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Recipe

Double Coconut Cream Pie

Servings: 10 to 12

This is truly next-level coconut cream pie. Instead of coconut extract, it gets its flavor from reduced, concentrated coconut milk in the custard. It’s paired with a layer of salted caramel to really take it over the top.

Ingredients

1 fully baked and cooled Butter Piecrust

For the condensed coconut milk

  • 2 cans (13-1/2 oz. each) coconut milk
  • 1 cup whole milk

For the caramel

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 5 Tbs. (2-1/2 oz.) unsalted butter, cut into 10 small pieces, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups (10-1/2 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt

For the filling

  • 1/2 cup (3-1/2 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1-1/8 oz.) cornstarch, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 3 cups condensed coconut milk (see above)
  • 4 large egg yolks (or 2 large eggs)
  • 3 Tbs. (1-1/2 oz.) unsalted butter, cut into 8 small pieces, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1-1/4 oz.) sweetened shredded coconut, toasted

For the topping

  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 2/3 cup (5-3/8 oz.) mascarpone
  • 1/3 cup (1-3/8 oz.) confectioners’ sugar, sifted; more to taste
  • 1½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch table salt
  • Shredded or flaked coconut, toasted, for garnish
  • Reserved caramel, for garnish

Preparation

Make the condensed coconut milk

  • Vigorously shake the coconut milk cans before opening, then pour into a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil, stirring the side and bottom of the pan frequently, especially toward the end of cooking, until reduced to 2 cups, 12 to 18 minutes. Stir in the whole milk to bring the mixture to 3 cups. Set aside until warm or cool completely, cover, and refrigerate up to 2 days before proceeding with the recipe.

Make the caramel

  • Put the heavy cream in a small saucepan and heat until very warm. Keep the warm cream nearby along with the butter.
  • Put the sugar and water in a large, heavy saucepan. Cook, stirring gently, over low heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Stop stirring, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until the sugar begins to color around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes. Swirl the pan over the heat until the caramel is an even deep amber color, another 1 to 2 minutes. (Test it by putting a drop on a white plate. If the caramel is too light, the sauce will be too sweet.) Slide the pan off the heat, and slowly add the warm heavy cream, butter, and salt. (Be careful—it will sputter, and the steam is hot.) Whisk until the caramel is smooth. If necessary, return the pan to the heat and continue whisking until the caramel dissolves, but do not boil. Set aside until slightly cooled, 15 to 20 minutes. (For faster cooling, set the bowl over a larger bowl filled with ice and a little water, stirring and scraping the sides frequently.)
  • Measure out 3/4 cup of the caramel, and pour into the bottom of the baked and cooled piecrust. Spread evenly. Freeze the caramel-filled pie plate while making the filling. Cover and refrigerate the remaining caramel until ready to serve.

Make the filling

  • Put the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan and whisk until well blended. Add 2/3 cup of the condensed coconut milk, and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the egg yolks (or whole eggs, if using), and then the remaining condensed coconut milk.
  • Set the pan over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring with a whisk, until the mixture comes to a full boil. Reduce the heat to medium and, whisking constantly, boil for 1 minute, then slide the pan off the heat. Add the butter and vanilla, and stir until the butter is melted and the pudding is smooth. Stir in the toasted coconut. Pour into a bowl or 4-cup measure, and press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until no longer hot (the pudding will still feel warm), 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Pour the mixture into the piecrust over the caramel, spread evenly, and press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming, if you like. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, about 5 hours.

Whip the topping

  • Put the heavy cream, mascarpone, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on low speed until smooth. Add confectioners’ sugar to taste. Increase the speed to medium high, and beat until the cream is thick and holds medium-firm peaks.
  • Peel off the plastic from the filling. Scrape the topping onto the center of the pie and, using a small offset or silicone spatula, spread it to cover the filling, leaving the center slightly domed along with lots of swirls and peaks. Drizzle with some of the reserved caramel (slightly reheated) and scatter with toasted coconut. Serve immediately with the remaining caramel.

Tip

The reduced coconut milk and caramel toppings can be made ahead, cooled, and refrigerated (two days for the coconut milk and up to a week for the caramel).

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