There’s kind of a sad story about these coconut cream pie bars. Sad in reference to my memory, that is. You see, I was planning on sharing these bars with you before Easter. I took the pictures, ate a piece, and stuck the pan back in the fridge. Way back in the fridge. And promptly forgot about them until a week later when I was rifling through the fridge to find homemade whipped cream for our Saturday pancakes. Just so you know, the crust on the coconut cream pie bars gets little soggy after a week in the back of your fridge!
Not only did I forget to share them with you, but I also had a pan of soggy bars in my fridge. What makes it so sad is the fact that I’ve been wanting to have coconut cream pie for a long time and my husband doesn’t like coconut! (Or chocolate, I have no idea how I didn’t realize this before we got married?!) So, coconut desserts are few and far between around here. And my delicious coconut cream pie was now sitting in a soggy mess. So I did what anyone else would do (okay, maybe not) and scooped out the filling and put it on my pancakes. If you don’t like crust, I recommend you make the filling and whipped cream so you can use it on your pancakes!
But back to the recipe. Most recipes that I’ve made use a pudding mix for the filling, so I wanted to finally try and make the filling from scratch. As I was making it, I realized I’ve never made homemade pudding before. I don’t know why I waited so long. Other than the fact that it takes a little bit of time for the pudding to thicken, it really is an easy process. Plus, the flavor is worth it! The pudding is much more rich and velvety than the pudding you can get out of a box. Whether you enjoy it right away or wait until a week later, you won’t be disappointed!
- 1 C all-purpose flour
- ½ C confectioner's sugar
- ¼ C butter, cold and cut into pieces
- 2-3 tbsp water
- 3 C whole milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ¾ C sugar
- ¼ C cornstarch
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 C shredded coconut
- 1 C heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbsp confectioner's sugar
- ¼ C shredded coconut, toasted
- Preheat oven to 375. Line a 9x9 inch baking dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour and confectioner's sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry fork or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water until dough forms. Form into a ball and roll out into a square or press dough into the bottom of the pan.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until thickened. This will take anywhere from 30-35 minutes. If you want a smooth filling, you may want to filter the pudding through a mesh strainer. Stir in vanilla extract and coconut.
- Pour onto cooled crust and spread evenly. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours or until filling firms.
- Once filling is chilled, beat together whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add confectioner's sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
- Spread whipped topping over the top. Sprinkle with toasted coconut right before serving. (If your kitchen is warm, you may want to spread the whipped topping right before serving to keep it stiff.)
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Filling adapted from Allrecipes.