Coconut Cream Pie
You can top this Coconut Cream Pie with either softly whipped cream or sweetened meringue.
Makes 1 9-inch Pie
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 cups milk or half and half
4 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 (7-ounce bag) sweetened flaked coconut (about 2 2/3 cups)
1 tablespoon butter
Whipped Cream Topping
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted
4 egg whites
1/4 confectioners’ sugar
1 Recipe Judy’s Flaky Pie Crust
1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
2. Combine cornstarch and ½ cup of the milk or half and half in a large bowl and whisk to blend. Add the eggs and mix thoroughly.
3. Bring the remaining milk or half and half, sugar, and salt to a low boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to very low. Whisk in 1 cup of the half and half mixture into the egg mixture. Pour the egg mixture, whisking constantly back into the saucepan with the milk mixture and cook until thick, about 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, butter and coconut. Pour into the cooled pie shell and refrigerate for about 4 hours, until firm.
4. For Cream Topping: In a large bowl combine the heavy cream and sugar. Beat to soft peaks and spread on top of the pie, Sprinkle with toasted coconut and refrigerate until ready to serve.
5. For Meringue Topping: Place the egg whites in a glass or metal bowl and beat with an electric mixture on high speed until they turn opaque. Add the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until the whites form soft peaks. (Soft peaks will keep their shape when you lift the beaters out of the whites.) Do not beat the whites past this point or they will separate and become grainy. Spread the meringue over the coconut filling, making sure it touches the edge of the crust all around; otherwise it will shrink away from the sides when it is baked.
6. Place the pie in the oven to bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the peaks of the meringue are golden brown. Remove the pie from the oven and place it on a rack to cool for at least 1 hour before serving. Serve at room temperature or chilled.