1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell (store-bought, or make your own pie dough)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 to 1 cup coconut flakes, or extra sweetened shredded coconut, for garnishing
2 cups sweetened whipped cream
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Move a rack one notch below the center of the oven. Whisk together the granulated sugar, buttermilk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup of sweetened shredded coconut.
Pour the filling into the unbaked pie shell. Place the pan on the lowered rack in the preheated oven, and bake the pie for 35 to 40 minutes—the filling and crust edges should be golden brown. Remove the pie to a cooling rack and let it cool completely.
Spread the coconut flakes or shredded coconut on a baking sheet. Place it under the broiler in your oven for 30 seconds to one minute, watching closely, until the coconut is lightly browned. This happens fast, so don’t walk away! Remove the pan immediately and let the coconut cool.
Spread or pipe the whipped cream over the top of the pie, then sprinkle the toasted coconut over the top.
Tip: If you haven’t used coconut flakes before, look for them in pouches in the natural foods section of your store, from producers like Bob’s Red Mill and Terrasoul. The large flakes are lightly sweet and look fantastic when toasted and used as a garnish on this pie.