This was so delicious I might have to share the recipe with you. I'll give you a hint: First I used Food Blog Search. Then I wrote out my standard pastry cream recipe and compared it to Nicole's. I used the basic premise of Baking Bite's recipe,
and then, I finessed like crazy.
It is my belief that white sugar interrupts the subtle flavour of coconut. Now I know coconut is not a shy flavour, but it takes a bit of sweet nothings, patience, and much listening, to get to the root of coconut's true soul. There are few ingredients which do not compete to win when it comes to playing with coconut.
Instead of using all white sugar, I also used raw. I also substituted vanilla sugar for some of the white sugar. (I take dried vanilla beans and their empty brittle sheaths and I break them up in a spice grinder with raw or white sugar until all is pulverized and highly aromatic.)
I didn't have 1/2 & 1/2 so I "made my own" with Manufacturer's cream and whole milk. And although I liked the idea of using whole eggs for pastry cream, (the whites help the custard "set up" a little harder: which is what you need when you're not going to bake the pie again), but I also wanted to enrich the custard with a few extra egg yolks.
Also, I love infusing dairy for pastry cream with whatever flavour I am looking to achieve. So I toasted a bunch of sweetened shredded coconut and did a long infusion. But I passed the liquid through a fine meshed sieve (= chinois) because I didn't want those bits floating around in my smooth custard.
And because this coconut cream pie filling wasn't rich enough yet (ha!), I mounted in some butter at the end, throwing in a dash of browned butter for added kick/ boost.
And of course I seasoned with Kosher salt to taste.
Can you say goddamn?
I have never made coconut cream pie before. But in the last few days I feel I can now say,
I have done this fine American standard, a service.