Recipe courtesy of Red Arrow Diner

The Red Arrow Diner's Coconut Cream Pie

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 45 min
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
The original Red Arrow Diner looks humble from the outside, but the walls inside tell a different story. They're lined with photos of campaigning politicians and celebs who have visited, including Matthew McConaughey, Diane Sawyer and Adam Sandler. "When Martha Stewart came, she said, `I'm here for dessert," says owner Carol Lawrence-Erickson. "How intimidating is that?" In fact, many people come to the diner just for dessert: There are more than 35 cakes and pies in rotation. The Red Arrow's coconut cream pie is an all-around favorite: It's topped with about four inches of whipped cream!


For the Crust:

For the Filling:

For the Topping:


  1. Make the crust: Pulse the flour and salt in a food processor until combined. Add the shortening and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal. Add the ice water, then continue to pulse until the mixture becomes a shaggy dough. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
  2. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into an 11-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick), then fit into a 9-inch pie dish. Fold under any excess dough and prick the bottom all over with a fork. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of the pie with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the bottom is just starting to set and the edges are just starting to brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and continue to bake until the crust is golden brown and cooked through, about 10 more minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely. 
  4. Meanwhile, make the filling: Spread 1 cup coconut on a baking sheet and bake, stirring halfway through, until toasted, about 20 minutes; let cool. 
  5. Beat the heavy cream, granulated sugar, pudding mix, vanilla and salt in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until thick and creamy, 2 to 4 minutes. Fold in 3/4 cup of the toasted coconut and the remaining 1 1/2 cups untoasted coconut; set aside the remaining 1/4 cup toasted coconut for topping. Spread the filling in the crust and refrigerate until set, about 1 hour.
  6. Make the topping: Beat the heavy cream, confectioners' sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Spread over the pie and top with the reserved toasted coconut.