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Coconut-Lemon Cream Pie With a Graham Cracker Crust Recipe

Ryan Thomas is a university student who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.


There are few things more refreshing than a pie like this. With luscious cream-based filling that's smooth, soft, and melts on your tongue like a snowflake, this dessert belies its heaviness and decadence—and blesses your mouth with a hint of coconut and a rush of lemon. This pie's moonlit-white filling is encased in a hard graham-cracker crust that complements its elegance and beauty. It's almost as much of a pleasure to look at as it is to enjoy. Fresh from the refrigerator, chilled, and ready to be sliced, it makes for a delectable treat.

As a side note, this pie does not need any additions. Even whipped cream may be excessive. Some colorful fruit would certainly look quite gorgeous on it as decorations. Strawberries, blackberries, maybe some mint—all are good options for garnish.

Note: This recipe is adapted from Southern Pies: A Gracious Plenty of Pie Recipes, From Lemon Chess to Chocolate Pecan by Nancie McDermott.


  • 1 1/2 cups graham crackers, (equivalent to 9-10 graham crackers) (optional with store bought crust)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, (optional with store bought crust)
  • 2 cups sugar, (1/3 cup optional with store bought crust)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, (optional with store bought crust)
  • 1 lemon zest of
  • 3 lemons juice of
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin, (1 packet)
  • 1 cup shredded, sweetened, coconut
  • 3 cups heavy cream


  1. You can buy a pre-baked graham cracker crust of 10 inches. Otherwise, to prepare it at home, combine together 6 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 1/2 cups very finely ground graham crackers, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a bowl until mixed together. Then shape into the pie dish, molding it to the appropriate shape. Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Be attentive to the butter quantity as this can cause the crust to melt and shrink down. Afterward, allow it to cool while preparing the rest of the pie.
  2. Prepare a double boiler with several inches of water in the bottom boiler. Combine together 1 cups of sugar, with 1 cup of cream, 4 egg yolks, and the lemon zest in the top saucepan. Whisk well and keep whisking intermittently for 5 minutes over medium-high heat, then add in the gelatin. Keep whisking until the water boils, turn off the flame, then leave the bowl over the hot water for several minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the remaining 2 cups heavy cream until it is very thick. Then add in the lemon juice, vanilla, and remaining sugar (2/3 cup), mix well, and then the 1 cup of shredded coconut. Pour the mixture into the gelatin substance and beat the two together until they are smoothly combined: it should be thick, but at this stage not yet truly capable of holding its form.
  4. Pour the pie filling into the pie, and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours. It will harden so that it will approach something akin to key lime pie filling, smooth and neither solid nor liquid. Be attentive that this cold is required for it to retain its form, and if removed from the refrigerate it will become more liquid.

© 2018 Ryan Thomas


Ryan Thomas (author) from Eureka, California on July 10, 2018:

I'm glad to hear that they're appreciated so much and that the recipes are enjoyed and viewed as well organized! I can't take full credit for quite a few of mine since I like to modify recipes (such as this one including at least coconut and vanilla, plus some hefty portion changes, from my recollection of its differences compared to another recipe I modified), but I certainly appreciate that the results are enjoyed.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 08, 2018:

Your recipes always sound delicious. This one is no exception. Lemon and cream is a lovely combination.

Nancy Hinchliff from Essex Junction, Vermont on July 08, 2018:

I forgot to add in my earlier comment, I love the picture of the kitchen counter with ingredients, etc on it. What a perfect choice for this recipe.

Nancy Hinchliff on July 08, 2018:

Very well organized and presented. The pie sounds so good, I have to try it. Lemon and Coconut are to of my favorite flavors.

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