How many bites does it take to get to the crust in a slice of coconut cream pie? My guess is 8 or so, depending on the size of your mouth. I made you 8 bites of coconut cream pie to share with one lucky person.
Remember when I made y’all baklava and I asked you to put the remaining phyllo sheets back in the freezer for another use? Well, here’s the use for it. Sorry for the delay.
You will need 8 sheets of phyllo dough for these cute little tarts made in a standard muffin pan. Each tart consists of a 5″ circle made up of 4 layers of phyllo dough. Be sure to brush butter on the muffin pan before you press in the layers of phyllo. Add a final brushing of melted butter, bake, and viola!–you just made homemade tart shells without a fancy pan.
Two-Bite Coconut Cream Pies
Makes 4 petite pies
8 sheets of phyllo dough, defrosted
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use
1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
3/4 cup milk (I use 1%)
1/3 cup + 6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, divided use
1 large egg yolk
3 drops almond extract
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 and melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a small saucepan. Liberally brush 4 of the muffin cups in a muffin tin with the melted butter.
On a clean counter, unroll the first 4 sheets of phyllo dough and leave them stacked on top of each other. Work quickly, as it dries out fast. Use a 5” circle to cut out 2 circles of dough. Move the 2 circles to two of the cups you brushed with butter in the muffin tin. Press them into place gently down into the cup. Brush with the melted butter again. Repeat the process with the remaining 4 sheets of phyllo. Bake the 4 pie shells for 8 minutes, or until lightly brown. Remove from the muffin tin as soon as they come out of the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, toast the coconut over very low heat in a skillet, stirring constantly. When golden brown, set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Slowly add the milk while whisking. Next, add 1/3 cup of the cream and whisk vigorously to dissolve the sugar and cornstarch. Pour the mixture into a small saucepan and turn the heat to medium-low. Have the egg yolk ready on the side. Cook while stirring constantly until the mixture begins to thicken and coat the back of a spoon. Turn the heat off, then stir in a few teaspoons of the mixture into the egg yolk. Add a few more teaspoons to the egg yolk, then pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan. Turn the heat back on to medium-low and cook while stirring constantly until the mixture starts to bubble. Turn off the heat, stir in the toasted coconut (reserve a few pinches for garnish, if desired), almond extract and the remaining tablespoon of butter. Pour the coconut pudding into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours.
When ready to serve, spoon the coconut pudding into the 4 pie crusts. Beat the remaining 6 tablespoons of heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and beat until slightly firmer peaks form. Dollop each pie with the whipped cream and serve chilled.
Christina Lane is the author of 3 cookbooks all about cooking and baking for two. She has scaled down hundreds of recipes into smaller servings so you can enjoy your favorite dishes without the leftovers! Valentine's Day is her favorite holiday.