## Cheater’s Coconut Cream Pie

March 14th is National Pi Day and while I’ve never been too good with numbers I have no problem joining math enthusiasts around the world as they celebrate this Greek letter, a.k.a. 3.1415926535, a.k.a. the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

My celebratory item of choice? A coconut cream pie! Personally, I think this is a deeply philosophical way to pay homage to those high school geometry classes that bored me to tears. After all, a pie is shaped like a circle and the very essence of Pi has to do with circle circumferences right? Right?? If I was better at math I’m sure I could use Pi to calculate something about pie slices and ratios… or something.

I learned about National Pi day around midnight last night and was inspired to do something with this newfound knowledge. This is where the title of this pie comes in, because I “cheated” by using a frozen pie crust to put this baby together. My husband made fun of me when he realized what I was doing, but I said: “Look, do you want to eat a pie on Pi day or not? Because I refuse to make a crust from scratch at 12:30 A.M.” That pretty much settled it.

(I keep pie crusts in the freezer. One never knows when a friend will drop-in unannounced and an impromptu pie will be just the thing!)

With the pie crust already taken care of, you’d be amazed by how easy it is to put a coconut cream pie together. The custard filling is a simple combination of sugar, flaked coconut, eggs, flour, vanilla and coconut extract, which are beaten together then brought to a gentle boil on the stove top. This takes about 8 minutes, tops, at which point you chill the custard in the fridge for an hour before spooning it into the baked pie crust and chilling it again overnight. The next day all you need to do is toast some flaked coconut and make the cream topping, all of which, once again, takes about 8 minutes. Not bad effort-wise if you ask me, especially when the finished product has all the coconuty-goodness of a Marie Callendar’s specialty. (Although as you can see, I use way more cream topping than Marie Callender’s. The more the better I say.)

Happy National Pi Day!

(Oh and psst, I installed a super cool new WordPress plugin that has made Baking and Books iPhone compatible. Check it out on your iPhone or iPod touch. )

Cheater’s Coconut Cream Pie

Ingredients: Makes 1 pie

• 1 frozen pie crust
• For the filling:

• 1/2 cup sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1 large egg yolk
• 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
• 1 1/2 cups whole milk
• 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract
• For the topping:

• 2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
• 2 cups chilled whipping cream
• 4 tablespoons sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract

Bake the pie crust according to package instructions. Allow to cool completely.

To make the filling: whisk the 1/2 cup sugar, eggs, egg yolk, and flour in medium bowl until combined. In a medium saucepan over medium heat bring the milk and coconut flakes to a simmer. Gradually add this hot milk mixture to the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Return this mixture to the saucepan and cook until the custard thickens and boils, stirring constantly, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in vanilla and coconut extracts. Transfer to medium bowl. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface to prevent formation of skin. Chill until cold, about 1 hour or up to 1 day. Transfer filling to crust. Cover and chill overnight.

To make the topping: toast coconut in heavy small skillet over medium heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Cool completely.

Using electric mixer, beat heavy cream, sugar, and coconut extract in medium bowl until peaks form. Spread whipped cream all over top of filling. Sprinkle evenly with toasted coconut. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Serve cold.

##### 73 Responses to “Cheater’s Coconut Cream Pie”
1. 03.14.2009

What a lovely pie to celebrate Pi Day! Coconut is one of my favorites! This one looks dreamy! Nice job!!

Maria´s last blog post -> Recipe for Tortellini Spinach Salad

2. 03.14.2009

Coconut times three! And when your pie crusts turn out like mine, frozen is definitely better, especially if you’re serving anybody else.

3. 03.14.2009

INCREDIBLE pie for Pi day!!

4. 03.14.2009

Coconut is following me! It’s everywhere! Must… make… coconut… cream pie……..

Irene´s last blog post -> Raspberry Madness Coffee Cake

5. 03.14.2009

What a scrumptious looking pie! definitely to die for!

Happy Pi Day!

cheers,

Rosa

6. 03.14.2009

My father loved coconut cream pie. This looks like a fabulous recipe – can’t wait to try it.

Ginny´s last blog post -> Spring break at DC area libraries

7. We are celebrating National Pi Day as well! My sister and I made banana cream pie. It’s in the fridge cooling at the moment. What a good excuse to eat pie!

Erica from Cooking for Seven´s last blog post -> No-Fuss Focaccia

• 03.15.2009

Erica – Mmmm, banana cream pie. I bet you had an awesome National Pi Day celebration!

8. 03.14.2009

Mmm! Unfortunately, I would be the only person in the family that would eat this. I know, they’re all crazy. Anyway, this really wouldn’t help with losing 10 lbs. before vacation

Janel´s last blog post -> Thrifty Food on Oprah

9. 03.14.2009

Mmmm…looks delicious! I love coconut cream pie

Hayley´s last blog post -> sugar showpieces and even more fancy desserts

10. 03.14.2009

Wow! 400 credits at BOTB.. This is the highest stake I have seen so far. Now time to vote! And I vote for you!

