Coconut Cream Pie

Recipe by Susan Reid

A buttery pie crust, baked to a beautiful golden brown, is filled with coconut-laced pastry cream and topped with a generous layer of fresh vanilla whipped cream. The result: The best version you’ve ever had of this classic diner pie, worthy of any dessert spread.

1 hr
35 to 39 mins
4 hrs 35 mins
one 9" pie
Coconut Cream Pie - select to zoom
Coconut Cream Pie - select to zoom
Coconut Cream Pie - select to zoom


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  1. To make the crust: Prepare the pastry for one 9” single pie crust. Place the crust in a 9” pie pan and crimp the edges. Line the crust with a parchment round (9", for a 9" pie), or paper coffee filter.

  2. Add pie weights, dry rice, or dried beans, enough to fill the pan two-thirds full. Chill the crust for 30 minutes; this will solidify the fat, which helps prevent shrinkage. While the crust is chilling, preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center.

  3. Bake the chilled crust for 20 minutes. Remove it from the oven and lift out the paper and weights.

  4. Prick ("dock") the bottom of the crust all over with a fork, to prevent bubbles. Return the crust to the oven and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until the crust is golden all over.

  5. Set the crust aside while you prepare the filling.

  6. To make the filling: In a medium saucepan, stir together the coconut milk, 1 cup (227g) of the whole milk, the sugar, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

  7. In a medium heat-safe mixing bowl, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup (113g) milk.

  8. Whisk some of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper the yolks. Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining simmering milk. Doing this through a strainer will help prevent lumps later.

  9. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until it thickens. Remove the custard from the heat and strain it through a fine sieve into a bowl set over ice.

  10. Stir in the butter, vanilla, coconut extract, and coconut. Cover and chill thoroughly, for at least 3 hours.

  11. To make the topping: If you’re using Instant ClearJel, combine it with the sugar. In a large mixing bowl combine 1/4 cup (57g) of the heavy cream and the coconut milk powder, mixing until smooth. Add the remaining cream, the sugar, and the vanilla. Whip until the mixture holds a stiff peak.

  12. To assemble the pie: Spread the chilled coconut filling into the baked shell. Spoon or pipe the whipped cream on top of the pie and sprinkle with toasted coconut, if desired.

  13. Store pie, covered, in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Tips from our Bakers

  • If you use sweetened shredded coconut decrease the sugar by 1 to 2 tablespoons, to taste; and for best slicing, serve the pie within one day.

  • Substitute 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of coconut flavor (to taste) in place of the coconut extract, if desired.