Did you know that May 8th is National Coconut Cream Pie day?! I did not, but OMG, I am so glad that I know now, because I love coconut. Literally, anything coconut I am all about! I think it’s the tropical lover in me, because I love anything Pineapple as well!
Do you know these little tidbits about coconuts?!
- The coconut is not a nut. In fact, it isn’t a fruit either. It is a seed!
- Coconut oils accelerate the metabolism.
- The sailors aboard Vasco de Gama’s ships gave the coconut its name. They called it “Coco”, named after a grimacing face or hobgoblin.
- The water from the coconut has traditionally been used when commercial IV solutions of plasma have not been available.
- Coconut oils also contain four growth hormones, called cytokinins, and three sets of chromosomes – or triploids – that help the development of many organisms.
Coconut pie is a spin-off custard-cream pie that is a traditional Southern favorite, and has become a widespread favorite!
Recipe – my favorite is Martha Stewart’s recipe, which you can also find here.
- 4 large eggs, 3 egg whites, and 1 additional whole egg (beaten)
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- Piecrust (buy a pre-made or make your own using this crust recipe)
- 1 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk
- 2/3 cup cream of coconut
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon butter
In a small bow, whisk together the whole egg with 2 teaspoons of water, to make an egg glaze; set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pied dough to a 1/8 inch thickness; unless you are using a pre-made crust. Transfer to a 9-inch round pie tin, and press it into the bottom edges and up the sides. Using scissors or a sharp knife, trim the dough so it overhangs the tin by about 1 inch and crimp the edges of the pasty. Lightly prick the bottom of the dough with a fork and brush the rim with the beaten egg; do this for the pre-made crust as well. Put the crust in the freezer for about 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees, with the rack positioned in the lower third of the oven. Remove the crust from the freezer, and carefully line it with parchment paper, gently pressing the parchment in the edges of the crust; weigh down the parchment with dried beans or pie weights.
Bake until the edges of the pastry begin to turn golden, about 15 minutes. Carefully remove the weight and parchment paper. Continue to bake until the crust is golden brown in color, which is about 15-20 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Place a 1/4 cup of the unsweetened coconut flakes on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake until golden brown; about 5 minutes and then set aside.
To prepare the filling: combine the cornstarch, 1/2 cup sugar, and the salt into a medium saucepan. Whisk in the milk and cream of coconut. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until bubbling and thick; about 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk 4 egg yolks. Slowly whisk hot milk mixture into egg yolks. Return mixture to saucepan, and continue cooking over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture returns to a boil; about 1 more minute then remove from heat.
Stir in vanilla and butter. Fold in the remaining 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes. Transfer custard to a medium bowl, place over an ice bath, and cover with plastic. Set aside.
To prepare the meringue: combine 7 egg whites and remaining 3/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, sugar in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the whites are hot to the touch; 5-7 minutes.
Transfer the bowl to the electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat, starting on a low speed for 1-2 minutes and gradually increasing to high speed, until stiff, glossy peaks form; about 10 minutes.
Heat the broiler with the rack positioned in the lower third of the oven. Transfer the custard to the cooled crust. Then, using a large spatula, pile the meringue onto the center of the custard. Lightly spread the meringue over the custard so it touches the edges of the pie crust.
Put the pied into the oven and broil until the meringue turns golden brown; this won’t take but a few seconds, so watch constantly.
Once the meringue is golden brown, put the pie on a rack to cool for at least 2 hours. Sprinkle with the 1/4 cup toasted coconut.
Refrigerate any leftover.