1 Heat your oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F
2 Roll out and blind bake the pie crust: Lightly flour your countertop and roll your pie dough into a 12-inch circle. Place the pie dough into your pie plate.
Line with aluminum foil or parchment paper and fill to the top with ceramic pie weights, rice, dry beans, or granulated sugar.
Bake the pie dough at 350°F for 50 minutes to 1 hour, removing the foil liner with the weights during the last 10 minutes of baking time.
Once baked, remove the crust from the oven and allow it to cool completely.
3 Toast the coconut flakes: Scatter the coconut flakes onto a sheet pan. Try to break up any large clumps, which prevent even toasting. Bake the coconut on the middle rack of your oven for 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and use a spatula to toss the coconut flakes. Arrange them into an even layer and return the pan to the oven to bake for another 5 minutes.
Continue this process, once more, checking after 3 minutes instead of 5. Once the coconut is evenly browned, remove the pan from the oven and allow the coconut to cool completely.
Toasting the coconut can be done a week in advance and the flakes stored in a sealed container at room temperature.
4 Begin making the coconut custard: In a mixing bowl, whip the egg yolks and whole eggs together with a hand mixer on high. Sift 1/2 cup of the sugar, cornstarch, and ground cinnamon into the bowl over the beaten eggs and whip until lemony yellow in color—about 2 minutes. Set aside.
In a saucepan, stir together the coconut milk, the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, and the salt together.
Heat the mixture over medium heat, whisk constantly to dissolve the sugar until the mixture begins to steam.
5 Temper the eggs: Slowly add 1 cup of the hot milk to the whipped egg mixture in a slow stream while whisking constantly. This will bring the eggs to the same temperature as the milk and prevent curdling. The mixture will foam up a bit.
6 Combine the tempered eggs and the remaining milk: Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the pot with the milk, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, which should take about 2-3 minutes. Incorporate any foam that may form on the surface by whisking in a figure-eight motion.
The mixture should begin to thicken almost immediately after it comes to a boil. Once you see the custard has thickened, and bubbles pop slowly on the surface, remove it from the heat and check for proper consistency.
The custard is ready when it coats the back of a spoon. If you run your finger through the custard, it will leave a clean line and won’t rejoin itself. Once thickened, remove it from the heat.
7 Flavor the custard and fill the pie crust: Stir the butter and vanilla extract into the hot custard. When the butter is completely melted and blended, stir in 1 3/4 cups of the toasted coconut.
Pour the warm custard into the pre-baked pie shell and press a lightly oiled piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard. This keeps the surface of the custard from forming a skin as it chills in the refrigerator.
Refrigerate the pie for 6 to 8 hours or until it’s completely chilled.
8 Make the whipped cream: Just before you’re ready to serve, add the heavy whipping cream to a mixing bowl. Beat the cream on medium-high speed until it begins to foam.
While beating, gradually sprinkle the sugar over the cream. Continue beating the cream until semi-stiff peaks form. The peaks should hold their shape when the beaters are lifted from the bowl.
7 Finish the pie: Remove and discard the plastic wrap from the pie. Scoop the whipped cream onto the filled pie. Use the back of a large spoon to spread the whipped cream onto its surface. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of toasted coconut over the whipped cream.
8 Serve and enjoy: Refrigerate the pie until you’re ready to serve. The Coconut Cream Pie tastes best if eaten within 48 hours, but it will last for up to 3 days.
Leftovers! Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Press a piece of wax paper against any exposed coconut custard.