Today I’m celebrating Dads around the world for Father’s Day. I’m celebrating mine with Coconut Cream Pudding. My dad loves food. He’ll try anything I make at least once then goes back for seconds (I can’t convince him to eat sushi or stuffed calamari though. And he doesn’t like catfish). Whenever I think of him, coconut comes to mind. And it had to be a dessert. I bounced back and forth between ideas then finally decided on this pudding.
This pudding is literally coconut cream pie but without the pie part. Want to know why I hate pie? Back around Easter, I was looking up dessert ideas. As soon as I showed my dad the picture for coconut cream pie, he immediately said yes. I was nervous because years ago, I attempted a lemon meringue pie. The filling never set, so it was liquid pie (fail 1). Then back in March, I made a graham cracker pie (think vanilla pudding pie). The meringue on top came out beautifully, so I let it cool on the counter before putting it in the fridge. When I checked on it, the meringue had deflated, and there was a pool of liquid (guessing egg whites) sitting on top of the pudding layer (fail 2). For Easter, I made the filling for the coconut cream pie, and it thickened up quite nicely. Guess what? When I cut into the pie, it never quite firmed up and oozed out everywhere (fail 3). That, my friends, is why this moose doesn’t make pie.
The coconut cream pie filling was divine though – very rich and creamy and everything you shouldn’t be eating. I told everyone it ended up being pudding with pie chunks in it, which gave me the idea that someday I should just make the filling and skip the pie. I’m also not a fan of pie crust. Most of the time, I just end up eating the filling and leaving the crust anyway, so this little cup of joy is perfect for pie-haters like me.
I topped it with some whipped cream and toasted coconut.
This one’s for you, Dad.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the coconut onto a baking sheet and into the oven. Toast the coconut, stirring it every 5 minutes or until it is lightly brown. Remove and set aside. Reserve 2 Tbsp for garnish.
- Meanwhile, place the coconut milk into a medium saucepan and stir if necessary (the solid and liquid may have separated in the can). Bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
- In a large bowl, beat the sugar and egg yolks at medium-high speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and beat in flour, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually pour in the warm coconut milk. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook until it boils and thickens. Boil 1 more minute. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until melted. Stir in the toasted coconut and vanilla.
- Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and let cool to room temperature. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- After the pastry cream has chilled, whisk the cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks hold when the beaters are lifted. Reserve 1/2 cup whipped cream for garnish then fold the rest into the pastry cream. Chill the pudding and reserved whipped cream for at least 30 minutes. Before serving, top with whipped cream and reserved toasted coconut.
Source: Adapted from Luscious Coconut Desserts by Lori Longbotham