Why is coconut so polarizing? I’m in for anything coconut. I love baking with coconut oil, making candles with coconut wax, cooking with coconut milk and sprinkling shredded coconut on oats. My pup even has a toy made out of coconut husk that is supposed to help clean his teeth when he chews it. How is it possible for one fruit to be utilized so many ways?
In this recipe we will be using a lot of coconut. The toasted coconut will act as our crust, and the liquid in the coconut custard will be-you guessed it- coconut milk.
For the toasted coconut- if you have sweetened shredded coconut in your pantry, feel free to just toast that and use it. I only keep the unsweetened variety on hand so I just tossed it with some maple syrup and salt for balance and gave it a toast in the oven.
This coconut custard its so rich and velvety. And its dead simple to boot. Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pan with a whisk, turn the heat on and keep whisking until the mixture boils. After the heat is off, I added vanilla extract, but if you really want to get wild, feel free to add almond or coconut extract.
Small jars or ramekins are key here. This dessert is really rich. I just used whatever jars I had laying around but try to keep it to 4-6oz jars. If all you have are larger than that, just leave more space at the top for the meringue.
Speaking of meringue- the main ingredient is aquafaba which is the liquid you would normally drain off and discard from a can of beans. I know that some of you think this is insane right now, but it doesn’t taste like beans once it is whipped up and sweetened.
The starch in the aquafaba allows it to hold onto air and become pretty much exactly like an egg based meringue. Its amazing. The recipe below for the meringue will make a lot. About 3 cups worth which will be too much for the Coconut Cream Pie Cups, but a stand mixer has a hard time whipping up a smaller amount of liquid than 1/2 cup. BUT if you were to make this recipe into a full pie, it would be the perfect amount of meringue and custard. All you would need is a graham cracker crust.
The meringue should be made just before serving or at most 2 hours before serving as it doesn’t hold for too much longer than that. And if you have a kitchen torch this is the perfect time to use it. You can torch this meringue exactly how you would an egg based meringue. If you don’t have a torch, just skip this step.
These cups are full of coconut flavor and a dreamy and silky. The perfect sweet treat for a coconut lover to end a warm summers day.
Gluten Free Coconut Cream Pie Jars
- 1 Can Coconut Milk not the light kind
- 1/2 Cup Plant Milk as always, I used the boxed coconut milk by So Delicious
- 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
- 3 Tbsp Corn Starch
- Pinch of Salt
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- For the Toasty Coconut:
- 1 Cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla
- Pinch of salt
- For the Meringue:
- 1/2 Cup Aquafaba Chilled
- 3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- Preheat oven to 325*
- Combine all ingredients for the toasty coconut in a large bowl and toss well to evenly combine. Spread onto a baking sheet and bake in a 325* oven for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to ensure even browning. Set aside to cool.
- For the coconut custard: In a medium saucepan combine all ingredients except vanilla with a whisk. Cook over medium heat whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. The mixture will start to thicken just before it boils. Let boil still whisking constantly for about 1 minute to ensure all of the starch has been cooked. Transfer to a container and put in the refrigerator to chill.
- Once the custard is chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and give it a good stir with a spoon or spatula to smooth it out. Then gather a 4 to 6 small jars- 4-6oz jars are best for this as this is quite rich- and start layering. Layer 1 heaping tablespoon of toasty coconut and 3 tablespoons- 1/4 cup of the custard, then repeat. These can store just like this in the refrigerator for a couple days.
- Just before serving, make the meringue. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the chilled aquafaba and maple syrup. Turn the mixer on high speed and let it go until your meringue has reached stiff peaks. See picture above for reference. this will take 6-10 minutes. Top each cup with a big dollop of meringue. If you have a kitchen torch, torch the meringue and top with another sprinkle of toasted coconut and serve.
Let me know how this recipe worked for you!