Thursday, July 30, 2009

Lawry's Coconut Banana Cream Pie

coconut Heads up coconut lovers, this pie is amazing, totally decadent, and the coconut crust is absolutely awesome.  The crust takes it from ordinary to sublime.

Back in August of 2002, I emailed the L.A. Food Times regarding a recipe that I had gotten from their S.O.S. site and lost.  We made it several times and it was one of those special to-die-for recipes, so I was not a happy camper when I misplaced the recipe.

After writing to them, they reposted the recipe for me in their food column, I came across it again today and wanted to put it on Jan CAN Cook before I lost it again.  If you want a truly wonderful dessert, forget about the calories and make this.  It’s really special.

~ jan

DEAR SOS: About five or six years ago you printed a recipe for Lawry's Coconut Pie. It had a coconut crust and was to die for.


DEAR JAN: This is a great pie for those who fail at making pie crusts. This crust is really simple, consisting of melted butter and coconut pressed into a pie plate.

Lawry's Coconut Banana Cream Pie

Active Work Time: 20 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes plus 2 hours chilling


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, plus more for pie plate
3 cups sweetened flake coconut

Lightly butter a 9-inch pie plate and set aside.

Melt the 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat and brown the coconut flakes, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. They should be golden brown. Press the coconut firmly and evenly in the pan to form a shell. Chill the crust 30 minutes before filling.


4 egg yolks

3/4 cup sugar, divided

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup flour

3 cups half-and-half, divided

Yellow food coloring

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 bananas

1 cup whipping cream

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Combine the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch, salt and flour in a small bowl. Gradually add 1 cup of the half-and-half.

Combine the remaining 2 cups half-and-half and 1/2 cup of the sugar in a 3-quart saucepan and bring just to boil over medium heat. Add the egg mixture and cook and stir until the mixture returns to a boil and thickens, about 1 minute.

Remove from the heat. Stir in 2 drops of food coloring and the vanilla. Cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool.

Slice the bananas into the pie shell. Pour the filling into the shell.

Whip the cream with the powdered sugar until stiff. Spoon in dollops or pipe with a pastry bag around the edge of the pie. Chill 2 hours before slicing.

6 to 8 servings. Each of 8 servings: 563 calories; 427 mg sodium; 182 mg cholesterol; 39 grams fat; 26 grams saturated fat; 50 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 1.62 grams fiber.

Update:  So many of you have found your way to this recipe via Pinterest, I appreciate all of the Pins, and hope you all enjoy this incredible pie.  I've received a few emails from people saying it was hard to cut through the crust, the only thing I can think of is that perhaps you are pressing the coconut into the pie pan, too firmly.  The majority of people seem to have no trouble with this, so I hope bit of information helps others who are going to bake this wonderful pie.  The response to it has been so positive, this is truly a one of a kind recipe.

Also, if you would like to see more of my recipes, just go to the main area of Jan CAN Cook, here's a quick click for you, you might also want to go to my Tried' 'N True Hall of Fame, there are some really good recipes in that area.


I also blog daily at Jan's Daily Dish, and this summer I built a knock-off Pottery Barn Bulletin Board, which turned out so well, that I want people to know about it in case they want to try it.  It hasn't had a lot of interest yet on Pinterest, but if you like it, would you please take a minute and pin it.   I think a lot of people would enjoy making this at a fraction of the cost of the Pottery Barn ones.  I give detailed instructions and pictures of how to make this, it's a great family project, and the results are spectacular, use your imagination, any type of fabric can be used, I'm really happy with the way this turned out.

Thanks for visiting my site, enjoy that pie, and if you like my bulletin board, please pin it.  ~ Jan


watergirl said...


How much does the coconut come through in this? If I want to feature the coconut, does enough of its flavor come through, or does the filling overpower it? If I substituted coconut extract in place of the vanilla, would it throw the flavors/balance off?

Blah, blah, blah, I open my mouth and say stupid things, I've always been this way... said...

watergirl, you definitely taste the coconut, but it doesn't overpower, the blend of coconut and banas and vanilla is wonderful. i wouldn't substitute for the vanilla, i would make it just the way it is. it's a wonderful recipe, best chilled and eaten the same day as all cream pies are.

let me k now how you like it and happy holidays. xo jan

Lori said...

I'm making this for Thanksgiving! Thanks for sharing!

Andrea said...

I wish I had a piece of this right now.

Lynda said...

This pie looks delicious; it would make a fantastic bedtime snack about now!

Amy said...

Be still my heart♥ coming your way via pinterest.

Jacqueline said...

Drooling over this on Pinterest! Wow, looks fantastic.

Lisa said...

Ok, hubby loves Coconut Cream pie! I decided to make it for the first time tonight for Valentines day. I searched recipes ALL day long to find "the one". I came across this one & decided on it, mainly because the crust sounded so yummy & different. Well, I have to say this pie was one of my favorite pies. The hubby said it was the best pie he EVER ate! I sub. 1 can of coconut milk (2 c.)& 1 c. whole milk for the 1/2 & 1/2 & didn't add the bananas, just because I only had one left & wanted it on my cereal in the morning. :) Thanks for sharing this recipe. It scored big points tonight!!

Serenity Rachel said...

The picture looks like it has coconut on top of the whipped cream as well but the recipe doesn't mention this. When you make it, how much do you sprinkle on top and is it in addition to the amount needed for the rest of the recipe? I LOVE coconut cream pie and banana cream pie so I KNOW this will be amazing.

Blah, blah, blah, I open my mouth and say stupid things, I've always been this way... said...

