This was just one of those random things walking through the grocery store... I thought, "Hey, Coconut Cream Pie sounds Heavenly!" So I made one. Here's my recipe. Also--the coconut filling would be great between layers of cake, in a trifle, or just plain for gluten-free coconut pudding.
Coconut Cream Pie
1 (13 oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup *shredded coconut
8 Graham Crackers
5 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1) Mix coconut milk and regular milk together in a saucepan, whisking until smooth. Put over medium-low heat and swirl it occasionally just to warm it gently.
2) In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, corn starch, and salt. Whisk for 2 minutes, or until light yellow and it falls in ribbons from your whisk.
3) While whisking constantly, pour in about 1/2 cup of the warm milk mixture. Whisk for 10 seconds. Pour in a little more milk. Continue until all the milk is mixed in. This is called "tempering," and prevents the eggs from curdling. It will make your filling nice and smooth.
4) Return the whole mix to the saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to steam and thickens. It will truly become noticeably thicker right before it boils--you don't actually want it to boil, though.
5) Once it is thick, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and shredded coconut. Cool in an ice bath or in the refrigerator.
6) Now make the crust: Crush the graham crackers either in a bag or in a food processor until coarse crumbs. Melt the butter and mix in well, along with the spices. Pour crumbs into a pie pan and push into the bottom until it is an even layer that pushes up the sides as well.
7) Pour coconut custard into the pie pan and chill. Top with whipped cream or more shredded coconut, if desired.
*An optional step: toast your shredded coconut before mixing it in. All you have to do is put your coconut in a dry sautee pan and place over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until brown edges start to appear on the coconut. It really brings out the flavor and adds a nice nuttiness.