Allergy friendly coconut cream pie – Tender, gluten free pie crust, sugar free coconut custard, topped with a billowing cloud of whipped cream and unsweetened coconut. It’s all sprinkled with even more toasted, unsweetened coconut. Even people without food allergies will love this pie!
After nailing down a really great gluten free pie crust, I may or may not have wanted to see how far I could push the baking envelope by omitting key ingredients. I’m known to be a little sassy in the kitchen at times–what’s the worst that can happen?! At worst, I’m out some ingredients and have a big mess to clean up. At best, I’ve made something awesome and have a big mess to clean up.
I developed this allergy friendly coconut cream pie recipe for my dad.
He has an immense affinity for coconut cream pie. However, as a diabetic, coconut cream pie shouldn’t be part of Dad’s diet. My dad is very careful about monitoring his carb intake and balancing his diet. He eats more vegetables in a day than most people eat in a month! On my dad’s birthday, we usually celebrate with Bonus Mom’s incredible coconut cream pie. This year, Dad and Bonus Mom were traveling north to visit us, so I was on Pie Duty. Gee…if only I liked to bake cream pies. Kidding!
Dad has been working very hard over the past year, maintaining a daily exercise routine – rain, shine, or snow. He’s quite fit now, and has lost a considerable amount of weight as a bonus. I knew that one slice of pie wasn’t going to undo all of that hard work, but I wanted to bake a pie that was a little kinder to his blood sugar levels.
That’s what inspired me to make him an allergy friendly coconut cream pie.
My dad proclaimed that I “…could make this pie again!” and “I’d eat this on it’s own merit, and not just because it’s sugar free.” Trust me, Friends. That’s high praise in Dad-speak!
I went with a gluten free crust to reduce the most obvious source of carbohydrates. A few of my gluten free/low-carb friends suggested a Stevia (plant based) sweetened pastry cream. It’s similar in taste and texture to a fully sugared pastry cream. My expert pie baking friends at Pie Nation haven’t developed sugar free pastry cream, but I was warned that Stevia can be bitter when heated, so I should tread carefully. Since I used so little Stevia in these recipes, I didn’t notice any bitterness at all.
Are you feeling a little adventurous, Friends?
Let’s bake an allergy friendly coconut cream pie!
Start by blind baking the gluten free pie crust. I think the only thing worthy of noting here is that I did not “dock” the bottom of the crust before baking it, as I would have a traditional pie crust. I didn’t have any issues with the crust puffing up in weird places like a traditional pie crust.
The sugar free pastry cream is made much like it’s fully sugared cousin, which I’ve explained in detail in the recipe section of this post.
For visual step-by-step instructions for making pastry cream, please refer to this post. Just know that at some point the pastry cream will look curdled in appearance. Don’t worry! It’ll be fine! Just keep stirring and it should come back together again.
Spoon the pastry cream into a tempered glass bowl that is resting in a larger tempered glass bowl of ice. Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on to the surface of the custard before placing it all in the refrigerator to cool completely.
While waiting for the pastry cream to cool, go ahead and whip the cream with just a sprinkle of Stevia. Once the pastry cream has cooled, give it a good whisk to smooth it out, and then fold a cup of the whipped cream into the pastry cream.
After the whipped cream has been incorporated, fold in a good amount of unsweetened coconut flakes. I realize that most packaged coconut shreds are sweetened, but I was able to find this unsweetened variety in the baking aisle of my small town grocery store. If you can’t get unsweetened coconut from your usual grocer, try a food co-op or bulk food store.
Spoon the coconut cream into to cooled pie shell, leveling it to the perimeter of the pie shell.
Dollop the remaining whipped cream over top of the filling to seal the pie, ensuring that the pastry cream is completely covered. Sprinkle a little toasted unsweetened coconut over the whipped cream before popping the entire allergy friendly coconut cream pie in the the refrigerator for two to three hours to set.
Share a fat slice of this allergy friendly coconut cream pie with your loved ones. They’ll love you for it!
If you make this allergy friendly coconut cream pie, please leave a comment to let me know what you think of it!