Momofuku’s Christina Tosi‘s Cereal Milk creations are legendary. It’s to the point where they sell the prepared Cereal Milk in pint bottles so you can feed that itch on the go. As I was drinking the remaining milk from a bowl of cornflakes I wondered. Why not Cereal Milk Pie? And why not add some coconut into the mix. I’ve always found traditional coconut cream pies kind of frustrating. You either get the flavor by adding “flavor”, that’s a no for me, or you add flaky coconut to the creamy filling, which is kind of a textural oxymoron and not always pleasant for some people. Or you do what I usually do and use a healthy portion of either coconut milk or coconut milk powder along with the milk. It’s delicious but the texture changes and is a little more viscous than creamy. So I looked up Christina’s recipe. She calls for toasting the cornflakes before soaking to increase caramelization. I figured that could work for the coconut too, so I lightly toasted some coconut. Good Pie.
- 100 gms unsweetened flaked coconut
- 100 gms cornflakes
- 1 qt whole milk after soaking yields approx 2 1/2 cups Cereal Milk
- 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 1/2 cups cereal milk see recipe above
- 1/2 cup half-half or coconut milk your choice
- 1 pint heavy or whipping cream
- 2 tbsp sugar optional
- 1 baked pie shell crumb, traditional, or coconut
Assembling the Pie
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast cornflakes in oven just until you see the color deepen and start to smell the toasting aroma. Remove from heat and set aside to cool
- Toast coconut flakes in oven briefly. Let your nose be your guide. If you want a toasty coconut flavor go ahead and toast until light brown. Remove pan from heat and set coconut aside to cool. Separate out about 10 gms of the toastiest flakes to use as garnish.
- After twenty minutes, give the mixture another good stir. Using a fine strainer, pour the milk into a bowl. You may use the back of a ladle to push on the cornflake-coconut mixture to get more milk through the strainer but don't push any of the "mush" through. You should have approximately 2 1/2 cups of "cereal milk". If you have less then use additional milk or coconut milk to made up the difference.
- Now you're ready to make the filling.
- Pour the prepared "cereal milk" along with the additional 1/2 cup milk or coconut milk into a blender along with the egg yolk and sugar. Cover and blend well.
- Add the cornstarch, and salt. Cover and again, blend well.
- Pour filling mixture into a heavy pot. I like using my Le Creuset because I find the enameled surface keeps the mixture from sticking. Bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring constantly with a silicon spatula. Allow the spatula to roam over the bottom of the pot to prevent sticking.
- As the mixture begins to thicken switch to a whisk. Let the mixture come to a full boil and adjust the heat so it continues to simmer for about 2 minutes. This will cook the starch enough to get rid of that pasty flavor.
- Turn off the heat and let the mixture simmer down.
- Pour the slightly cooled filling into the prepared pie shell. If you prefer (in an attempt to keep your crust crispy) you may pour the filling into a container and refrigerate it, pouring it into the pie shell at the last minute.
- Cool pie completely in refrigerator.
- Beat cream with or without sugar until barely stiff. Slather it over the cooled pie filling with abandon making swirls to your hearts content. Or you can use a piping bag with your favorite tip to decorate the top of the pie. Garnish the pie with the reserved toasted coconut flakes or with the shaved, salted and toasted coconut you can get at Trader Joe's. Refrigerate until ready to serve.