I will not apologize for deconstructing this classic Coconut Cream Pie recipe because the result was equally creamy and delightful. I took layers and layers of high-fat ingredients and brought them down to the bare essentials.
I took the pastry out of the crust equation. I didn’t use either the traditional graham crackers or any wafer or cookies for the crust. Instead I grabbed some granola bars (or call it by its many other names: breakfast bars, energy bars, diet bars, etc.) and microwaved them to turn crumbly. Molding the crumbled granola into the pie pan wasn’t too challenging, they formed pretty easy.
I didn’t stop on the crust! I also modified the custard. Instead of using heavy cream and sometimes gelatin (plus egg yolks of course) I used coconut milk to replace heavy cream, which is low-fat and plant-based (read: easily digestible). For toppings, I used toasted sweet coconut flakes instead of just whipping cream. I also used whipping cream but the low-fat variety and only sparingly.
You would probably ask, why ruin a classic recipe? Well, I’d tell you. At my age, I want to start watching what I eat. I started modifying classic recipes so I don’t deprive myself of the simple pleasures in life, like a delicious dessert. Gone were the days of chowing down heavy, greasy, high-fattening food for me; especially since those type of food already started hitting me back through constant heartburns, bloated feeling, gout, and uncontrollable weight gain.
I thought to myself, I only have one body and no one will take care of it and love it more but ME! So living-to-eat is no longer my way of life but eating-to-live! I hope you join me in this personal crusade.
Thank you for reading and happy cooking!
COCONUT CREAM PIE MAKEOVER
Yield: 6-8 Servings (8-inch Pie Pan)
* Granola bars – 10 bars
* Sugar – ½ cup
* Cornstarch – ¼ cup
* Butter – 3 tbsp. soft, unsalted
* Eggs yolks – 3
* Vanilla – 1 ½ tsp. divided
* Coconut milk – 1 can
* Sweet Coconut Flakes – 1 cup
* Toasted coconut flakes – garnishing
* Low-fat whipping cream – topping, optional
- Microwave granola bars for 10 seconds, they will get crumbly.
- Grease an 8-inch glass or Pyrex pie pan. Lay the crumbled granola bars in the bottom of the pan. Make sure bottom and sides are completely covered.
3. Combine ½ cup sugar and ¼ cup cornstarch in a sauce pan. Set aside.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together coconut milk and egg yolks. Stir well.
5. Gradually add the coconut milk egg mixture (#4) into the sugar mixture (#3).
6. Stir the combined mixture and bring to a boil over medium heat. Whisking constantly.
7. Remove from heat. Add in butter, sweet coconut flakes, and vanilla.
8. Let it rest for 30 minutes.
9. Spoon the custard mixture evenly into the granola bar crust.
10. Cover and chill for 30 minutes or until it sets.
11. Top with whipping cream, if desired.
12. Garnish with toasted coconut flakes.