Think of this coconut cream pie recipe from pastry chef and former BA staffer Claire Saffitz as a Samoa cookie in pie form. It’s crunchy, caramel-y, creamy, and positively jam-packed with coconut in all its many forms. You’ll find toasted coconut in the quick-and-dirty homemade pie crust, coconut oil in the caramel, coconut milk in the custard, and of course, flaked coconut to top it all off. (Catch Claire making the pie here.)
This recipe takes time and is best approached in stages. Start with the graham cracker pie shell, which comes together with a quick blitz in a food processor, and gets a brief blind bake. Bundled in plastic wrap, it can be left out at room temperature for a day or frozen in the pie plate for up to two weeks. The coconut caramel, which adds that signature Samoa chew to the pie, can be made up to four days in advance.
Save the creamy coconut filling for the day of serving—or one day before, max. Claire swaps out vanilla extract for a whole vanilla bean to really amp up the flavor, and uses half-and-half instead of whole milk for a richer mouthfeel. Once the pie filling’s poured into the crust, cover with plastic wrap (it should touch the custard!) so it doesn’t form a film and refrigerate.
For the very last step, whipped cream goes perfectly with this coconut cream pie, but if you want to use up the extra egg whites, make a marshmallow topping. Bonus: you can torch it, for even more drama.
For more custard pies, check out our recipes for Banana Cream Pie, Extremadura Almond Pie, Key Lime Pie, or Milk and Honey Pie.
Think of this like a Samoa cookie in pie form. It’s perfect with whipped cream on top, but if you want to use up the extra egg whites, make a marshmallow topping. Bonus: you can torch it, for even more drama.