Luscious, creamy, and absolutely divine are the first words that come to mind when describing this cherry coconut cream pie. With a graham cracker crust, coconut custard, cream cheese whipped cream, and honey-macerated cherries, you won't be able to resist a slice or two!
Cherry Coconut Cream Pie
Graham cracker crust
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (180 grams)
- 6 tablespoons melted butter (85 grams)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar (36 grams)
Coconut cream filling
- 14 ounces canned coconut cream
- 1 ½ cups milk (375 ml)
- 4 large egg yolks
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
- ¼ cup cornstarch (36 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes (75 grams)
- 2 tablespoons butter (28 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups pitted and halved cherries (300 grams)
- 3 tablespoons honey (63 grams)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
- ¼ cup powdered sugar (33 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream (250 ml)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 10-inch pie pan with cooking spray.
- Combine graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and brown sugar, mixing until well combined. Pour crumb mixture into prepared pie pan and press into the bottom of the pan and up the sides to create a crust. Bake graham cracker crust for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Meanwhile, make coconut cream filling. Combine egg yolks with sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl.
- Add coconut cream and milk in a medium saucepot. Bring to a simmer over low heat. Once warm, slowly pour milk into egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Pour cream filling back into the pot and heat over medium-low heat. Continue to simmer, stirring constantly, until custard is thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in coconut flakes, butter, and vanilla, stirring until butter is melted. Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Pour coconut custard into graham cracker crust into an even layer. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard and let cool in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
- Combine halved cherries with honey and lemon juice in a large bowl. Let sit for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Beat cream cheese with powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Slowly add heavy cream and continue to whip the mixture until stiff peaks form. Top coconut cream pie with whipped cream cheese. Spoon cherries on top, discarding any liquid. Slice and serve immediately.
Watch how to make this:
As soon as we enter stone fruit season, I can't help but buy pounds and pounds of peaches, nectarines, apricots, and cherries. I always get too greedy and end up having to eat more fruit in a day than I probably should. But that's not a bad thing, right?
When I'm not snacking on the fruits, I'm incorporating them into sweet and savory dishes. With an extra couple of pounds of cherries lying around, I decided to make the ultimate cherry coconut cream pie. Graham cracker crust is filled with creamy coconut custard, topped with cream cheese whipped cream, and finished with a generous pile of honey-marinated cherries. All the best layers combined into one to make a fantastic summer dessert!
- Graham crackers: The cracker commonly used to make cheesecake crusts. Graham crackers have a slightly sweet, nutty, and mildly toasty flavor.
- Coconut cream: A thick, rich, creamy liquid that is similar to coconut milk with a higher concentration of coconut solids. Thus, it has a thicker consistency and a more intense coconut flavor.
- Milk: Used in combination with coconut cream to create the coconut custard. You can use whole milk, nonfat, or 2%.
- Sweetened coconut flakes: Also known as sweetened shredded coconut or sweetened coconut, the sweetened coconut flakes have a soft chewy texture with a delicate tropical taste.
- Cornstarch: Used as a thickening agent for the coconut custard.
- Cherries: Use fresh cherries for the best results as frozen cherries won't have the same texture or intense sweetness as fresh.
- Honey: A sweetener that when combined with cherries, helps it release its juices and intensifies the cherries' flavor.
- Cream cheese: Adds a slightly tangy flavor to the whipped cream and adds a creamy texture.
- Powdered sugar: Also known as confectioner's sugar or icing sugar, the finely ground sugar is used to sweeten the cream cheese whipped cream.
How to Make Cherry Coconut Cream Pie
Step 1: Bake the Crust
To start, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and spray a 10-inch pie pan with cooking spray. In a bowl, combine 1 ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs, 6 tablespoons of melted butter, and 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. Mix the ingredients until they are well combined, making sure the graham cracker crumbs all get a nice coating of butter.
Pour the crumb mixture into the prepared pie pan and press it firmly onto the bottom and up the sides to create a crust. I used a 10-inch pie pan but if you're using a 9-inch pie pan, you may have a little extra crumb mixture.
Bake the graham cracker crust for 10-12 minutes or until it turns golden brown. Once baked, remove it from the oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack. You can also bake the pie crust the day before if you prefer.
Step 2: Cook Coconut Custard
While the crust is cooling, it's time to prepare the delicious coconut cream filling. In a large bowl, combine 4 large egg yolks, ¾ cup of granulated sugar, ¼ cup of cornstarch, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. In a medium saucepot, warm 14 ounces of canned coconut cream and 1 ½ cups of milk over low heat until it simmers.
Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture while stirring constantly. Take your time with this step. If you add the warm milk too quickly, it can cook the eggs and make them scramble.
Pour the combined mixture back into the saucepot and heat it over medium-low heat. Stir the custard constantly until it thickens, which usually takes about 5-7 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add 1 cup of sweetened coconut flakes, 2 tablespoons of butter, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Stir the mixture until the butter is completely melted. Let the custard cool for about 10 minutes.
Once the graham cracker crust has cooled completely, pour the coconut cream filling into the crust, spreading it into an even layer. To prevent skin from forming, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard. Chill the pie in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight to allow it to set.
Step 3: Assemble the pie
When the pie is set, get the remaining toppings ready. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of pitted and halved cherries with 3 tablespoons of honey and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. It's going to look like too much honey, but don't worry, the cherries will absorb it all.
Let the mixture sit for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Over the twenty minutes, you'll notice that the cherries will start to release their juices. Isn't it amazing how just a bit of sugar can transform fruit?
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, beat 4 ounces of softened cream cheese with ¼ cup of powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract until smooth. Instead of making plain whipped cream, we're making cream cheese whipped cream. The slight tang from the cream cheese will compliment the sweet coconut custard beautifully.
Slowly add 1 cup of heavy cream while continuing to whip the mixture until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream cheese on top of the coconut cream filling in the pie. Then, spoon the marinated cherries on top of the whipped cream cheese, discarding any excess liquid. You can also save that liquid to drizzle a bit on top of the pie or just enjoy it as a little beverage!
Slice the pie and serve immediately. Since the cherries will bleed, you want to serve the cherry coconut cream pie as soon as you finish topping it.
Take a bite out of that delicious pie and enjoy the delightful combination of flavors and textures. The buttery graham cracker crust, rich coconut cream filling, and sweet-tart cherries create a harmonious dessert that will impress your family and friends. Whether for a special occasion or a casual gathering, this pie is a perfect choice to satisfy your sweet cravings.
Can I use store-bought graham cracker crust instead of making it from scratch?
Yes, you can use a pre-made graham cracker crust if you prefer. Just make sure it is the appropriate size for a 10-inch pie. If you can only find 9-inch pie shells, you can adjust the recipe accordingly or enjoy the extra coconut custard on the side.
Can I use unsweetened coconut flakes instead of sweetened ones?
Sweetened coconut flakes add a touch of sweetness to the pie, but you can use unsweetened flakes if you prefer a less sweet filling.
Can I use a different fruit topping instead of cherries?
Absolutely! While cherries complement the coconut cream filling beautifully, you can experiment with other fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, or peaches for a variation in flavor.
For more cherry dessert inspiration check out this upside down cherry amaretto cake!