One prepared 9-inch pie dough
3 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut, plus 1/4 cup, toasted
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
1⁄3 cup cornstarch
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp butter
1 cup whipped cream
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. On a lightly dusted work surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1⁄8 inch and transfer it to a pie pan. Line the pie shell with parchment paper and fill with dry beans or pie weights. Blind bake the pie shell until very light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove the beans and parchment paper and continue to bake to a golden brown, about 5 minutes more. Cool the pie shell completely.
3. Combine 2 1/4 cups of the milk with the coconut and 3/4 cup of the sugar in a saucepan. Add the vanilla bean seeds and pod. Bring the mixture to a boil, and stir to dissolve the sugar.
4. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar with the cornstarch, and stir together with a whisk. Add the remaining 3/4 cup milk, the eggs, and egg yolks and whisk to blend.
5. Temper the egg mixture by gradually adding one-third of the hot milk mixture, whisking constantly. Return the tempered egg mixture to the remaining milk mixture in the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, just until it reaches a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes more.
6. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter. Strain the filling through a fine-mesh sieve.
7. Pour the hot filling into the pre-baked pie shell. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Cool to room temperature.
8. Refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, spread or pipe whipped cream onto the pie.
Formulation courtesy of The Culinary Institute of America