In celebration of my hubby's BIG 40th Birthday today, I made his favorite Coconut Cream Pie. He will be pleasantly surprised when he gets home from work. We celebrated the big day with our family this past weekend, so he doesn't suspect another big dessert. This is a tried and true recipe that I have made several times and is a family favorite. It always makes it to the dessert table at Thanksgiving.
1 - 15 oz. can cream of coconut (found on baking or non-alcoholic bottle mixes aisle)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 egg yolks (save whites for meringue)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups shredded coconut
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 deep dish pie shell, baked
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick prepared pie shell with fork and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.
In a medium saucepan, combine the cream of coconut, heavy cream, egg yolks, sugar, corn starch, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium low heat, stirring or whisking often. This may take a while, but be patient and don't turn up the heat.
When mixture comes to a boil, turn heat down to low and stir constantly until thickened to the consistency of pudding or custard. Remove from the heat, and stir in the shredded coconut and vanilla. Pour into the prepared pie shell.
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
Use a stand mixer or hand mixer to beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Use a spatula to spread over the coconut filling all the way to the edges. Use the spatula to make peaks in the meringue. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup shredded coconut.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until meringue is set and coconut is lightly toasted. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack until room temperature. Refrigerate for 4 hours until filling is firm and set. After serving, store leftovers in the refrigerator. Enjoy!