Best Ever Coconut Cream Pie

Total Time:
2 hr 20 min
15 min
2 hr
5 min

6 to 8 servings

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flaked, unsweetened coconut
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 (9-inch) baked pie shell, recipe follows
  • 1/3 cup toasted coconut
  • Whipped cream, for garnish

In a nonstick 1-quart saucepan, combine 3/4 cup sugar, coconut milk, and 1 cup milk. Scald mixture.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch together to make a slurry. Whisk egg yolks with salt in medium bowl. Temper yolks by adding 1/2 cup scaled milk mixture to yolks and whisk well. Add yolk mixture and slurry back into milk mixture and whisk vigorously over medium heat until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add coconut, vanilla, and butter. Whisk until uniformly incorporated.

Pour the filling into the prepared pie shell. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Chill the pie completely, about 2 hours.

To serve, top with toasted coconut and a dollop of whipped cream.

Pie shell:

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup solid vegetable shortening

6 to 7 tablespoons ice cold water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Mix well. Add the shortening and mix until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the water and let sit 1 minute. Either using a fork or your hands, carefully press the mixture together to form a soft ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a circle about 12 inches in diameter and 1/4-inch thick. Gently fold the circle of dough in half and then in half again so that you can lift it without tearing it, and unfold into a 9-inch by 2-inch deep-dish pie pan. Crimp the edges and chill again for 30 minutes before baking.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake pie shell until golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely before using.

