Happy Pi Day!! Definitely in the top 5 of every nerd’s favorite holidays. Because I’m a super nerd, I decided to throw in an extra post this week to celebrate. I’m not normally a pie person (something about gelatinous fruit goo just doesn’t sit right with me!), but I have been known to go crazy for a good coconut cream pie. That’s why when I heard about Crazy for Crust’s Pi Day Pie Party, I couldn’t resist to make a vegan (though, still not all the healthy) version.
Every coconut cream pie recipe I saw had either eggs (not vegan) or tofu. Coconut is already pretty fatty on its own, I saw no reason to be throwing in eggs and racking up more fat and calories. While I don’t mind tofu in my desserts, it’s not something I like to eat at every meal – and trust me, you’re going to want a slice of this pie with every meal! I toasted my coconut beforehand, which adds a nice caramel flavor. Toasting also adds another layer of texture, but if you don’t eat it the same day, you’ll have the texture of a normal coconut cream pie (but still the caramel flavor!). If you opt out of toasting your coconut, your pie will be pure white which is pretty fancy, too.
Because I’m not normally a pie person, I’m not really a crust person either. The crust I made adds a nice sweet, graham crackery goodness but not much else. If you’re looking for a crunchy crust, I’d recommend adding nuts or throwing it into the oven for a few minutes, buying a premade crust, or finding a recipe elsewhere. But the pie is so tasty, you won’t even mind the crust just hanging out in the background.
2 c unsweetened almond milk (other milks will work)
1 tsp vanilla
2 14 oz cans coconut milk (full fat and chilled. Do not shake. See note)
1 c graham cracker crumbs (I used GF and they worked great)
3 – 4 tbsp agave or honey
1 tbsp ground flax meal
Whipped cream (homemade or store bought)
Toast all of the coconut in a 350ºF oven, stirring frequently, for about 7 – 10 minutes. If you don’t want toasted coconut in your pie, toast just ½ c for topping.
In a medium sized sauce pan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add the almond milk and vanilla, whisking to avoid any lumps. Begin to heat over medium high, but don’t allow to boil.
Open the cans of coconut milk. The coconut cream should have solidified – scoop it out and add to the mixture on the stove. Discard the liquid or save for another use. It’s okay if a small amount of liquid is transferred with the solids.
Continue to heat and whisk frequently until thickened to a gravy-like consistency. Stir in approximately 2 c of the coconut.
Meanwhile, mix together the graham crackers, agave, and flax meal. Press into a standard pie pan, lightly spritzed with nonstick spray.
Pour the coconut mixture over the crust. Allow to set for at least 3 – 4 hours in the refrigerator (because it’s winter, mine set just fine on the counter).
Once set, top with whipped cream and toasted coconut.
I couldn’t find unsweetened coconut anywhere. If you can, by all means use that! Just increase the sugar in small increments and taste frequently. Chill the cans of coconut milk overnight in the fridge or for 30 – 60 minutes in the freezer and the cream will solidify. My pantry is about 50 – 60 degrees, and the cream is always solidified. If you open the can and it hasn’t solidified yet, go ahead and put it back in the fridge/freezer. Be careful not to shake the can or you’ll suspend the solids in the liquid