Gluten Free Coconut Pie Recipe
The countdown to Thanksgiving begins!
Thanksgiving is a very special holiday in our family, we love it! It’s a day devoted to family, friends, gratitude, sharing, and food! And seriously, what is there not to love about that?
As much as I love the preparing and presenting of a Thanksgiving feast, there is one little thing that gets to me every year; my family expects – demands actually – that I prepare the exact same meal year after year. As much as I might want to spread my creative wings and come up with a Tex-Mex or Tuscan inspired Thanksgiving menu, my family just won’t hear of it.
The Thanksgiving menu is serious business around here! Of course I have learned to use this to my advantage, one year when the boys were doing their best to get out of their chores; I threatened to do our entire Thanksgiving sushi style. Let’s just say that the rain gutters got cleaned in record time!
While the basic dinner menu is set in stone, there is one area where I can work in a little creativity – the desserts! As long as I have pumpkin and pecan pie, I can add anything I want with no complaints. As a result, our dessert table literally groans with the sheer weight of delightful confections.
Set among piles of clementines, pomegranates and nuts (which no one ever eats but it looks nice!) is a flourless chocolate cake with raspberry coulis and whipped cream, a sweet potato pie that brings back childhood memories for the hubby, truffles for the extreme chocolate lovers, Pignoli cookies for those who “couldn’t possibly eat another bite”, decorated sugar cookies for the kids, an apple tart for the daughter in law, and, well, you get the idea.
This year I am adding in another pie alternative for the coconut lovers in the family. It also has the advantage of being refined sugar free so the littlest g-kid will be allowed to indulge with the rest of us. In the case of this Gluten Free Coconut Pie recipe, the fact that it is dairy and refined sugar free offers more benefit than just being a healthier option – the use of coconut milk and coconut palm sugar add to the overall “coconutiness” of the dessert – sure to be an asset for those who are just cuckoo for coconuts!
Who knows, maybe this will become a new tradition in our family.
Recipe Notes: I use full fat coconut milk in this recipe, the thicker the better! For that reason I prefer Thai Kitchen organic, the boxed coconut beverages will not work the same. In place of sugar I use Wholesome Sweeteners coconut palm sugar – the ideal un-refined sweetener for this recipe. I like to blind bake a traditional pie crust for this recipe (see this recipe for pie crust) but if you want to make your life even easier, just make a gluten-free cookie or graham style crust. The rum in this recipe is optional but I feel it gave it more holiday flair as well as added to the depth of flavor.
- ½ cup coconut flakes
- 3 cups full fat coconut milk
- 5 tablespoons cornstarch
- 6 large egg yolks
- ½ cup coconut palm sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons light or dark rum optional
- 1 blind baked 9 inch pie crust or cookie pie crust – completely cooled
Toast the coconut flakes in a dry skillet, stirring frequently, until browned and fragrant, 6 -7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Mix ½ cup of the coconut milk with the cornstarch. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks.
In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining coconut milk with the coconut sugar and salt. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat until it just comes to a boil. Gradually pour about ½ cup of the heated coconut milk mixture into the egg yolks and whisk well. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the coconut milk and add the cornstarch mixture. Bring the mixture back up to a gentle boil, whisking constantly. Once the mixture starts to boil, cook for 1 – 2 more minutes or until the mixture is the consistency of pudding. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and rum. Pour the mixture into the cooled pie crust and lay a piece of plastic wrap over the pie, pressing the plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the filling to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until the filling is completely cooled and set, about 2 hours. Remove the plastic wrap and sprinkle the top of the pie with the toasted coconut flakes.
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