American Pie Council

2011 Contest Recipe

Toasted Coconut Cream Pie

Toasted Coconut Cream Pie
Recipe developed by Dawn M. Viola
2011 Crisco National Pie Championships
Cream Category, Professional Division

Yields: 1 pie with bottom crumb crust

Crust Ingredients:
8 ounces shortbread cookies
1 cup sweetened coconut, toasted
3 tablespoons European-style butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 egg white

Custard Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
2 cups sweetened coconut, toasted
3 large eggs
2 egg yolks
3/4 cups organic sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Coconut Cream Topping Ingredients:
2 pints heavy cream
1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut, toasted, divided
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make the crust:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the cookies and coconut in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a fine crumb is produced. Add the butter, vanilla extract and egg white and pulse until well combined and moist.

Press the mixture into a pie plate to form a 1/4 inch thick bottom crust. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Make the custard:
While the crust is cooling, heat the milk, cream, coconut and vanilla on low heat in a medium sauce pan for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and strain the mixture, reserving the liquid. Discard the vanilla bean and coconut.

Boil water for a water bath and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large glass or ceramic bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until thick. Whisk a small amount of the cream mixture into the eggs to temper the eggs. Continue to whisk in the rest of the cream mixture. Whisk in the lemon juice. Skim any air bubbles off the surface of the custard.

Place the pie plate with crust into a larger baking dish. Place the baking dish on the oven rack. Fill the baking dish with boiling water 3/4 of the way up the sides of the pie plate. Pour the custard over the pie crust until it just reaches the top of the crust.

Bake the custard until just set and still slightly jiggly in the center, about 36 minutes. Carefully remove the custard from the water bath and allow to cool at room temperature. When the custard has cooled, place in the refrigerator.

Make the coconut cream topping:
In a large non-reactive bowl combine cream with 1 cup of the toasted coconut; steep 8 hours. Strain cream mixture; discard steeped coconut. Using a hand mixer on low speed, whip cream until it begins to thicken, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla extract; whip until stiff peaks form.

Assemble the pie:
Spoon or pipe the coconut cream on top of the custard filling, spreading it to the edges of the crust. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of toasted coconut over the cream. Refrigerate until ready to serve.