Coconut Cream Pie
Coconut cream pie was my mother’s favorite pie, and I’ve learned to make a really good one! The key ingredient is vanilla paste in both the filling and the cream topping. If you don’t have vanilla paste, be sure to use pure vanilla extract (not that imitation stuff).
9” baked pie crust, cooled
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups whole milk
4 egg yolks
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
1 cup sweetened and flaked coconut (plus more for garnish, if desired)
sweetened whipped cream to top the pie
Place egg yolks in a 4 cup measuring bowl and set aside. In a 1 1/2 quart saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Place pan over medium-high heat and add the milk, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Boil and stir for one minute. Take off heat and using a ladle, pour a small amount of hot liquid into the egg yolk, whisking very quickly so the yolks don’t cook. Keep adding small amounts of hot liquid into the yolks until more than half has been added, stirring the entire time. Add the stirred mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining hot liquid and stir. Bring to a boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Turn off heat and pour through a sieve into a large bowl, pressing mixture with a wooden spoon into the sieve. This will remove any egg particles that may have curdled. Stir in the vanilla, butter and coconut. Pour into pie crust and cover with plastic wrap, letting it cling to the surface of the filling. Refrigerate at least two hours until set. Remove plastic wrap and top with whipped cream that has been flavored with 1 tsp. of vanilla paste. Top with toasted coconut, if desired.