Pina Colada Cream Pie

For more recipes like this, check out our IACP award-nominated cookbook, The New Pie: Modern Techniques for the Classic American Dessert.

In April 2020, we would have competed for the 8th time at the National Pie Championships. Unfortunately, the 2020 Championships for cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because we couldn’t all be together for the National Pie Championships, the American Pie Council invited us to demonstrate a recipe for pie lovers everywhere so even though we couldn’t be together to bake or share our pies with all of you on social media, we still wanted to bring the joy of pie baking into your home.

This Pina Colada Cream Pie comes together quickly on the stove, and is delicious, creamy, and slices like a dream! The combo of pineapple and coconut topped with whipped cream and some crunchy toasted coconut is a fantastic summer dessert that anyone can enjoy.

Pina Colada Cream Pie

One of the great things about pies is how adaptable they can be, and this recipe is INCREDIBLY adaptable. While our recipe here uses a pina colada drink mix and pineapple juice, you can substitute nearly any drink concentrate or liquid for the drink mix and juice. For example, if you prefer a margarita pie, substitute 1 1/4 cups of a non-alcoholic drink mixer for the pina colada and orange juice for the pineapple juice. We’ve even made versions of this pie substituting 1 1/2 cups of brewed espresso coffee for the drink mixer and juice. Switch out the rum for another liqueur or extract (vanilla is always a safe bet) and you can create an infinite number of pies which take less than 10 minutes on the stove!

Also, while we use a pastry crust for this recipe, you can also use a graham cracker or other crumb crust!

We created a video of this recipe for the American Pie Council, the coordinator and sponsor of the National Pie Championships. To watch a video of us making this pie, go to the American Pie Council’s Facebook page.

Precisely Perfect Pie Dough, blind-
baked and cooled in a 9-inch pie plate
1 recipe
Frozen pina-colada drink mixer (non-alcoholic), thawed1¼ cups10 ounces283 grams
Pineapple juice2 tablespoons1 ounce28 grams
Cornstarch3 1/2 tablespoons0.9 ounce26 grams
Egg yolks3 large
Sweetened condensed milk14-ounce can14 ounces397 grams
Salt1/8 teaspoon
Unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces2 tablespoons1 ounce28 grams
Rum (light, dark, coconut, or pineapple rum are all fine) or
substitute additional pineapple juice
1 tablespoon0.5 ounce14 grams
Heavy cream1 cup8.2 ounces232 grams
Confectioners’ sugar2 tablespoons0.5 ounce14 grams
Piping gel (optional*)2 tablespoons1.35 ounces38 grams
Rum (light, dark, coconut, or pineapple are all fine) or
substitute 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon
Sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
(see Toasting Coconut, below)
1/3 cup1 ounce28 grams
* Piping gel is used to stabilize the whipped cream to keep it from melting for at least a day or two. Piping gel is optional, but the whipped cream might begin to weep if you store your pie for several days. This cream pie should be stored in the refrigerator.

MAKE THE FILLING: In a medium saucepan, whisk together the thawed pina colada drink mixer, pineapple juice, and cornstarch until the cornstarch is dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the egg yolks, condensed milk, and salt until the mixture appears uniform.

Transfer the pina colada mixture to the cooled pie crust and smooth the top with an offset spatula, if necessary. Press plastic wrap directly onto the top of the filling and refrigerate until cool, set, and firm throughout, 2 to 3 hours. Once the pie is set and ready to be served, top with the whipped cream and coconut.

MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM: In a bowl, use a mixer to whip the cream on medium-high speed until it forms soft peaks. Add the confectioners’ sugar, piping gel (if using), and rum or vanilla. Continue beating the mixture at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes more. Do not overbeat or the mixture will appear stiff and somewhat curdled. Remove the plastic wrap from the filling and spread or pipe whipped cream over the top. Sprinkle with the coconut. Serve; refrigerate any leftovers.

TOASTING COCONUT: To make toasted coconut, spread the shredded coconut over a baking sheet and place it on the middle rack in a 350°F oven. After about 4 minutes, give the coconut a stir. Return the coconut to the oven and continue baking, stirring the coconut every minute or so, until the coconut is light golden brown. It takes a total of about 7 minutes.

3 thoughts on “Pina Colada Cream Pie”

  1. My son made this pie and it didn’t set. He used a bottled pina colada mix. I thought he should use the frozen kind but he insisted on the bottled version. What do you think?

    1. Sorry to hear that, Lynette! We use the frozen kind and it has always set for us. Sometimes the mixes might have additives to give the drink a creamy mouthfeel, and those sometimes act weirdly with thickeners. Additionally, if a mixture is too acidic, it can break down the cornstarch. So if the mixture seems thickened on the stove, a mixture that is too acidic could break down the structure while it chills in the refrigerator.

  2. Along with the wrong pina colada mix the recipe did not include cooking instructions. The recipe said mix the items, including egg yolks, in a saucepan but no cooking time is given. So, my son put the pie in a slow oven, aroun250 for 15-20 minutes and it did set. Happy Thanksgiving!!

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