Coconut Cream Pie with Macadamia Nut Caramel
To know me and my dad is to know that we are utterly obsessed with coconut. So I shouldn’t have been surprised when I planned a family BBQ and somehow got talked into making an entire coconut cream pie. The conversation went something along the lines of –
Me: “So we’ll have tri-tip, carrot salad, and I’ll make a pie. What else would be good with this? Some asparagus?”
My mom: “Maybe potatoes gratin.”
My dad: “I think coconut cream pie would go great with all of those things…”
So apparently, I was making coconut cream pie. Although I was planning on making a peach galette, the coconut cream pie option was totally fine, because I lovelovelove coconut and have been thinking about making a coconut cream pie for ages. The original plan was to make it with a graham cracker crust in a springform pan that would tour high and show off all its beautiful layers. However, my dad made it clear that it was to be made with a regular pie crust. SO I used my favorite, trusty, all-time favorite, fool-proof pie dough recipe using my food processor (because I was feeling lazy), and then threw a bunch of good shit into that pie crust, because pie dough in any form + good shit = the best dessert ever.
In the end, my ideal BBQ centered around the wonderment of the three bushels of pansies I planted didn’t work out. It rained and hailed the whole day in true Reno fashion 😭 In a more positive light, it was the most wonderful day for baking in jammies, and we still BBQed our tri-tip even though it was only, like 30° F outside! Also, my mom and I may have gotten to talking over a bottle of Pinot Noir, and my asparagus got baked for too long and turned into what I can only call “asparagus chips”. Which, as it turns out, are a perfect food. I’m going to start a new trend of asparagus chips that replace kale chips, do not @ me on this.
This coconut cream pie was quite the process, and I can’t even lie to you, it is for sure a weekend project. Especially if you make your pie crust like I did, which I highly recommend, but will not judge you if you go store-bought. You will also be making homemade caramel sauce with macadamia nuts. The caramel adds a nice textural component that I usually do not find in coconut cream pie, and it is absolutely necessary for this recipe, unless you are deathly allergic to macadamia nuts, and then I guess you’d better skip them.
THEN! You’ll make this slightly-sweet, lightly-coconutty custard that is both easy to make and so silky you’ll practically die. This is not me being dramatic, ok?
Lastly, you’ll cover the somabitch in whipped cream and toasted, unsweetened coconut flakes, and it’ll be the best thing you’ve ever had. Just trust me on this.
Coconut Cream Pie with Macadamia Caramel
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, roasted and coarsely chopped
Coconut Cream Pie Filling
- 13.5 oz can coconut milk
- 1 1/4 cup whole milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tbsp butter
- pinch salt
- 1 1/2 cup shredded coconut unsweetened
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Whipped cream + flaked coconut for serving
- 1 9 inch. pie crust store-bought or homemade
- Preheat oven to 375° F. Roll pie dough out and lay in a 9-inch pie pan. Poke the dough with a fork so it does not puff up. Place a piece of parchment paper over the top, and then place pie weights or dried beans in the center. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until it's a light golden brown and cooked all the way through. Remove pie weights, and let the crust cool.
- To make the caramel, combine the sugar, water, and salt over medium heat. Stir until it comes to a boil. Simmer until it becomes honey-colored. Continue cooking, swirling the pan until it turns a dark amber brown. Add the cream, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir constantly until a candy thermometer reaches 225° F. Remove the pan from the heat. Add butter and vanilla. Stir in macadamia nuts, and transfer it to a heat-proof container.
- For the filling, heat the coconut milk and whole milk over medium heat until it gently simmers. Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch. Whisking constantly, temper the egg mixture with some of the milk mixture. Add the egg mixture into the milk, whisking the whole time. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened. Remove from heat. Add the butter, salt, and vanilla. Immediately strain the mixture over a fine-mesh strainer, discarding of any lumps. Add the coconut flakes and cool.
- To assemble, pour caramel mixture over the pie crust. You may not use all of it. I usually do in mine. Pour the filling mixture over the top of the caramel. Spread with whipped cream, and top with toasted coconut flakes.
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the Day: Dark Side of the Gym by The National