This pastry cream is full of coconut flavor and texture without being too sweet. Use it to fill pastry tarts, make a coconut pie or even fill cream puffs.
Reserve the egg whites to make a meringue for topping your tarts or pie.
Beat the egg yolks with a wire whisk until smooth and lighter in color. Set aside.
In a small heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt.
Stir in the coconut milk and whole milk until cornstarch is disolved and mixture is smooth.
Place saucepan over medium-high heat and cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, continuing to stir, 2 minutes longer.
Remove the pan from the heat. While whisking the egg yolks slowly add a ladle of the milk mixture to temper the yolks.
Slowly pour the egg yolk and milk mixture to the remaining milk in the pan, stirring continuously.
Return the pan to medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil and cook 2 minutes longer.
Remove from heat. Pour though a sieve to remove any lumps into a heat proof mixing bowl. Stir in the butter and vanilla until butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Add the coconut.
Cover the filling with plastic wrap, laying it directly on the surface and poke a couple holes with a sharp knife to let steam escape. If making a pie, pour directly into 9-inch/23-cm baked pastry shell.
When Filling is cool, fill your favorite pastry shells or cream puffs. Make Meringue using the reserved egg whites. Pipe onto top and sprinkle with flaked coconut. Use a torch to brown or put under the broiler setting of the oven to brown lightly and toast the coconut.