Okay, Friend, make sure you get my autograph now because, once this Coconut Rum Cream Pie recipe hits the interwebs, I’m blowing up like the Goodyear blimp.
Picture it: the infamous Puerto Rican holiday cocktail- Coquito– in. Edible. Form!!
Yes, I have done it. I have created a dessert that will go down in the annals of history.
Applaud me. Praise me, even! I am a demigod…goddess…what would I be?!?! A demigoddess?!? Is that a thing?
Never mind. I’m a genius.
Transforming Coquito into food
Turning the legendary coquito into a dessert is pretty revolutionary, if you ask me. In spite of the fact that the coconut rum cocktail is served cold, its rich creaminess makes it a bit too heavy to enjoy during the summer months. But a coconut rum cream pie works anytime of the year.
I’ve combined a coconut milk and rum (extract)-based custard with freshly whipped cream and packed it all into a baked mealy pie dough shell. The addition of toasted coconut flakes, which I’ve folded into the custard, in addition to using as a garnish, adds more coconutty flavor and provides more texture.
While this recipe isn’t vegan, it can be made lactose free by using a whipped coconut cream in place of the traditional whipped cream. The eggs will still make it a dairy-based dessert, though.
Okay, let’s get to it!
Make, roll out, and flute your pie dough
Use the link above to make a one-pound portion of mealy pie dough. Mealy pie doughs are more durable than their flaky counterparts, and as such, provide a better foundation for single-crust pies that aren’t baked- like this one.
Once you’ve prepared your disc of dough, allow it to chill for at least 30 minutes. This rest period gives the gluten in the pie dough a chance to relax, thus preventing the dough from shrinking back when you roll it out.
After the dough has chilled use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 12″ circle. Lightly flour the surface of the dough and roll it up onto your rolling pin. Place the dough on the rim of a 9″ pie plate and unroll it over the pie plate- leaving a 2″ overlap of pie dough all around the pie plate.
Fold the pie dough under itself so the overlap is even all around the pie plate. Use this overlap to create an amazingly beautiful fluted edge.
To create this pinched edge, I pinched the pie dough- literally. You can use fork tines, pinch the dough between your index finger and thumb and twist, or use your thumb to push the dough between your opposing hand’s thumb and index finger. However you want to decorate your pie’s edges- go for it.
Once the edges are to your liking, place the pie dough into the fridge to chill while you heat your oven.
The best method for blind-baking a pie shell
The proper term for a baking pie shell for an unbaked pie- meaning the finished pie will not see the inside of the oven- is “blind baking”. The way I “blind bake” my pie only slightly fits the description. Most bakeries blind bake their pie dough by sandwiching the shell, between two pie tins. They bake it upside down to prevent the dough from shrinking down into the pie tin. Because this presses down on the pie’s edges- and due to the fact that I love eating pie crusts too much to do it this way- I go with the right side-up method.
First, poke holes into the bottom of your pie shell and poke a few into the side of the shell. This will prevent your baking pie dough from puffing up.
Place a circle of parchment paper into the center of the pie dough, then fill it with granulated sugar. If you don’t feel like using a couple pounds of sugar, use about 2 pounds of dried beans, or ceramic pie weights. I find that sugar is the better option because it fits into the crevices better than round objects do. You can reuse the sugar once or twice more, too. Then use it to flavor cakes or coffee.
Place your sugar filled pie shell into your 450°F oven and bake the shell for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, carefully, remove the parchment from the pie shell. Allow the sugar to cool before storing it food storage bag or a canister.
This is what the shell looks like after ten minutes of baking. The crust has taken on some color, but the dough underneath the parchment is still raw. Return the pie plate to the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes. If you notice the edges are getting too dark, just cover them lightly with a rim of foil.
Remove your baked pie shell from the oven and allow it to cool completely.
How to toast coconut flakes
Toasting coconut flakes is easy, but it requires attention. For me, it requires even more attention because I’m slightly lazy. I want it done quickly, so I use my broiler. Now, if you know your limitation is attention to detail, bake your coconut flakes at 350F. If you like to live on the wild side, do it my way.
Spread 2 cups of sweetened coconut flakes into an even layer in a sheet pan. A quarter sheet pan will fit this amount perfectly. Make sure there are no clumps of coconut flakes. You need to break the coconut up so it toasts as evenly as possible.
Place the pan under your broiler (set to low) and toast the coconut for 2 minutes. You’ll begin to see the coconut on the edges of the pan browning.
Remove the sheet pan from the oven and use a wide spatula to shift the coconut flakes around and redistribute the toasted coconut. Put the pan back into the oven and repeat the toasting, shifting, toasting sesh twice more.
When you have darker brown flakes and lighter (tannish) colored flakes in an even mixed, you’re good to go. When baking the flakes at a lower temperature, you have a better chance of getting more brown to lighter flake ratio than when broiling. But, again, I’m lazy and I need a slice of coconut rum pie, like, STAT.
Allow the coconut flakes to stay spread out on the pan until they’ve cooled completely. Once they’re cool, you can transfer them to a storage container for up to one month.
Prepare the coconut rum custard
Now it’s time for the main event! The base of our coconut rum cream pie is a coconut rum custard made from coconut milk and eggs (and some mo’ stuff).
In a saucier, or a pan with sloped side, combine two 13 1/2oz cans of full fat coconut milk and the first quantity of sugar. Whisk in the ground cinnamon- a prominent flavor in the traditional coquito cocktail; and add a small amount of salt, as well. Bring this mixture to a simmer.
While you’re waiting for the milk to simmer, separate four egg yolks from their whites. Add these, along with two whole eggs, to a large mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs together until smooth.
Sift together the rest of the granulated sugar and cornstarch. You can sift them straight into the whisked eggs, like I did. This concoction is what we’ll use to thicken our coconut rum custard later on.
