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This is the BEST coconut cream pie with a homemade pie crust, coconut custard made from scratch, topped a coconut whipped cream and for a twist- a coconut streusel sprinkled on top. If you love coconut then you need to make this coconut cream pie today!
When it comes to pie. I’m in. When it comes to coconut. I’m in. So when it comes to a coconut cream pie, you know I’m all in. The creamy coconut custard. The flaky pie crust. The sweet whipped cream. And the crunch streusel on top. It hits all notes.
This recipe actually is from a fellow blogger and her fabulous cookbook- Cookies and Cups. I already have made her salted browned butter chocolate chip cookies. Um, might be the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever tried. And her nutella brownies. So if you’re looking for your next cookbook to try then definitely get a copy of this one. It won’t disappoint.
Coconut 3 Ways!
There is so much coconut going on in this pie I could just swoon. Yes, this pie is for serious coconut lovers.
- Coconut Custard – You will make a coconut custard filling from scratch and stir in shredded sweetened coconut.
- Coconut Whipped Cream – Why make regular whipped cream (sure you could) when you can add more coconut flavor and make coconut whipped cream.
- Coconut Streusel – This might why I think this is the best coconut pie ever. The crunch coconut streusel on top. You know I love adding streusel to things. Like the Momofuku Milk Bar Cake You could skip it and just top with toasted coconut, but I beg you to go the extra mile. The crunch and texture that it adds is just out of this world!
Coconut Cream Pie Ingredients
For the crust:
- Flour: I used just regular all-purpose flour. Be sure to measure your flour correctly so you don’t end up with a dry, crumbly pie crust.
- Brown sugar – To sweeten, add moisture, and flavor but you can swap and use regular granulated sugar instead.
- Salted butter – You want to make sure to use COLD butter when making a pie crust, so the butter doesn’t melt and absorb into the flour but stays cold, so it will melt and the water in the butter will turn to steam in the oven pushing apart the flour layers creating a flaky crust. If you don’t have salted butter, you can use unsalted butter and just add a bit more salt.
- Kosher salt – I prefer kosher salt because it has a great pure salt taste.
- Apple Cider vinegar – This helps to inhibit gluten product and produce a tender crust. Regular white vinegar works. But if need be I’ve made it without and still end up with a flaky crust as long as I don’t overwork my dough.
- Ice Water – COLD again is key! We need to make sure to use ice water so it keeps the butter cold.
For the custard filling:
- Half and Half – This adds lots of richness and provides the perfect texture to the custard! Heavy cream is a little too thick, and whole milk is too thin.
- Egg yolks and cornstarch – These two ingredients will thicken the pie filling.
- Sugar – Regular granulated sugar to sweeten the filling, that will get heated with the mixture and dissolve creating a smooth filling.
- Salt – Again a little salt helps to balance out the sweetness! Kosher is what I used.
- Butter – Salted butter, but unsalted also works. Just add a bit more salt again if using unsalted. This will get stirred in once the custard is removed from the heat.
- Vanilla – Stir in at the end once it’s off the heat for maximum flavor.
- Sweetened shredded coconut – You will stir in coconut to the custard to add texture and coconut flavor!
For the coconut streusel:
- Flour: I used all-purpose flour to make this streusel.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar to sweeten the streusel, but I bet brown sugar would also work!
- Salt: A little salt again to balance things out. Sensing a theme?
- Coconut: Sweetened coconut flakes are best as I find it to be sweet and moist! Perfect texture!
- Melted Butter: You want melted butter to be mixed in to create a crumbly streusel.
For the topping:
- COLD heavy cream – You want to make sure to use heavy cream when making a whipped cream to achieve perfect billowy fluffy texture.
- Cream Of Coconut – Like Coco Lopez. This gives wonderful creamy coconut flavor. If you can’t find it then you can always use coconut extract instead, but you will want to add 2 Tablespoons of powdered sugar to sweeten the whipped cream.
Start With Blind Baking
The pie starts with making a basic all butter pie crust and blind baking it. You want to blind bake it, because the filling won’t be cooked once it’s in the shell so you need to bake it first. So no you won’t be baking this with your eyes closed. 😉 You can read the full tutorial on how to blind bake a pie crust here.
Coconut Custard Filling
Next you’re going to make the coconut custard filling. It’s really no different than making a pastry cream, but this time you’re folding in coconut of course. You’ll combine half-and-half with egg yolks in a bowl and whisk to combine so it’s all ribbony yellow and pretty.
Then in your saucepan combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Then add the yolk mixture and whisk it until it’s smooth.
This mixture will get heated over medium heat. You want to whisk constantly and bring the mixture to a boil. So don’t walk away. Don’t go catch up on Netflix. Or decide it’s time to throw a load of laundry in. Stay. And. Whisk.
Once it boils, then take it off the heat. Then add in cubed butter and vanilla and whisk it until it’s melted and incorporated. And then don’t forget to add in the coconut. Because otherwise you really just have a custard pie ;). The custard needs to cool.
Pro Tip: Be sure to cover the custard with plastic wrap so it doesn’t form a skin on top.
Let’s Make Streusel!
Now time for the streusel. This is what makes this coconut cream pie stand out from the crowd of all the other coconut cream pies out there. I mean butter, and sugar, and coconut, and flour all mixed together? Then baked into a crunchy sweet streusel. Like I said game changer, friend.
