This gluten free coconut cream pie has three layers!! It starts with smooth coconut milk pastry cream followed by crunchy toasted coconut filled cream, all topped with sweetened whipped cream! It's the ultimate in coconutty creamy goodness :)
2cups (500 ml)canned full-fat coconut milk (well shaken before opening)
1tbspvanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
2tbspbutter, at room temperature
1cup plus 1 tbspunsweetened shredded or flake coconut
½tspcoconut extract (if desired)
2cups (500 ml)heavy whipping cream
¼cup (25 g)powdered sugar
MAKE THE CRUST:
Make the crust according to recipe instructions for blind baking pie crust. Allow to cool.
MAKE THE PASTRY CREAM:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt, whisking until smooth and pale.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine coconut milk and vanilla extract or paste and bring to just under a boil (tiny bubbles forming along sides of pan). Remove from heat.
With the mixer running at medium high speed, carefully and slowly pour the hot milk mixture between the whisk and side of the bowl, whisking to combine.
Transfer mixture back to saucepan and whisk constantly over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens considerably. Remove from the heat and add the butter and combine until melted and smooth.
Pour pastry cream into a bowl over a sieve to catch any cooked pieces of egg yolk. Press mixture through sieve using the back of a spoon.
Pour all but one cup of the pastry cream into the pie crust and smooth top with offset spatula. Cover both the pastry cream in the pie and the one cup in the bowl with plastic wrap, making sure it touches the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming.
Refrigerate both for one hour.
TOAST THE COCONUT:
Preheat oven to 350°. On baking sheet, spread coconut in an even layer and bake until golden brown, checking every few minutes and stirring as necessary so that it browns evenly. It shouldn't take more than 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
WHIP THE CREAM:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks. Slowly add the powdered sugar and whip to stiff peaks.
MAKE SECOND LAYER:
Remove reserved pastry cream from refrigerator and stir to loosen. Add all but 1 tbsp toasted coconut and coconut extract (if using) to the pastry cream and stir to combine. Stir ½ cup of the whipped cream into the pastry cream to lighten it, then gently fold 1½ cups of the whipped cream into the lightened pastry cream. Spread this over the first layer in the pie using an offset spatula to smooth the top.
MAKE THIRD LAYER:
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip with the remaining 2 cups of whipped cream. Pipe onto top of second layer in pie plate. Alternatively, spread the remaining whipped cream on top of second layer and swirl decoratively. Sprinkle with the remaining toasted coconut.