Today I will explain step-by-step how to make coconut cream pie. This recipe will likely take you half a day or a full day to make. But don’t worry, it is not all hands-on cooking. In fact what takes the longest is allowing the custard filling to chill, which calls for as little as 3 hours.
How To Avoid The Most Common Coconut Cream Pie Fail: Runny Filling
To avoid this issue altogether, the key is to make sure that you cook the filling long enough on the stove top before allowing it to cool. You will know you have done this correctly when the custard has thickened.
If it does not thicken and is still soupy, you need to keep cooking it.
How To Fix A Runny Filling
One of the most common issues with this recipe I see from bakers is that their coconut cream pie custard filling is still runny even after being chilled for the recommended minimum of 3 hours, or even overnight.
If this happens to you, here is how to fix that problem. Simply empty the custard filling into a sauce pan with high sides on your stove top.
Whisk continuously on medium high for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set it aside to cool for 30 minutes. Once cooled to room temperature you may place back in your refrigerator for 3 hours.
If You Are Short On Time
This recipe is time intensive, but one way to cut down on your baking time is by purchasing a store bought pie crust. There are so many pre-made pie crust choices on the market today that you will have no problem finding one.
In fact, this is super helpful if you are making this pie gluten free and need a ready made pie crust that is just that, gluten free.
If Time Is Not A Factor
If time is not a worry, I suggest making your own pie crust. It will take you about an extra two hours to do this. But if you plan the day before hand and you make pie crust before this will break up the long block of time needed to make this entire recipe.
How To Make Coconut Cream Pie
- Stove top
- Hand Mixer
- Saute Pan
- Pie Baking Dish
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- 1 9-inch Pie Crust Store bought or Make your own
- 1/2 Cup Sugar (granulated)
- 1/4 Cup Cornstarch This is a key ingredient in thickening the custard
- 1 Cup Half & Half
- 1 Cup Coconut Milk I like using Trader Joe's which is unsweetened with less than 1 gram of sugar.
- 4 Egg Yolks Strain the egg so you only have the yellow yolks. The egg yolks help as a binding ingredient in the custard.
- 3 tbsp Unsalted butter Melted
- 2 tsp Vanilla extract
- 2 Cups Toasted Shredded Coconut
- 2 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1/6 Cup Powdered Sugar Feel free to add more or less powdered sugar depending on how sweet you want the cream to be.
- If you are making your own pie crust, checkout my super easy recipe here.
- Step #1 – Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the shaved coconut on a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes, while flipping halfway through.
- Step #2 – Remove from the oven and transfer the toasted coconut to a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
Making The Custard Filling
- Step #1 – In a bowl, combine the granulated sugar and corn starch. Set aside.
- Step #2 – In another bowl, combine the coconut milk, egg yolks, half and half, 1 cup of the toasted coconut, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla (reserve the other teaspoon for later) and the melted unsalted butter.
- Step #3- Next, combine the granulated sugar and corn starch mixture to the coconut milk mixture. Whisk ingredients together and then pour all into a saute pan with high sides. Simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes whisking often. Once the mixture has thickened you can remove from heat and let cool at room temperature for half an hour.
- Step #4 – Once the custard mixture has cooled to room temperature you may place it inside the pre-baked pie crust (homemade or store bought). Then transfer to the refrigerator and cover with parchment paper. Allow to chill for a minimum of 3 hours, but as long as overnight if needed.
- Step #1 – Place the two cups of heavy cream in a bowl and add in the confectioners sugar and the remaining one tsp of vanilla extract.
- Step #2 – Whip the cream on medium speed until the cream has thickened.
Finishing The Pie
- Step #1 – Remove the chilled pie crust with coconut custard from the refrigerator.
- Step #2 – Spread the whipped topping over the custard and then finish with sprinkling the remaining one cup of toasted coconut.
- Step #3 – Slice the pie and enjoy with hot cup of coffee!