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 together with the milk. It’s delicious but the texture changes and becomes a little more viscous than creamy.
I looked up Christina’s recipe for Cereal Milk. 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.
Cereal Milk Cream Pie with Coconut
Cream Pie made with Milk-flavored with toasted cornflakes and coconut
- 100gms – unsweetened flaked coconut
- 100gms – cornflakes
- 1qt – whole milk, yields approx. 2 1/2 cups Cereal Milk after soaking
- 1/4 cup – brown sugar, firmly packed
- 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)
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.
When cornflakes and coconut are room temperature pour them into a large pitcher. Cover with the quart of milk. Stir well, cover with plastic wrap and leave to soak at room temperature for 20 minutes.
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 that 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.