I’ve been trying to get this coconut cream pie on my blog for the last two months. I have made it a total of 6 times and have never gotten it as far as taking a photo of it. The first two times I made it, we gobbled it all up before I could even switch my camera on and then it happened. Somewhere, somehow, I lost my coconut pie mojo. The next three times I made this pie, it was a big, giant, flop. First, the pastry wouldn’t work. Then I used coconut cream instead of milk and the mixture curdled and split and ended up looking like pig’s fat (mmm, yum), and finally, I forgot to add sugar which resulted in a very coconutty but very bland pie.
So yesterday when I made it, I took extra care with it. I knew my initial recipes worked but I wanted to simplify things and so decided to use a cookie crumb base instead of a traditional pastry case. I used Tennis biscuits (a coconut-flavoured tea cookie here in South Africa) and crushed it with lots of melted butter before pressing it into my tart tin. You could use graham crackers or any other cookie with a subtle flavour if you can’t find Tennis biscuits.
The filling is made with coconut milk (please, do not use cream or the lite coconut milk, it will split), low fat milk and a little coconut essence to which you add eggs, cornflour and sugar. This is allowed to thicken over gentle heat until you have a silky smooth custard which is then poured into the chilled cookie-crumb case. Allow to chill and top with a generous layer of thick and silky cream and you have a dessert to-pie-for (the cheesiness is almost to much for me to handle).
for the crust
- 200 g Tennis biscuits or Graham crackers
- 100 g butter
for the filling
- 2 x 400ml tins coconut milk
- 250 ml low fat milk
- 2 ml coconut essence
- 3 egg yolks
- 75 g cornflour
- 150 g caster sugar
- whipped cream
- To make the base, crush the cookies and place in a bowl.
- Melt the butter and pour over the cookie crumbs. Mix until the crumbs resemble moist sand.
- Press into the bottom of a 30cm tart tin/pie dish and place in the refrigerator.
- To make the filling, combine the coconut milk, milk and coconut essence in a saucepan and place over gentle heat. Allow the mixture to get hot, but don't allow to boil.
- In a separate bowl, combine the cornflour, egg yolks and caster sugar. When the coconut milk mixture is hot, slowly, and while whisking, add a ladle full to the cornflour mixture. Whisk until completely smooth then pour back into the pot with the remaining coconut milk.
- Allow to heat gently while continuously stirring until thick and smooth. Allow to cook for at 7-10 minutes until the mixture is as thick as shop-bought custard and doesn't taste floury anymore.
- Pour through a sieve and then into the chilled cookie crumb base.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- When ready to serve, top with whipped cream and serve immediately.