Serenity, Rachel -

I always add coconut to the top, even when it's not called for, just sprinkle a handful on top, probably 1/3 of a cup. This is a wonderful recipe. and I have another great one, I'm getting ready to publish, it's called Mrs. Hullings Banana Coconut Cream Pie. This is in my Mother's handwriting, so you have to decipher it, I made this for a scrapbook a few years ago. This recipe is absolutely the best Banana Coconut Cream Pie I've ever had, even better than Lawry's, if that's possible.
~ jan

Emily said...

I want to incorporate caramel into this. Do you think a caramel drizzel over the bananas (then cooled) would be ok?

Blah, blah, blah, I open my mouth and say stupid things, I've always been this way... said...

Emily, I think caramel drizzled on it would be off the chart delicious! Great idea...

booksaremyhabit said...

this looks so good..quick question about the topping, it looks like there is whip cream over the entire pie but the recipe says "Spoon in dollops or pipe with a pastry bag around the edge of the pie."
just the edges?

booksaremyhabit said...

Hi, I was wondering about the topping, it looks like the entire pie is covered but the recipe says "dollops around the edges"?

Blah, blah, blah, I open my mouth and say stupid things, I've always been this way... said...

I like to put whipped cream over the entire pie. This is an amazing recipe, I think you will be well pleased with it if you make it.

booksaremyhabit said...

Thanks for the quick response! I'm going to make this for my family for Easter :)
Is there a way to print it without all the other stuff, like the reviews etc?

booksaremyhabit said...

Thanks for the quick reply, is there a way to print this out without all the reviews, just the recipe?

Blah, blah, blah, I open my mouth and say stupid things, I've always been this way... said...

You can either highlight the text you want, copy and paste it into notepad and print it, or you can highlight the text you want, and from printer selections, choose SELECTION and it should print just what you need.

Unknown said...

This looks really good

jenniferw said...

I made this for my husband, and it was fabulous! Will make again. Thanks for sharing!

Kmaer25 said...

My filling didn't set. I followed the ingredients exactly. I put the pie in the fridge overnight and cut out a slice in the morning and it was practically pudding. What could I have done wrong?

Blah, blah, blah, I open my mouth and say stupid things, I've always been this way... said...

Kmaer 25, I don't understand why this didn't set up for you, I've never had a problem with it, and have gotten a lot of emails from people who loved it.

Could you have forgotten the cornstarch, or not used enough? Maybe you didn't bring it back to a boil and let it thicken.

It's such a wonderful recipe, and I know how disappointing it is when something doesn't turn out. Don't give up on it, it's so good, I'm confident you will be able to make it.

~ jan

Dallas Olvera said...

How bout some toasted coconut on top? This looks like a keeper of a recipe!

redhed said...

This looks like a good one to convert to low carb!!

Kaye Harkness said...

Wonderful pie, but my crust was extremely hard to cut through. Anyone else have this problem?

Christie Smith said...

Ok so love live coconut. Hate bananas and i need this pie. Suggestion?

Renahda Z said...

pretty darn good pie.

Polly & Matt McDonald said...

Okay, learn from my mistakes:

Do not overcook the coconut with the butter mixture. LIGHT golden brown is the color you want. Not medium golden brown. Look at the photo--it's very light. You still want some give to the coconut. Use as fresh a bag of sweet coconut you can get. The second thing is to make sure you let the filling come to a boil. It will absolutely not set up unless you bring it to a boil.
If you are not going to eat it that day, do not make the whipped cream for the top. Just put a piece of cling wrap over the pie and make the whipped cream minutes before serving. Make sure the whipped cream is stiff enough. This is a delicious pie! I topped my whipped cream with fresh coconut *and* some toasted. The best coconut cream pie I have ever had! Thank you Jan for this recipe!

Sue said...

OMG, this is my favorite pie!
can't wait to make it. Thank you for sharing.

Denise Heyer said...

I made this today for my dad's 86th birthday. It was so delicious. Thanks for sharing!

Vanessa Ray said...

I just made this pie using Gluten Free flour as a substitue! I used an all purpose GF flour blend with Xantham Gum mixed in. It worked!!

You should mention this on your blog! GF pies with simple crusts are hard to come by!

Deb said...

I just made this pie but I substituted the flour with Tapioca flour since I have Celiac disease. It is delicious. I agree with Vanessa Ray ...Gluten free pies with easily prepared crusts are hard to come by

april kubiak said...

This pie is awesome!! would also be good with pineapple. Adding cocoa for a chocolate and banana was great to.

Winged Heart Art said...

Made this with a sweet crust instead of coconut and with bananas layered differently. Basically a banana cream pie and it was/is so good!!!!! Made it for my mom's birthday. Great recipe....thank you for sharing and found it via pinterest!

Editago said...

Hi. What is half-and-half?

Moi ~ My family says I have no filter. I open my mouth and say stupid things, I've always been this way... said...

Half milk, half cream, it's in the dairy case

Alison said...


I just wanted to double check that the eggs don't need to be tempered? This pie looks so good. I can't wait to make it! Thanks

~ Jan ~ said...

It's a great pie and you don't have to temper the eggs.

Monique said...

Hi I've made this in pie form and it's amazing! I'm hosting an event for 30 people and wondering if I double it and put in an 9x15 pan would it work?


~ Jan ~ said...

I never recommend anyone altering a recipe for an event without trying it at home first. I don't know how that would work for you, as I've never done it before. Sorry I can't be of more help, I know it would be a hassle to make and transport several pies. If you do it successfully, let us know.