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Recipe

Old-School Coconut Cream Pie

Servings: 10 to 12

Shreds of coconut give the creamy filling some texture. For a twist, substitute 1-1/3 cups coconut milk and 1 cup whole milk, and omit the coconut extract.

Ingredients

1 fully baked and cooled Butter Piecrust

For the filling

  • 2/3 cup (4-5/8 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1-1/8 oz.) cornstarch, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 2-2/3 cups whole milk
  • 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 tsp. coconut extract
  • 1 cup (2-1/2 oz.) sweetened shredded coconut, untoasted or toasted

For the topping

  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (1-3/4 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch table salt
  • Sweetened shredded coconut, untoasted or toasted, for garnish

Preparation

Make the filling

  • Put the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan, and whisk until well blended. Add 2/3 cup of the milk, and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the egg yolks (or whole eggs, if using), and then the remaining 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, vanilla, coconut extract, and shredded coconut, and stir until the butter melts and the pudding is smooth.
  • Scrape the filling into the cooled piecrust, 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 or overnight.

Whip the topping

  • Put the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl, and beat with an electric hand-held mixer fitted with wire beaters on low speed until smooth. 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. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut, if using. Serve immediately or cover loosely and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.

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