It took all my will power to not snack on it. Ok, I admit I did eat some. Once you taste it, you’ll know why.
Coconut Whipped Cream
So we’re almost there. Pie crust. Check. Coconut custard. Done. Streusel, snacked on. I mean done. So what’s left the whipped cream. But not just any whipped cream. A coconut whipped cream. Instead of using just sugar, the recipe uses cream of coconut.
Pro Tip: Stir the can when you open it! When you open the cream of coconut, the solid coconut will be sitting on top, and the liquid will be underneath. So be sure to get the liquid underneath by stirring the solid into the liquid that’s on top before you measure.
Cream Of Coconut Substitute:
If you can’t find cream of coconut, then I would substitute with coconut extract (1/2 teaspoon – 1 teaspoon to taste) and 2 Tbs. powdered sugar.
Stir this in with the heavy cream and then whip until stiff peaks form.
Can I Make This Coconut Cream Pie Ahead Of Time?
This pie can actually be made ahead up to 3 days. Just cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate. I mean you can make it ahead of time. Or eat it right away. I recommend the latter.
Can I make the pie crust ahead of time?
Absolutely! You can make the pie crust 3 days ahead of time (or freeze for up to 3 months). Just wrap in plastic wrap and store in the fridge. You may need to let it soften slightly before you try to roll it out. If it’s frozen, I let it thaw overnight in the fridge.
You can even blind bake the crust 3 days ahead of time. Just let it cool and wrap it carefully and store in the fridge.
Helpful Tutorials On How To Bake A Pie
For more help in baking a pie crust, you can check out these posts:
- 9 tips for the best pie from scratch
- 4 Tips for the perfect pie crust
- 9 pie tools you need to make the perfect pie
More Recipes To Try
If you want to become a better baker then be sure to check out my now Ultimate Baking Bootcamp online class!
Coconut Cream Pie
For the pie crust
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup 1 stick cold salted butter (frozen works too), cubed or grated
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 4-6 Tbsp ice water
For the custard filling
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoons salted butter cubed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
For the coconut streusel
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 4 Tablespoons 1/2 stick salted butter, melted
For the topping
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 2 Tablespoons Cream of Coconut such as Coco Lopez
For the pie crust:
- In a large metal bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, and salt.
- Add the cold cubed or grated butter to the flour mixture and use a pastry cutter or a fork to combine the butter with flour until it resembles coarse sand.
- Add the vinegar and 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) ice water and stir until it becomes too difficult, at which point use your hands, working quickly to knead the dough until it holds together. It should not be sticky; however, if the dough is too dry or crumbles apart, add 1 Tablespoon more water at a time until the dough holds together.
- Wrap the dough into a flat disc in plastic wrap. And refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
- When you are ready to use the dough, roll out on a lightly floured surface to a 13-inch round. Fit the rolled out dough into a pie plate, trim and pinch the edges to form a decorative trim.
- To pre-bake the crust: Pre-heat the oven to 375oF.
- After fitting the dough into the pie plate, place the plate in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
- Cut out a round of parchment paper the same diameter as the bottom of the pie shell and place into the frozen crust. Top with pie weights or dried beans.
- Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the weights and parchment round. Return to the oven to bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, until the crust is golden. If the edges of the crust begin to brown too much, use a pie crust shield or strips of foil to cover the edges and continue baking.
For the custard filling:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the half-and-half and egg yolks. In medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly whisk in the yolk mixture until smooth. Whisking constantly over medium heat, bring the mixture to a boil, then immediately remove from the heat. Quickly add the cubed butter and vanilla and whisk until melted and incorporated. Fold in the coconut.
- Cover this warm mixture with plastic wrap, allowing the wrap to touch the custard so a skin doesn’t form. Allow to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Spread the cooled custard into the prebaked pie crust, cover again with plastic wrap touching the custard, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
For the coconut streusel:
- Pre-heat the oven to 350oF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and coconut on low speed. Add the melted butter and mix until it becomes a coarse crumble. Spread the mixture onto a prepared baking sheet and form the bits into larger crumbs using your hands. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the streusel is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
- For the topping:
- Just before serving, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the heavy cream and cream of coconut on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Remove the pie from the refrigerator and remove the plastic wrap. Spread the whipped cream on top of the custard layer and sprinkles as much as coconut streusel on top of the whipped cream as desired.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 3 days.
- Tools:Pie plate | Pastry cutter | Food processor | Saucepan | Baking Sheet
- Salted butter: If you only have unsalted butter just add 1/4 tsp. more salt to the crust.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Regular white vinegar also works, or simply omit and just make sure to not overwork the dough.
- Cream Of Coconut : When you open the cream of coconut, the solid coconut will be sitting on top, and the liquid will be underneath. So be sure to get the liquid underneath. If you can’t find cream of coconut, then I would substitute with coconut extract (1/2 teaspoon – 1 teaspoon to taste) and 2 Tbs. powdered sugar. Stir this in with the heavy cream and then whip until stiff peaks form.
- Make Ahead/Storage: This pie can actually be made ahead up to 3 days. Just cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate. You can make the pie crust 3 days ahead of time (or freeze for up to 3 months). Just wrap in plastic wrap and store in the fridge. You may need to let it soften slightly before you try to roll it out. If it’s frozen, I let it thaw overnight in the fridge. You can even blind bake the crust 3 days ahead of time. Just let it cool and wrap it carefully and store in the fridge
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