Yield: 1 deep-dish pie shell

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    Wonderful pie! My hubby said it's the best cream pie I have ever made. The only thing I would do different next time is add a meringue and some toasted coconut to the top. I will for sure make this again
    Made this recipe a few times. Made some changes making it much easier, less time consuming. I combined this recipe with another that I found on another website. 1 bag of coconut flakes (from freezer section), 1 12 oz can of coconut milk, 1 12 oz can of evaporated milk, 4 egg yolks, 3/4 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of cornstarch, 1/4 tsp of salt, 1 tbsp vanilla, 1/4 cup of sweetened coconut flakes (from baking aisle) toasted, 1 frozen pie shell. 
    Combine 2 milks, yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt, till well blended. Put in saucepan, bring to boil whisking constantly until thick. Remove from heat and stir in bag of coconut and vanilla. Pour into cool, previously baked pie shell. Refrigerate at least 4 hrs, overnight better, covered with plastic wrap. Before serving, top with whipped topping (1 cup heavy cream, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tsp coconut extract whipped in mixer fitted with whisk attachment-do not overbeat or you'll get butter, just until peaks formed. Decorate with toasted coconut.
    If your pie did NOT set, please read this! 
    I have made this pie at least 20-30 times and this last time, the ONLY thing I changed was the brand of coconut milk since I was making the pie at my parents and their grocery store did not carry my usual brand. Sure enough, the pie which has ALWAYS set beautifully, did NOT set and was like soup even after 24 hours. I went and looked on the can of coconut milk and this brand contained water and NO Guar Gum (which is a thickening agent). I had time to make another pie and this time, I made sure to get a can of coconut milk that did NOT contain water but DID contain Guar Gum. The pie was set in about 4 hours and was nice and thick like it usually is. So if your pie is not setting and is like soup, try it again with a coconut milk that does NOT contain water and DOES contain Guar Gum and it should work. I hope this helps someone! This really is a wonderful and delicious pie!
    Like several others here, mine came out like soup. There's definitely something lacking with the instructions, because I followed them precisely. It looked soupy to me when I poured it into the shell, but I figured that would change once it cooled, and that I had better just follow instructions. Oh well, guess this is one dessert we won't be having at Thanksgiving today.  
    This is the second or third Emeril dessert recipe that I've tried, which has been a complete failure. I think from now on I'm going to stick with recipes from people who know baking.
    This review is for the filling only, as I used Trader Joe's pie crust (the best pre-made crust ever).  
    Love this filling...I've made it a couple times with tweaks...I use 1 whole can of coconut milk, and then the balance with whatever dairy product I have on hand (cream,milk, half and half, it's all good). I also add an extra half cup of coconut to the mix, because I love coconut. I've upped the cornstarch to a heaping 1/4 cup (and cooked it till it was decidely thick), and finally achieved the a nice firm pie that's slice-able without pooling. Definitely top with toasted coconut for extra flavor.
    I don't even like coconut cream pie and I LOVED this pie. Came out perfect. Will definitely be my go to recipe.
    So disappointing! I followed the recipe to a "T" but the custard came out so runny I was too embarrassed to share the pie with friends. It tasted fine, but did not set.
    Excellent recipe, particularly with Alton Brown's macadamia nut crust. A couple a tweaks I incorporated included a 70percent cacao chocolate ganache layer and adding coconut to the crust and topping the custard layer with toasted coconut. Truly phenomenal, especially when using a fresh coconut for a substitute for coconut milk and the custard layer.
    This is THE best coconut pie recipe I've ever tasted...and I've tasted many. Most of the ones I've tried with coconut milk in them taste oily rather than more coconutty. This is the exception and will be my sole pie recipe from here on out.
    I live on the island and have a coconut tree in the yard. So I husked and grated 2 fresh coconuts and made this pie. One word DELISH!!!!!!! I will make this pie again and again that's for sure.
    This was my first foray into Coconut Cream Pie and I must admit - it was delicious! As some previous posters suggested, I used more coconut milk and less whole milk, by a 1/2 cup. I also used coconut and vanilla extract. Everything else was the same. I had no problem getting the milk to thicken up - it probably only took me 4 minutes. I took the whole pie to our book club and it was GONE! If you love coconut - you'll love it!
    This was my first time making coconut cream pie. I like the texture of the center custard - but it wasn't a very strong coconut flavor, more like vanilla custard. Maybe using all coconut milk instead of whole milk? And maybe add coconut extract flavoring? Also, only needed a third of the toasted coconut for the top.
    25 years married and I finally found THE coconut pie my husband is crazy about. My search has ended. Thank you Emeril Lagasse!
    I made this pie for a church potluck this past weekend. I followed the directions using regular baking coconut since couldn't find the flaked. I also used a store-bought crust. It was easy to make and the filling really firmed up so that it looked pretty and was easy to slice. I am not a fan of coconut cream pie but everyone seemed to love it. I will definitely make this pie again.
    This is my go to Coconut Cream Pie recipe. I just wish it was a little more it would slice more cleanly.
    Coconut cream pie is my favorite dessert. My recipe used all dairy milk, and the addition of coconut milk is so much tastier. 
    I've always disliked the over-processed shredded coconut they sell in the baking aisle in supermarkets. Instead, I love the flaked coconut they sell at Whole Foods in the bulk section. 
    I use a pie crust recipe out of Joy of Cooking: Pāte Briseé, modified slightly by substituting my home-rendered leaf lard for about 1/3 of the butter. It's a sinfully rich, incredibly flaky crust that bakes to a golden brown and is a very easy dough to handle.  