Daisy´s last blog post -> Friday Frails

• 03.15.2009

Daisy – Thank you for the vote! I hope you come by again, BOTB or no.

11. 03.14.2009

Yummy! I love coconut!

12. 03.14.2009

excellent choice of pie for Pi-day!

13. 03.14.2009

I love Coconut Cream Pie and really like that your instructions make it seem so easy to make

Happy Pi Day!

14. 03.14.2009

Yum! I love coconut cream pie, but have never attempted one. I will have to try this one.

15. 03.14.2009

I once made a coconut cream pie for a guy I had a crush on b/c I found out it was his favorite and it was his birthday. Um…he liked it but was completely oblivious. He’s married with a kid now! Maybe one day it will work for me. BTW, I got the book yesterday and it looks wonderful…haven’t gotten to look through it yet, though.

Claire´s last blog post -> Chocolate on Call

• 03.15.2009

Claire – Ah the things we do for love. When I met my husband I couldn’t cook worth a darn and served him salty souffles and dry cakes, LOL! He ate it all up though and now that I actually can cook/bake he’s glad he did.

16. 03.15.2009

Wow! This pie looks fabulous. A perfect way to celebrate National Pi Day!! I love coconut. There’s something so comforting yet refreshing about its flavor. And, hey, using a frozen pie crust every now and then is no big deal–sometimes you need pie, and you need it ASAP. In fact, if I had a frozen pie crust–or any semblance of a crust–around my apartment right now, I’m pretty sure I’d make this pie for myself. It looks so delicious! Love your blog; so glad I found it!

• 03.15.2009

Elyse – I agree! Nothing wrong with taking a shortcut when you know the results will still be delicious. Why make things more difficult than they need to me, especially at midnight?

17. 03.15.2009

Happy Pi day…love the labels on the photo, cracked me up.

18. 03.15.2009

that’s excellent. i wish my family loved coconut as much as i do. shrug.

jul?´s last blog post -> we have lost our way so many times

19. 03.15.2009

Aloha ka kou, Got your blog URL from a post by another TNT member and decided to take a look. I love your combination of books and baking – two of my favorite things.
A hui hou, Pua

• 03.15.2009

Pua – Thanks for dropping by! And please thank your fellow TNT member for mentioning my blog.

20. 03.15.2009

One word comes to mind immediately: WANT
Followed by: NEED
Followed by : GOTTA HAVE (2 words)

Is that anywhere near pi? Math was never my strong suit, but eating
pie sure is, and yours looks great!

flfarmgirl´s last blog post -> Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

• 03.15.2009

21. 03.15.2009

I’ve been in a real pie mood lately–perhaps too many episodes of Pushing Daisies! This looks like the perfect one to satisfy my craving, as I do love cream pies.

And thank you so much for your kind comment re our fire. Leaving in few minutes to set up our makeshift cake stall. We’ll see how it goes! K x

kristina´s last blog post -> fire

• 03.15.2009

Kristina – I was so sorry to hear about the fire. I’m so impressed by your resilience though. I hope the cake stall is a huge success! Are you on Twitter? You should promote it there.

22. 03.15.2009

That coconut cream pie looks so good!

23. 03.15.2009

That reminds me… Gotta buy more pie crust! And I like this plug-in. I should install it on my blog.

• 03.15.2009

Nancy – Isn’t it cool? I am unreasonably happy about it.

24. 03.15.2009

Another great recipe. Happy Pi day to you. This looks like a Pi_e I must try. One of my favorites and yet, one I rarely make. Thank you.
Vicki

25. 03.15.2009

oh my, how I love coconut and want this pi great way to celebrate pi day!!!

26. 03.15.2009

coconut cream pie is the only cream pie i like (so far), and clearly, your version appeals to the sloth in me. it’s easy enough without sacrificing any of the delciousness. happy belated pi day!

27. 03.15.2009

Holy cow this looks soooo good!!!

Culinarywannabe´s last blog post -> Festive Oreo Truffles

28. 03.15.2009

That pie looks so good. I would love to have a slice right now with my coffee But since I don’t have all the ingredients I’ll have to bookmark this recipe and make it in the VERY NEAR future! Thanks for another wonderful post.

Kaye´s last blog post -> Say Hello!

29. 03.15.2009

I love coconut but never tried such pie, have come to try to make time it.Thank for your instructions and remarkable idea.

30. 03.15.2009

Ariela, that picture with the “math” captions is adorable and made me smile! Isn’t it funny how the more you make everything from scratch, the more you end up feeling guilty for utilizing shortcuts? I can never bring myself to do it now, because it feels like cheating, as you said! My heart broke a tiny bit yesterday, when I found out my Mom’s banana cream pie, which I LOVED growing up as a kid, was made with a pre-bought crust and box of instant pudding! Oh well, I’ll always know she still ASSEMBLED it with love! Thanks for sharing, as always!

• 03.15.2009

Joy – It’s so true! Once you start making things from scratch anything less does feel like cheating. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with using pre-made ingredients, especially if it allows you to make coconut cream pie at midnight!

