It takes our family a while to eat a whole pie, so I usually end up freezing the slices individually. That method works well, but I wanted to try something new -- halving a pie recipe and assembling it in store bought miniature graham cracker crusts. That way rather than have a bag of individual slices, we'd have a bag of frozen mini pies.
It worked. The store bought crusts weren't as good as homemade crusts, but I liked the shape of the small pies, so I'll save the tins and make another batch of miniature coconut cream pies using homemade crust.
Miniature Coconut Cream Pies
- 6 mini graham cracker pie shells
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup of half & half
- 1 ½ tablespoons butter
- ½ teaspoon each -- coconut extract and vanilla extract
- ½ cup shredded flaked coconut
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
- ½ cup sweetened flaked coconut for sprinkling
- Bake the pie crusts on a baking sheet for about 5 minutes in a 375 degree oven. I brushed mine with egg white, but I don't recommend it because it made the crusts a little bit too firm.
- In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and egg yolks, then gradually whisk in the half and half. Put the saucepan over medium heat and whisk until it thickens and boils. Whisk as it boils for 1 minute, then remove from heat and whisk in the butter until it melts. Stir in the extracts and coconut. Let cool slightly, then divide among five or six shells (I only used five, but you could stretch to six). Chill until cold.
- Prepare topping. Beat cream until soft peaks start to form, then add sugar and vanilla and keep beating just until stiff. Pipe big gobs of whipped cream over each pie.
- Toast the coconut at 350 for about 5 minutes or just until edges start to brown. Stir it around and let cool. Sprinkle over pies.