Once the milk comes to a simmer, scoop a cup of it out and slowly drizzle it into the egg mixture. This technique is called “tempering” and it allows you to add the eggs to the hot milk without curdling them. After you’ve whisked the cup of hot milk into the eggs, turn around and whisk the eggs into the pot of milk slowly.
Cook the custard over medium-low heat until it thickens. It should be thick enough to holds its shape when your finger is dragged through a thin film of it- as shown above.
Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the unsalted butter and rum extract.
This is how thick the finished coconut rum custard should be.
Fold 3/4ths of the toasted coconut into the coconut rum custard.
Pour the coconut rum custard into your baked pie shell and smoove (that’s slang for make it flat) it out with your rubber spatula.
Place the filled shell into the fridge to cool completely- about 4 hours (although I prefer to let it get ice cold, so about 8 hours for me).
Decorate and garnish
Once the coconut rum custard is completely cold, top it with copious amounts of whipped cream. Look, I’m a Yankee, which means I come from the land of Greek diners that have obnoxious amounts of toppings on their pies. I put about 4 cups of whipped cream on this bad boy. You don’t have to, but I will talk about you if you don’t.
If you need to know how to whip cream, read this post.
After you’ve fully gluttonized your pie with the whipped cream, sprinkle the remaining toasted coconut on top of it.
Stare at it, mouth agape.
The pie is ready to dig into now.
See? Fully diggable- like Diggable Planets, because, “it’s cool like dat, it’s cool like dat, it’s cool like dat” If you don’t know what I just wrote you are too damn young for me.
Grab a fork and dig the hell in, my friend.
I’ve never had a pie last longer than two days, so I’m going to say that’s the expiration date. Plus, the whipped cream begins to lose its volume after that time.
I think I’ve done my heritage proud with this edible coquito, don’t you? Give it a go and let me know what you think. Don’t forget to pin and share it, too!
**This post contains affiliate links. To find out what that means to you, please read my disclosure page**
Coconut Rum Cream Pie
Have your coquito and eat it too! This sweet play on the traditional Puerto Rican "eggnog" is easy to make and perfect year 'round.
- 1 pound mealy pie dough
- 2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
Coconut Rum Custard
- 2 13.5 ounce cans full fat coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced
- 2 teaspoons rum extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
- 4 cups sweetened whipped cream
Blind Bake the Pie Shell
Roll the meal pie dough out into a 12" circle. Line a 9" pie plate with the dough and flute the edges as desired. Place the pie dough into the fridge to chill while you pre-heat an oven to 450°F.
Just before baking, poke holes in the bottom and sides of your pie shell to prevent the dough from puffing up during baking.
Place a circle of parchment paper into the center of the pie dough, and fill it with granulated sugar (up to the rim of the pie plate), ceramic pie weights, or dry beans.
Bake the pie shell for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, carefully remove the sugar-filled parchment from the pie shell*.
Return the pie plate to the oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes. If you notice the edges are getting too dark, cover them lightly with a rim of foil.
Remove the baked pie shell from the oven and allow it to cool completely.
Toast the Coconut Flakes
Spread the coconut flakes in an even layer on a sheet pan. Make sure there are no clumps of coconut flakes.
Place the pan under a low broiler and toast the coconut for 2 minutes. You'll begin to see the coconut on the edges of the pan browning.
Remove the sheet pan from the oven and use a wide spatula to shift the coconut flakes around and redistribute the toasted coconut.
Put the pan back into the oven and repeat the toasting, shifting, toasting two more times, or until the coconut flakes range in color from dark brown to a tan color.
Allow the coconut flakes to cool completely on the sheet pan.
Once cool, separate a 1/4 cup of the toasted flakes for garnishing the decorated pie. The rest will be folded into the finished coconut rum custard filling.
Prepare the Coconut Rum Custard Filling
Combine the coconut milk, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the cinnamon and salt together in a 3 qt saucepan with sloping sides.
Bring this mixture to a simmer over medium heat.
Meanwhile, whisk the whole eggs and egg yolks together until smooth and runny in a large mixing bowl.
Combine the rest of the granulated sugar and the cornstarch and sift them into the bowl of whisked eggs. Stir this mixture together until smooth.
Once the milk comes to a simmer, slowly drizzle a cup of the hot milk it into the egg mixture- whisking constantly as you pour the hot milk into the eggs.
After all of the hot milk has been whisked into the eggs, slowly whisk this mixture back into the pot of hot milk.
Cook the milk-egg mixture over medium-low heat until it thickens- about 4-5 minutes. Once fully thickened, the custard coat the surface of a rubber spatula and should hold its shape when your finger is dragged through it.
Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the unsalted butter, as well as the rum and vanilla extracts.
Stir 1 3/4 cups of the toasted coconut flakes into the finished custard.
Pour the coconut rum custard into your baked pie shell and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
Refrigerate the filled shell for 4-8 hours, or until completely chilled.
Decorate and Garnish the Coconut Rum Cream Pie
Once the coconut rum custard is completely cold, spread the whipped cream over the custard using an offset spatula.
Garnish the pie with the remaining toasted coconut.
Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Enjoy this pie within 2 days of decorating it.
*Allow the sugar you used as a weight to cool before storing it food storage bag or a canister. This sugar can be used once or twice more, or used as an ingredient in baked goods or beverages.
Make ahead toasted coconut flakes: Allow the coconut flakes to cool completely on the sheet pan before transferring the coconut flakes to a storage container. Toasted coconut flakes will keep for up to one month in a tightly-sealed container.
Make it lactose-free: whip chilled coconut cream and garnish the pie with a lactose-free topping instead.
Check out the OG recipe and more…