This dessert has all of the best elements of a classic diner coconut cream pie, combined with the tang of cream cheese and the frosty texture of ice cream. You can dress it up or down by adding additional layers (a little chocolate ganache or lime curd never hurt anybody), making the crust yourself using your favorite cookies, or even adding zest or a tablespoon of booze, but ultimately, this dessert is for the coconut-loving purist, and it’s meant to get you to a tropical paradise fast.
6 mini pies or 1 9-inch pie
- Begin by preparing your pie shells. Line small shells with about 1 teaspoon of melted white chocolate and use a brush or the back of a spoon to paint the white chocolate up along the sides of the shell (If using a large pie crust, line with the full amount of white chocolate). Set aside in the fridge or freezer to firm up while you prepare your other ingredients.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Stop and scrape the mixer a few times to ensure it's not just paddling against the side of the bowl or around the beater. Once it's a smooth consistency but still nice and cold, switch to the whisk attachment and, on a medium-low speed, begin adding heavy cream a little bit at a time, stopping the mixer and scraping as you go to ensure the cream cheese and whipped cream are combining smoothly. If you have some chunks, don't worry, just beat it a little more. (This can also be done with a hand beater or by hand-it'll just take some more elbow grease).
- Once all your heavy cream has been added, bump your mixer up to a medium speed, and combine until stiff and fluffy. Turn your mixer to medium-low, and then stream in your sweetened condensed milk. Once fully combined, bump your mixer back up to medium and bring to nice billowy peaks, about 1-2 minutes more.
- Remove your bowl from the mixer, and fold in the salt and the grated fresh coconut. Taste and add a little more salt if needed, a pinch at a time-you want it to be pretty powerful because, when it freezes, the flavors will be less pronounced.
- Remove your prepared pie shells from the cold and dollop a heaping half cup of your coconut filling into each shell, making billowy wisps as you go. Return filled mini pies to the tray, drape with a light layer of plastic wrap, and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.
- When ready to serve, remove pies from the freezer, and use your palm to pat the entire surface with toasted coconut. If not serving immediately, wrap pies individually with plastic to preserve, reserving toasted coconut to top just before serving.