakedHarvest

    Coconut is my new obsession and this is just fue to the fire!

  • http://twitter.com/foodtasticmom Jill McOwen

    Butterscotch Cream via Baking Illustrated from ATK :)

  • http://indigoscones.blogspot.com/ Ellen @ Indigo Scones

    I made a Black Bottom Peanut Butter Snickers Pie, and it’s fantastic! I love yours, and I’ve never had Coconut Cream either…methinks I need to remedy this soon.

  • Shari Kelley

    We always used to celebrate pi day with our oldest son. He loves math so would get his math friends to come over and eat pie that day. He doesn’t live at home anymore so I had forgotten about it. Thank you for the reminder and a delicious new pie to try!

  • Chris Z

    If you want a crispy crust without using chocolate you can blind bake as usual then take out the weights you use and brush the bottom and sides with a beaten egg yolk and bake 5 minutes longer. This is how I did my custard pie. This tip is from the King Arthur cookbook and keeps the crust from getting soggy.

  • Amanda Howells

    Well did you know there is an actual National Pie Day as well? It is on January 23rd. There you go, another excuse to have pie.

  • Its_a_Keeper

    This pie looks amazing! I love that it has chocolate in it too! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tamaranicolewisniewskikozak Tamara Wisniewski-Kozak

    OMG< I smiled huge when I saw you posted Pi Day. I am a teacher in an all girls private high school and our whole school celebrates this day (in their math courses). The teachers and students bake pies and then celebrate with pie. We have the formula posters all over our hallway walls!

  • JanetFCTC

    This looks wonderful! I love that it doesn’t have shredded coconut in it as most pies do as I hate the texture of shredded coconut in foods. This however, makes me want to shove my face down into the pie! :-D

  • Sally Stamm

    Thanks, I like that idea.

  • Paula @ Dishing the Divine

    I backed out of my garage and ran into my second car, breaking the mirror and denting the car I was driving. Long story made short, my dad agreed to fix the broken mirror in exchange for this pie. :) I will be making a trip to the store first thing in the morning. :)

  • Melanie Goad

    Coconut cream pie is my favorite. And your pictures are so yummy.

  • Stefani

    What kind of coconut milk do you use? Can or carton, refrigerated or not? A certain brand? Thanks! Can’t wait to make this tomorrow!

  • http://www.facebook.com/beth.sabelko Beth Sabelko

    About a month ago, I was asked to make a coconut cream pie for a friend and I very much dislike coconut. I came to your site because everything I make from here is delicious and no coconut cream pie. I haven’t made one yet, but will be now. Thanks, I know my friend will be very happy!

  • annieseats

    As long as it is coconut milk, it is fine. Enjoy!

  • Stefani

    What about the water from a fresh coconut? Could you use that?

  • annieseats

    No, it needs to be coconut milk.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rana.ansarikamal Rana Ansari Kamal

    I recently just started my own food blog and always love checking out
    other food blogs for inspiration. Obsessed with coconut cream pie! I will definitely have to try this recipe soon!

  • http://www.facebook.com/athena.tapia.9 Athena Tapia

    I made two of these pies, one for home and one for my apartment back at school! So, so delicious. Such a creamy and light pie, simple to make, and everyone really enjoyed it. (Especially the tiny layer of chocolate, definitely gave it a little extra something!)

  • Cindy Rickes

    you have me hooked. cannot wait to make this for the 4th! a winning combination with the chocolate layer! I will let you know how I do. I plan to make the coconut milk.

  • Cindy Rickes

    I couldn’t wait until the 4th to make this so I made it today! I’ve never tasted coconut cream pie before, but my custard doesn’t have much of a coconut flavor. Do you suppose I didn’t make the coconut milk correctly? How strong is the coconut flavor supposed to be or is the custard supposed to have a really subtle flavor? I notice a lot of other pie recipes have shredded coconut added directly into the custard. Perhaps to increase the coconut flavor?

  • annieseats

    I’m guessing it has to do with making the coconut milk yourself, but I haven’t ever tried that so I don’t have much insight to offer in that regard. I purposely did not use a recipe that included shredded coconut in the custard of the pie because I prefer the smooth, creamy texture without. I would recommend using store-bought coconut milk next time.