The Sweetest Thing: Coconut Creme Pie

by John Rivers, Owner of 4 Rivers Smokehouse
1 (10-inch) baked pie shell
2½ c. shredded coconut,
plus 4 tablespoons for garnish
2 c. half-and-half
1¼ c. sugar, divided
3 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
2 c. heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spread coconut on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring once or twice, until golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
3. Increase oven temperature to 375°F. Spread 2½ cups toasted coconut in bottom of baked pie shell and press down gently until coconut slightly sticks to the shell. This will help prevent all of the coconut from floating to the top of the pie. Place pie shell on a baking sheet and set aside.
4. Whisk together half-and-half, 1 cup sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla; pour over coconut.
5. Bake about 45 minutes, or until golden and puffy with a firm center. Cool completely before topping.
6. For topping, combine heavy cream, remaining sugar, and remaining vanilla; whip until stiff peaks form. Spread evenly over pie. Garnish with remaining coconut and chill until ready to serve.
Makes a 10-inch pie.