For the crust:

1-1/2 cups store bought graham cracker crumbs, or 8 graham crackers pulsed 10 times in a food processor to make fine crumbs

3 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (warm or cool)

For the filling:

2 cups heavy cream

4 egg yolks, well beaten

2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 cups shredded coconut, preferably unsweetened


1.   Preheat the oven to 350*.

2.   In a large mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar.  Add the melted butter and toss thoroughly with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the butter is evenly incorporated, about 1 minute.  Using the bottom of a sturdy juice or pint glass, press the mixture firmly into a 9 inch pie pan, creating an even layer on the bottom and the sides.  Bake on the middle rack until the crumbmixture has darkened from a reddish brown to the brown of a pecan shell and the sugar and butter have fused with the crumbs to form a crust, 10 to 15 minutes.

3.   In a medium saucepan over low heat, whisk the cream, egg yolks, vanilla, cornstarch and coconut together.  Stirring constantly, simmer until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 8 minutes (use a candy thermometer, and take care not to let the temperature of the custard rise above 170*).

4.   Pour the coconut custard into the pie crust and bake for 10 minutes on the middle rack.  Remove the pie from the oven, cool on a rack to room temperature and transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.

5.   Serve the pie cold, topped with whipped cream flavored with a little rum.  Alongside it, serve a shot of Caribbean rum like Myers’s, Mount Gay, Barbancourt, or Appleton twenty-one-year old.

from The Lee Brothers Southern Cookbook (While it may have originated in the Caribbean, this pie has spread throughout the American south where it is now standard fare at restaurants and church socials.)

Leave a Reply