- 1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut, divided
- 1 1/2 cup crumbled graham crackers
- 1/3 cup melted butter or coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 3 cups heavy cream, divided
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 3 teaspoons vanilla, vanilla bean paste (my preference) or maple syrup, divided
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until toasted and brown. You may need to stir the coconut for even heating and cook a little longer, but it is important to get it toasted.
In a medium size bowl, mix the graham crackers with the melted butter, then press into a 9-inch pie plate, pressing the bottom and side until even. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake for 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a medium size saucepan, over medium-high heat, heat the milk and half of the cream to a simmer, whisking all the while. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, extract, cornstarch and half of the vanilla until smooth. Pour a little bit of the heated milk into the bowl with the eggs, whisking so the eggs get air and don't scramble. Once you've mixed about 1/2-1 cup of milk into the eggs, pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the milk and whisk until it thickens completely, about 4 minutes. Congrats, you just made vanilla pudding! Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.
Put the pudding in a bowl, put plastic wrap on top and stick in the fridge until cooled, about an hour.
Meanwhile, whip the remaining cream with the powdered sugar and remaining vanilla until soft but stiff peaks form.
Remove the pudding from the fridge and fold in 1 cup of toasted coconut. Spread evenly in the cooled crust and top with whipped cream. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of toasted coconut on top of the pie. Refrigerate until ready to serve, but don't cover it or you'll smash it down!