Coconut cream pie is one of those old standards that almost everyone loves. Although traditional pie crust is great, once I tried creating the pie using a graham cracker crust, I was hooked. I’ve found the crust recipe included on the back of ground graham cracker packages works perfectly–although I usually add an extra dash sugar. I garnish with toasted coconut, but it’s also delicious plain.
1 9-inch graham cracker crust
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
2 cups half-and-half
4 egg yolks
3 Tbsp. butter
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
½ cup sweetened flaked coconut for toasting
For toasted coconut garnish, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread ½ cup coconut on a small baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until brown, about 10 minutes. Set coconut aside to cool.
Prepare and bake pie crust per package directions, then set it aside to cool.
Combine ½ cup sugar and the cornstarch in a heavy saucepan. Whisk together the half-and-half and egg yolks. Gradually whisk the egg mixture into the sugar mixture. Bring it to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute and remove from heat.
Stir in the butter, 1 cup coconut, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap, placing the wrap directly on filling in pan to prevent a film from forming. Let it stand 30 minutes.
Spoon custard mixture into prepared crust. Cover and chill 30 minutes or until set.
Beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar and 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla, beating until soft peaks form. Spread whipped cream over pie filling. Sprinkle top with toasted coconut garnish. Keep pie refrigerated.