For the Coconut Crust:
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick COLD unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 tsp. salt
3-5 Tb. ice cold coconut rum
For the Coconut Cream Pie:
5.1 oz. box instant vanilla pudding
15 oz. can cream of coconut
1/2 cup coconut milk (or cow’s milk)
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tb. sugar
1 cup toasted coconut
For the Crust: Cut the butter into small cubes and place in the freezer to make sure it’s very cold. Place 1/3 cup shredded coconut in the food processor. Pulse to finely chop. Then add the flour and salt and pulse again. Pour a couple ounces of coconut rum over ice to chill. Then add the cold butter to the flour mixture and pulse until it’s finely chopped and mixed into the flour. It should resemble oatmeal or little pellets. One tablespoon at a time, pulse in the chilled coconut rum (not the ice cubes) until it clumps together. It should be firm, not sticky. It usually takes 4 tablespoons. Dump the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a disk. Wrap and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Once chilled, roll the dough out on a floured work surface, into a 14 inch circle. Hold one side of the pie crust over the rolling pin and carefully roll it over the top of the rolling pin to transfer it to the pie pan. Don’t stretch the pie crust, but gently move it into the center of the pie pan. Turn the edges underneath and crimp the edges to seal. You can do this with a fork or with your fingers. Place a large piece of foil over the pie crust and gently shape it over the dough. Fill the foil with ceramic pie weights, or dried beans. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Then carefully remove the foil and weights. Then bake again for 10 minutes. Cool completely before filling.
Spread the coconut out onto a baking sheet. Toast for 3-5 minutes, until just golden. Then remove and cool. DO NOT take your eyes off the coconut while it’s in the oven. It can turn black in a second!
For the Filling:
Place the instant pudding mix in a large glass jar or plastic air-tight container. Add the cream of coconut and milk. Cover tightly and shake for 1-2 minutes until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Using an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream with 1 tsp. vanilla and 3 Tb. sugar. Transfer to another bowl, cover and refrigerate. Then beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Slowly, beat in the pudding mixture. Add a little at a time and scrape the bowl regularly, to ensure there are no clumps. Finally fold in HALF the whipped cream. Carefully mix until smooth.
Scoop the filling into the cooled pie crust. Top with the remaining whipped cream and sprinkle generously with toasted coconut. Chill for at least 4 hours but chilling it overnight is even better.