This No-Bake Coconut Cream Pie is absolutely divine!
The coconut custard filling is the perfect texture with just enough sweetness--but not too sweet-- and the homemade Chantilly Whipped Cream and toasted coconut sprinkles add even more flavor and texture!
This is my favorite dessert, especially after homemade Southern Fried Catfish!
This is an old-fashioned coconut pie recipe came to me from my sweet Mom. When she was an administrator at an area high school, one of the parents, Mrs. Ford, brought this No-Bake Coconut Cream Pie to her every Friday!
After a long week of dealing with high-school kids and their shenanigans, she was certainly due for a break and this cream pie was just the ticket!
What you'll need:
- For simplicity, I recommend you use a pre-made 9" pie shell or, if you can't find a 9", use a deep dish pie shell. Most of the pre-made pie crusts are 8".
- If all you have is an 8" pie crust, read the recipe notes to see how to adapt the recipe to the smaller size crust.) You do have to bake the shell at a 375ºF oven for 13-15 minutes, but that's it! Turn the oven off!
- Next, the vanilla custard filling consists of: sugar, flour, salt, egg yolks, shredded sweetened coconut, butter, milk and vanilla extract. You'll find it interesting that this easy cream pie recipe calls for scalded milk.
- Note that "scalded milk" was used way back when to remove any bacteria from milk. Today, our milk is pasteurized, so it isn't necessary to "scald" milk, but...the recipe calls for it, so I did it and I'm glad I took the time.
How to make it:
- Pierce the prepared pie crust with a fork 5-6 times and bake it at 375ºF for 13 - 15 minutes; remove from oven and set aside
- Separate four egg yolks and lightly beat; set aside
- Put a metal mixing bowl and metal whisk in the freezer
- Combine the flour, sugar, salt and cold milk in a large bowl; set aside
- Heat the milk on medium until it reaches 181ºF, stirring frequently; you'll need a good thermometer
- Once the milk is hot enough, allow it to cool to 110ºF then gradually pour it into the flour/cold milk mixture, stirring constantly
- Pour this entire mixture into a large saucepan
- Cook the custard on medium-low, until the mixture thickens; add beaten egg yolks, vanilla and coconut; remove from heat and allow to cool
- Scoop egg/coconut mixture into cooled pie shell
- Refrigerate pie, uncovered and make the Chantilly Whipped Cream
What is scalded milk?
Scalded milk is milk that is heated to 181ºF. Years ago, cooks heated milk to high temperatures to eliminate any bacteria. Since pasteurization, it isn't necessary to scald milk anymore, however, in this case, the hot milk gives the custard filling a creamy texture...and that is one of the secret's to this fabulous no-bake Coconut cream pie recipe!
How to make scalded milk
Pour the milk into a large saucepan and, stirring frequently, cook on medium until the temperature reaches a minimum of 181ºF. Use a thermometer to ensure accurate results. Let the milk cool to 110ºF before adding it to the sugar mixture.
How to make Chantilly Whipped Cream
Chantilly whipped cream is whipped cream with vanilla extract. It takes about 7 -8 minutes to whisk the vanilla extract, sugar and cream into a puff of delight! You can use granulated or powdered sugar; however, if you use powdered, start with 2 tablespoons and taste it halfway through to make sure it's sweet enough. If not, add more powdered sugar. If you use granulated sugar, you can do the same, but the measurements in the recipe are for granulated sugar.
- Remove mixing bowl and whisk from freezer
- Put sugar, cream and vanilla in bowl
- Using a hand or stand mixer, start whisking on low for a minute, then increase speed to medium high
- Ribbons, or waves will begin to form at about 4 minutes
- Around 6 minutes, the cream starts to thicken
- At 7 minutes, turn mixer speed to low and gradually lift whisk out of bowl
- Test for stiff peaks: Stick the whisk in the middle of the whipped cream and pull it straight up and out. You should see a "pointy" peak; if not, continue whisking on medium high for one more minute
I've accidentally over-beaten the cream before and had to start over.
How to avoid over-beating the Chantilly Whipped Cream
- Get out a timer or stopwatch
- Pour all ingredients into cold mixing bowl
- Start the stopwatch
- Start mixing on the low setting, then increase to medium-high speed after about 30 seconds. Continue to whisk, moving the mixer around the bowl for another 6 minutes
- At the 6-minute mark, test for stiff peaks. If they aren't quite there yet, whisk for another minute on medium high speed
- At about 7 -7 ½ minutes, the peaks should form. If you have to whisk much longer than 8 minutes, you'll begin to see the cream form little clumps, or balls. This means you over worked the heavy cream. Start over.
How to toast coconut for No-Bake Coconut Cream Pie
This No-Bake Coconut Cream pie looks pretty when sprinkled with toasted coconut. The process of toasting coconut takes about 3 minutes.
- Start with a large dry skillet (aluminum or non-stick; not cast-iron)
- Set the stove temperature to around medium
- Place the shredded coconut in a flat layer on the skillet
- Allow the coconut to cook (you'll hear it "sizzle")
- Using a spatula, move the coconut flakes around the skillet to keep them from burning
- Once coconut is toasted (you'll smell it), yank the skillet off the stove and immediately put the toasted coconut on a plate to cool
If you're craving more Southern Sweets, try making a Southern Pecan Pie!
Pie and Filling Ingredients
- 2 cups sugar
- ¼ cup plus 2 ½ tablespoons all purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cold milk
- 2 cups scalded milk (181ºF)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 ¼ teaspoon butter
- 1¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1¼ cups coconut plus more for garnish
- 1 9" pie crust
Whipped Cream Ingredients
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar granulated or powdered (See Recipe Notes: Sugar)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Separate 4 egg yolks; beat lightly with a fork; set aside
- Place metal mixing bowl and metal whisk (or beaters) in freezer (this is for the Whipped Cream)
- Bake prepared pie crust in 375ºF for 13 - 15 minutes or until lightly golden; set aside
Make the Pie Filling
- In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, salt and cold milk; set aside
- In a large saucepan on medium-low temperature, heat 2 cups of milk until the temperature of the milk reaches 181ºF (this is scalded milk) See Recipe Notes: Scalded Milk
- Gradually add scalded milk to flour mixture, stirring constantly
- Transfer this mixture back to the large saucepan See Recipe Notes: Cooking the Pie Filling
- Stirring constantly, cook on medium heat until mixture begins to thicken (be patient)
- The minute the pie filling is thick, remove the pan from the heat
- Add butter, vanilla and coconut; combine well and allow to cool
- Pour cooled pie filling (custard) into baked pie shell
- Place pie in refrigerator for 1 hour
Make Whipped Cream
- Remove metal bowl and metal whisk (or beaters) from freezer
- Add sugar, vanilla extract and heavy cream to bowl
- Whisk together until the mixture forms stiff peaks
- Put one cup of coconut in a dry skillet; heat skillet to medium
- Allow coconut to toast in skillet; continually stir the coconut so it does not burn
- Pour toasted coconut onto plate and allow to cool
- Sprinkle over whipped cream topping prior to serving