This no-bake Triple Coconut Cream Pie recipe has elements of coconut in every piece of the pie; from the crust, to the coconut pudding and ending with the cream in top. It's the most epic Coconut Cream Pie recipe you can find and perfect for making any time of year.
Triple Coconut Cream Pie Recipe
Coconut is the star of the show here, and is used in every single element of the pie. Coconut milk is used to make the most delicious homemade pudding, placed inside a graham cracker crust partly held together with coconut oil, and topped off with a big pile of freshly whipped cream infused with coconut cream. Garnish it with a bit more shredded coconut and you'll have yourself the most authentically coconut-y Coconut Cream Pie. Say that five times fast; that's about how long it takes to make this pie! Let's get to baking, shall we?
Let's talk shredded coconut
So, there's a bunch of different options out there for shredded coconut, ranging from sweetened shredded coconut to reduced-fat fine shredded coconut. This pie calls for both unsweetened fine shredded full-fat coconut, and unsweetened coconut flakes for topping the pie. Both are typically available in most grocery stores.
I am not calling for sweetened shredded coconut here because if you take a look at the back of the bag for shredded coconut... the ingredients are quite mysterious. Not easy to pronounce. Possibly not even occurring in nature. Personally, I'm not sure what most of the ingredients listed are on a typical bag of sweetened coconut.
Because of this, I generally stick with unsweetened coconut. With the only ingredient being coconut, I develop recipes around that. Plus, it's good to be able to control the amount of sugar you add here. If you really truly want to use sweetened shredded coconut, you do you! For this recipe, you can use it in the same amount called for, but your pie will be a bit more sweet.
Pie Crust Options
There are two crust options for this pie. I would not suggest using a flaky pie crust for this pie, since it will be served cold. The two best options are a Graham Cracker Crumb Crust or Pate Sucree. The graham cracker crust is the top choice for a Coconut Cream Pie. It's delicious when paired with the coconut and can be a no-bake easy option for making this pie.
A Pâte Sucrée is a sweet cookie-like crust that is very stable and also a great choice for this pie, but it does mean having to make the dough from scratch and requires a blind-bake, before filling with the coconut pudding.
How to Make Coconut Pudding From Scratch
The coconut pudding takes center stage in this pie. It uses both coconut milk and regular cow milk as the base. The pudding is made in one pot and doesn’t require any tempering of the eggs.
You start by whisking together the sugar, cornstarch and eggs and yolks until it forms a paste. Next, add in the milk and coconut milk (but make sure to reserve ¼ of a cup of the cream at the top for use in in the whipped cream). Then, you heat the whole mixture up slowly, while alternating between whisking and scraping up the bottom of the pot with a spatula.
The trick is to slowly heat the eggs with all of the ingredients at once, so they don’t scramble. The added cornstarch helps stabilize the egg mixture so that doesn’t happen. Additionally, it helps the mixture to thicken to the proper consistency. Once you’ve cooked the pudding, you’ll strain it, and then whisk in the coconut oil and vanilla off the heat.
A few tips on making the pudding:
- Make sure to have a rubber spatula and a whisk handy. I use both to make sure the the mixture cooks evenly. I swap between using them while I’m cooking the pudding to make sure I’m getting all the mixture out of the crevices of the pot while whisking to ensure a consistent cook.
- Don’t walk away from the pudding! It only takes a few minutes to cook. Also, it’s especially important to stir almost constantly in the beginning when you are cooking it to ensure no egg yolks get stuck to the bottom of the pot and scramble.
- Straining isn’t essential since you'll be adding in shredded coconut to the pudding. But, it is a good idea, as it does get rid of any accidental cooked egg bits if you come across any.
- Make sure to put the cooked pudding directly into the prepared pie crust. It will set pretty firm, and you'll want to make sure it does that inside of the pie crust instead of the bowl. If you whisk it after it’s been cooled, it has the potential to break down some of the structure of the pudding and will make serving the pie difficult because the pudding could be loose and runny.
Make Ahead Tips
As with most pies, there are a few steps you need to do to get to the finished pie. A lot of these components can be broken down into steps and done ahead of time.
- Make the graham cracker crust ahead of time. You can do it up to 2 days in the refrigerator, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Make the coconut pudding: You cannot make the pudding alone ahead of time. It has to be made and placed directly in the baked crust immediately.
- Assemble the pie: The entire pie can be assembled up to 2 days, but leave the cream off until you are ready to serve.
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