31. 03.15.2009

OMG! I can’t believe I miss National Pi Day! I was a math major and even had a cat named Pi (short for Pythagoreus–my husband actually came up with it). And I didn’t read this blog until today. I’ll have to put it on a calendar for next year…….

32. 03.15.2009

Wow… you must be feeling better!

33. 03.15.2009

How could I possibly have missed National Pi Day?!? Creme pies are one of my favorite things, so I will definitely be trying this out (plus, I have some new pie crust beads/weights I need to try out!).

34. 03.15.2009

WOW, this pie looks incredible. Most cream pie recipes look too complicated to me, but this one looks fairly easy.

35. 03.15.2009

Wow! This looks sooooo good! Thanks for sharing! I love anything coconut!

36. 03.15.2009

Oooo, that pie looks amazing! My dad’s favorite dessert is coconut creme pie; every year I make him one for Father’s Day. Woe is he: I’ve never met someone who loves sweets more than my dad, yet my mom hates to bake! Thankfully, he has a daughter who enjoys it. I’ve saved your recipe for this year’s coconut creme pie. Thanks.

37. 03.15.2009

This looks simply amazing

Kendra´s last blog post -> Spring Fling Scuppernong Winner!

38. 03.15.2009

WOW this this looks so good! I’ve never made a homemade cocnut cream pie before, thanks for the recipe!

39. 03.16.2009

Ari!!This looks so yummy!!!I am so tempted to try it out today!!! I made a cherry cheese pie…so maybe will wait for a day or two to make this!!!but this looks absolutely scrumptious.

40. 03.16.2009

Amazing! I always thought coconut cream pie would be impossible to make (or at least, very difficult). This recipe looks so simple though. Thanks!

41. 03.16.2009

I’m ok with cheating as long as you end up with results like this!

42. 03.16.2009

lovely pie, with 3 layers of coconut…..

43. 03.16.2009

You celebrate the holidays right!

The Duo Dishes´s last blog post -> This Is When You Know Itâ€™s Worth It

44. 03.16.2009

I have a great cheater’s coconut cream pie on my site also! Although, I made my own crust, the filling is what I cheated on, but it’s so yummy. I totally forgot about pie day this year! Bummer.

45. 03.16.2009

I don’t think that looks like cheating – I think it looks delicious.

46. 03.16.2009

Happy Pi Day! This looks like a delicious way to celebrate!

47. 03.17.2009

looks delicious. wonder how it would be w/ a chocolate cookie crust? almost as fast as a pre-made regular one . though those aren’t bad either. hope you had a good Pi day.

48. 03.17.2009

That looks so great!

Ulla´s last blog post -> Icelandic-Style Lamb Loin Chops

49. 03.17.2009

Ooooooooo. Coconut Pie!

50. 03.17.2009

Great tribute to National Pi Day.

Esmeralda´s last blog post -> My Life with B.

51. 03.18.2009

Oh my, I have to stop checking your blog before dinner
Just makes me want to fall into it lovely layers.
Yum.

52. 03.19.2009

Oh coconut pie is my favorite! I’m dying to crawl through the monitor and devour that pie.

53. 03.19.2009

I’m suddenly craving pie!

Deborah´s last blog post -> Corn-Sausage Chowder

54. 03.20.2009

The pie looks absolutely delectable- I am constantly on the lookout for a good coconut creme pie recipe and I think this is going to be THE ONE!! Can’t wait to try it- thanks!!

55. 03.20.2009

How lucky! I was just thinking about how I had to find a great coconut cream pie recipe when you made tihs post! I can’t waitt o try it. I also LOVE your formula for pi

56. 03.21.2009

Mmmm…I too use pie crusts from the freezer (not often ones I’ve made myself…only occasionally) My go-to coconut cream pie recipe uses part coconut milk instead of coconut extract and all whole milk…I wonder if this might be easier?

57. 03.21.2009

Wow! This is fabulous! Thank you!

58. 03.22.2009

oh man. i’ve been craving some coconut cream pie lately.

59. 03.23.2009

My daughter celebrated Pi Day at school. This coconut cream pie looks great. I think I’ll have to try it.

60. 03.23.2009

I can hardly wait to try this recipe. I’ve been looking for a coconut cream pie recipe.

Debbie´s last blog post -> Old Top-New Bag

61. this dessert sounds so good; it looks really …ethereal. really like the picture montage !!! clever!

la marquise des anges´s last blog post -> { vive le printemps }

62. 03.26.2009

That looks absolutely decadent. I’ve been craving pie lately!

63. 04.13.2009

I’ve been looking for a recipe to use some of the coconut sitting in my pantry crying to be used and never liked any of the recipes found before BUT this is a winner for me

64. 09.25.2009

I made this for my husbands birthday and it was absolutely incredible. I did cheat a little and used Pillsbury,Rolled pie crust in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. But I must say I am not a coconut lover but this was to Die For!!!