It seems to me people fall in two categories regarding coconut: fanatics and despisers. I, of course, am a fanatic-while Josh finds anything to do with coconut repulsive. Somehow, we are still married.
Recently my friend and cousin-in-law Mari asked me for a recipe for coconut cream pie. While I absolutely love the pie, I had never been able to get it to work-the last time I made it was a couple Thanksgivings ago, and everyone (except Josh, of course) was eating coconut soup out of a bowl. So I went on a personal quest to find a the perfect recipe, and I will tell you friends and neighbors-I HAVE SUCCEEDED. This pie sets up perfectly, and with the addition of coconut cream has TONS of coconut flavor. Josh wouldn't touch this pie with a 10 foot pole-and that is my kind of coconut dessert!
Coconut Cream Pie
9 inch pie shell, baked (store bought is fine, or I always use this recipe from Martha Stewart)
1 can cream of coconut (I use Coco Lopez)
1 1/2 cups half and half
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn starch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut, toasted*
In a medium saucepan, combine the cream of coconut, half and half, eggs yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt. Heat over medium low heat, while whisking constantly, until mixture comes to a low boil-about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and fold in the shredded coconut and the vanilla extract.
Pour into the cooled pie crust and refrigerate several hours, until firm (I let mine set up overnight).
For the topping, whip the cream with the powdered sugar and spread or pipe onto pie.
Sprinkle with toasted coconut.
*To toast coconut: preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread coconut evenly on a baking sheet, and bake 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.