Coconut Cream Pie

A couple weeks ago I stumbled upon the cutest antique store in Palm Desert. I found an old vintage picnic basket sort of like Little Red Riding hood that you can carry around a pie in. This gave me the idea to bake a pie. It turned out delicious for my first attempt. I made on 9-inch and a mini one in a small Pyrex bowl for my Mother in Law. Saving the second pie pastry for a banana cream pie!
ALL Ingredients Needed:
9-10 inch pie pan
1 cup very cold butter cut into small cubes (2 sticks)
2 ½ cups pre-sifted flour
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 – 1/3 cup ice water (Only enough to make a dough form, you don’t want it too dry or too wet)
3 cups whole milk
1/3 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1.5 cups unsweetened fine coconut (Bob’s Red Mills Unsweetened Shredded coconut)

4 tbsp. butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. pure almond extract
1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. icing sugar (powdered sugar)
For the pie crust:

Pastry:Sufficient for two 10 inch pie shells.

1 cup very cold butter cut into small cubes (2 sticks)
2 ½ cups pre-sifted flour
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 – 1/3 cup ice water (Only enough to make a dough form, you don’t want it too dry or too wet)
Using a food processor or a pastry blender cut cold butter into flour and salt until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Small pieces of butter should still be visible. Pour cold water over the mixture and work in by tossing with a fork until dough begins to form. Use your hands as little as possible and work the dough as little as possible.
Divide dough into 2 balls, flatten into 2 rounds, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rest for a minimum of 20 minutes. You can freeze the second round for another time. The recipe for coconut cream filling is only for one pie. Double the recipe if you want to use both pie shells.

You can make your dough the previous day but make sure you take it out of the fridge for 10 -20 minutes to warm slightly before rolling out.

Roll the dough into a 12 inch round and place in the bottom of a 10 inch pie plate. Trim and flute the edges as desired. Poke a few holes in the bottom of the pastry shell, rest in the refrigerator for an additional 20 minutes before baking at 400 degrees F for 12 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool completely before adding the filling.

For the coconut cream filling (enough to make one pie):

3 cups whole milk

Scald (Heat) the milk in the microwave or on the stove top. Microwave works best as there is no chance of burning the milk. I microwaved for about 4.5-5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan combine

1/3 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup unsweetened fine coconut (Bob’s Red Mills Unsweetened Shredded coconut)

Over medium low flame slowly add 1 cup of the scalded milk, whisking constantly. As you notice the filling beginning to thicken, add another cup of the scalded milk continuing to stir constantly until it begins to thicken again. Add the final cup of scalded milk, stirring constantly. Continue to cook over medium low heat until mixture begins to slightly thicken. At this point, remove from heat and pour about a half cup of this mixture onto 3 slightly beaten extra-large egg yolks (Save the egg whites for breakfast the next day J) whisking constantly.

Pour the egg mixture immediately back into the pot, continuing to constantly stir. Cook for an additional two or three minutes until the filling reaches pudding consistency (it will look a lot like tapioca) and remove from the flame. The mixture should just be beginning to boil at this point.

Stir in:
4 tbsp. butter

2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. pure almond extract
Cool almost to room temperature before pouring into the baked pie shell. Chill for about 3 hours.

Vanilla Whipped Cream:

1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbsp. icing sugar (powdered sugar)
Toasted Coconut:
On a baking sheet, line it with foil and place ½ cup of unsweetened fine coconut (Bob’s Red Mills Unsweetened Shredded coconut) on top of the foil.
Bake on 350 degrees for about 5 minutes until the coconut is golden brown. Keep an eye on it, the coconut will burn.

Final Steps:

Combine and beat to soft peaks (takes about 4-5 minutes) and spread on top of the cooled coconut cream filling. Garnish with toasted coconut and serve immediately so the whipped cream stays intact.
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