To make this American classic, simply fold shredded sweetened coconut into American-style pudding and spread the pudding in a prebaked pie shell. To give it an intense coconut flavor, use coconut milk to make the pudding—not the sweetened coconut cream used to make piña coladas, but the unsweetened kind, usually from Thailand.
Use a 9- to 10-inch pie pan. Roll the dough into a round about two inches larger than the pie pan. Line the pie pan with the dough, fold under the edges to make it a double thickness, and make a fluted edge. Prebake the pie shell. Set the oven to 350°F.
In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer with the vanilla. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, the ½cup sugar, and the cornstarch until smooth. Pour half of the milk into the egg mixture, stir to combine, and pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk. Stir the mixture with a whisk over the heat until it bubbles and thickens. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to cool to room temperature.
Fold three-fourths of the coconut into the pudding and spread this mixture in the pie shell. Chill for at least 1 hour.
Combine the heavy cream with the 2tablespoons sugar and beat it to stiff peaks. Spread the whipped cream over the pudding mixture, doming the cream in the center, and sprinkle the remaining coconut over it.
Making a Coconut Cream Pie
Fold three-fourths of the coconut into the custard filling.
Spread the filling in the prebaked pie shell.
Cover the top of the pie with a layer of sweetened whipped cream.
Rotate the pie, with the spatula held at an angle, as you apply the whipped cream so the pie is domed in the middle.
Sprinkle the top of the pie with the remaining coconut.