1 1/2 cups Shredded Sweetened Coconut, toasted and divided (1 cup for the filling, 1/2 cup for topping)
1 1/2 cups Vanilla Wafer Crumbs
3/4 cup Granulated Sugar, divided (1/4 cup for the pie crust, ½ cup for the pie filling)
4 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
1 1/2 cups Half and Half, divided (1/2 cup for the cornstarch mixture, 1 cup for the hot milk mixture)
1/2 cup Cornstarch
4 Large Egg Yolks, whisked
1 3/4 cup Whole Milk
1/4 teaspoon Salt
4 ounces Full-fat Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Coconut Extract
Ingredients for Homemade Whipped Cream
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
4 tablespoons Confectioners Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
01To toast the shredded coconut, place it in a small- to medium-size skillet over medium heat and continuously stir and toss until the flakes begin to turn a lightly golden brown color. Make sure to watch this closely because the coconut can go from golden brown to burnt very quickly. Remove from heat and allow the toasted coconut flakes to cool.
02To make the vanilla wafer pie crust, pulse the vanilla wafers in a food processor until they are fine crumbs. Add in the sugar and melted butter, and pulse until mixture is completely combined.
03Press pie crust mixture into the 9” pie plate and place in the refrigerator or freezer for 30 minutes to chill while you make the pie filling.
04 For the pie filling, in a small mixing bowl, whisk together the 1/2 cup of half and half and cornstarch until well blended. Set aside.
05 In another small mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Set aside.
06Using a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat, combine and bring to a boil the whole milk, remaining 1 cup of half and half, sugar, and salt. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium- to medium-low.
07To temper the eggs, remove about ¼ cup of the hot milk mixture and whisk it into the small mixing bowl of eggs yolks. Do not skip this step, as this will prevent your egg yolks from scrambling when you add them to the entire hot milk mixture.
08Pour the egg yolks and cornstarch mixtures into the saucepan, whisking everything together until fully combined. The mixture will begin to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the cream cheese, vanilla extract, coconut extract, and 1 cup of the toasted shredded coconut.
09Pour the pie filling into the chilled pie crust and cover tightly with plastic wrap for 3-4 hours or overnight.
10Before serving, remove from the refrigerator and top with homemade whipped cream and the remaining ½ cup of toasted shredded coconut.
11To make the homemade whipped cream, in a mixing bowl and whisk that’s been chilled in the freezer for 10-15 minutes (optional), whisk together the heavy whipping cream, confectioners sugar, and vanilla extract on medium-high to high speed until stiff peaks have formed.