Valentine’s day is coming up, so for Pie of the Month this time around, I’m sharing a recipe for one of my husband’s favorite pies: coconut cream.

What’s lovely about the ‘cream’ for the pie is that you can skip the coconut and have a vanilla cream for, well, a vanilla cream pie. Or put sliced bananas in the bottom of your pie shell, and, voila, banana cream pie. Or spread the vanilla cream (or substitute almond or lemon extract for the vanilla, to vary the flavor if you like–lemon is great with blueberries) on a tart crust, cover, let it set up in the fridge, and then top with berries for a berry tart. Nom, nom, nom.

Anyway, here’s my favorite coconut cream pie recipe:

  • A blind-baked crust, or a crumb crust.
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • pinch (about 1/4 teaspoon) salt
  • 1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 cups whole milk or heavy cream (or a combination of each to make 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Whipped cream or whipped topping. (Or make a meringue from egg whites, spread on top of assembled pie, and lightly brown in oven. I prefer whipped cream on coconut cream pie, and use the egg whites with a whole egg for scrambled eggs later in the week.)

Method

  • Spread coconut on parchment on baking sheet. Bake in 350-degree oven for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Set aside.
  • In a heavy saucepan, mix the flour, sugar and salt.
  • On medium high heat, slowly pour in milk/cream. Mix thoroughly, and stir constantly until thickening, about ten minutes.
  • Pour a little of the mixture on the egg yolks, and return that into the saucepan. Stir until thickened.
  • Stir in vanilla, and most of the coconut.
  • Pour into pie crust. Spread evenly and let cool completely. Then top with whipped cream, and sprinkle with remaining coconut.

Enjoy!