Monday, July 30, 2012

Coconut Cream Pudding Pie

Well, well, well.  Where to begin with this one?!  This is absolutely fantastic in each and every way.  To start with, it's ridiculously easy compared to creating a traditional cream pie, no messing with egg whites and cream of tartar.  So, that in itself is a huge bonus.  Then you have the fact that you are creating a naturally flavored coconut whip cream out of the coconut milk.  That is like a foodie surprise once you see how the cream separates from the water in the coconut milk once it has been chilled for a day.  I was amazed.  And, last but not least, the taste.  The taste is like heaven on a spoon.  Each bite taking further and further away from where you stand and placing you somewhere past cloud 9.  Straight on to heaven.

1 large box of INSTANT vanilla pudding
2 1/2 cups of milk
1 ready to use graham cracker pie crust
slight 1/4 cup of shredded coconut
1- 13.66oz. can of coconut milk (chilled in fridge for at least 24 hours and DO NOT SHAKE CAN)
1/4 tsp. of real vanilla extract
2 cups of cool whip (defrosted)

-In a large mixing bowl, whisk together by hand the vanilla pudding mix and the milk for about 2 minutes.  Carefully pour this into your ready to use pie crust, cover and refrigerate for a few hours before finishing it off and serving it.  Meanwhile, for the toasting of the shredded coconut, preheat your oven to 300*.  Spread the coconut out on a baking sheet in a thin even layer.  Bake this for 15 minutes, stopping every 5 minutes to stir it.  Remove this from the oven and allow it to stand and cool.  When it has reached room temperature, toss it into a Tupperware dish and cover it to keep it nice and crunchy until you are ready to use it for garnish later.  Once the pie is set and chilled, open the can of coconut milk.  The coconut cream will separate from the coconut water, creating a thick and semi-hard solution that rises to the top of the can.  Using a large spoon, start to scoop out the thick cream solution into a medium sized mixing bowl (going slow making sure not to get the separated water that is in the bottom half of the can- you can save the coconut water for later use or discard it at this point).  Using an electric hand mixer, go ahead and beat the coconut cream on medium speed to kind of cream it as you would butter; beat in the vanilla and the cool whip until combined.  Take this mixture and start spooning it onto the center of the pudding pie and spread it out with a large spoon, going just about to the edges, but not all the way.  Sprinkle the top with as much of the toasted coconut as you prefer.  Serves 6-8.  Enjoy!

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