    I like to gussy up the pie sometimes with vanilla whipped cream topping garnished with shards of macadamia nut brittle, or make a "Mounds" pie by spreading a layer of ganache on the pie shell before adding the custard. But the recipe on it's own is delicious enough!
    I am thinking about just adding coconut milk but not the flakes to the filling. Do you think it will work? Thanks.  
    Seriously the "best ever"! I made it last night and there were no leftovers. Easy to make and great coconut flavor. I did add one tsp of coconut extract as well as the vanilla. I will make it again soon!
    The pudding for the recipe is awesome. I use Martha Stewart's pie crust recipe with it and top it with vanilla whipped cream. Great dessert.
    This was a delicious recipe and I did not have trouble getting mine to thicken! I just kept it on heat until it was the texture I wanted. Next time I will not include coconut flakes in the pie filling because I hate the texture of it, but otherwise, it's great!
    OMG! ( I know, such an annoying acronym. Sorry, it's just absolutely fitting!. This pie in incredible! I used my own crust recipe from Paula Dean, and a no-bake meringue recipe that tastes a little like a very light marshmallow fluff with toasted coconut on the top. With those exceptions, I followed the recipe for the filling with just an adjustment on the amount of time the pudding cooked. Just cook it until it becomes a pudding (maybe 10 minutes. I could've just eaten the pudding and been incredibly happy and satisfied, but I had promised a coconut cream pie to my husband so I filled the crust and toasted the meringue just a bit. This was my first attempt at making a coconut cream pie. This is a 10 out of 10 if they only allowed that many stars! Thanks Emeril. I can't wait to make another for an event to share the yumminess! Perfect.
    Absolutely the best flavor!! 
    I had a problem with getting it to set completely. I doubled the recipe, however, I was just a tad timid to double the corn starch amount. Everything was geat, except it did not set completely. It wasn't soupy. Next time I will almost double the cornstarch. I do know how long to cook, I bring it slowly to a simmer, and cook and stir for a long time...sometimes 20-30 minutes. When I add eggs (yolks to the simmer..always two at a time, I bring it again to a simmer and make sure it thickens. This had the best flavor!! I still gave it 5 was cooks error, not the recipe!!!
    This was a very good recipe (with some typos. The 2 minute stir time to thicken should be 20 minutes. Mine was still liquidy after 2 minutes. It took at least 20 minutes on medium heat to get a thick pudding-like consistency. It's light and tasty. Next time I plan to add coconut extract for more of the coconut taste. Also, I made my own whipped topping and slathered it on the top of the pie and then sprinkled toasted coconut on top of that.
    I LOVE I made a few simple changes to this recipe that made it even more coconutty! And while I haven't made Emeril's recipe exactly as he states, the substitutions I made produced a delicious pie. Here we go: Instead of the whole milk, I just substituted more coconut milk so it was a total of 3 cups coconut milk for the recipe. Instead of 1 T of butter, I used 1 T of melted coconut oil. I also cut the sugar down to 1/2 cup. And since I try and avoid eating corn (bc it's almost always GMO and I used an equal amount (1/4 cup of tapioca flour. The pie was held together wonderfully, but I agree with other reviewers that I cooked the custard more than 2 minutes after putting everything together. I waited until it had really tightened up before putting it in the pie shell.
    Great Great Flavor. I stirred for at least 10 minutes to thicken. I read previous reviews regarding soupy texture, and whipped two egg whites with 1/8 cup sugar to form peaks and folded into mixture before pouring into pie shell. Created a loftier mixture that seems to stiffen up more.
    Best Coconut Cream SOUP! This was my first attempt at a cream filled pie, so perhaps I was just ignorant regarding the ways of corn starch. But I am sure I stirred for over the required 2 minutes. The filling never thickened and even though the pie looked "normal" when finished, when cut it became a soupy albeit delicious mess! So much for the show stopper Thanksgiving desert I had hoped it would be.
    I just finished with my second attempt at making the "Best Ever Coconut Cream Pie" and the result this time was considerably better. I followed the directions exactly except this time I disregarded the time of two minutes and I just kept whisking on medium heat until it finally thickened up. I didn't time it, but it was no where near the two minutes specified in the recipe. Had I known this before my first attempt I would not have wasted two hours of my time plus all the ingredients that went into the making.
    i love coconut cream pie.. just not this one. more of a custard then a cream pie. won't be making this again.
    Delicious! I found the recipe easy to make. I was amazed how quickly it thickened after I added the eggs and cornstarch slurry. I used full-fat (not 'lite') coconut milk and added a little extra because the can was larger than 12 oz. 
    The recipe doubled well (I made 2 pies instead of one). I used a 3-quart pot for the double-recipe and barely had enough room to stir after all ingredients were added, so if you're making a single recipe, I would recommend using something larger than the specified 1-quart saucepan.
    Taste of batter was good, just needs to be cooked longer than the 2 minutes indicated in the recipe. I learned later from other recipes that a 2-minute simmer after reaching a gentle boil works well. A little more detail for those of us who are not veteran pie makers would have been appreciated. May opt for more coconut milk than whole milk next time for stronger coconut flavor, also cut down on the sugar a tad. Though not included in my rating, I did try Emeril Lagasse's meringue top from a couple of his other coconut cream pie recipes and they didn't turn out so well either. I learned later that egg whites are best beaten at room temperature and traditional meringue has cream of tartar and uses confectioner's sugar instead of regular sugar. All in all, I don't think it's so much that his recipes are entirely bad so much as they lack detailed instruction.
    I substituted 2 cups of coconut milk and 1 cup of regular milk after reading the reviews. I also added 1/2 tsp. coconut extract and 1/2 tsp. of vanilla. The best coconut cream pie I ever made. I considered it easy to make. It is delicious.
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    Thanksgiving Desserts: Pies and Beyond