Photograph by Will Anderson Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Amy Wilson

The Love Boat and Fantasy Island

Tropical Coconut Cream Pie

Desserts from Issue 9 – Summer 2016 – The 1970s

Saturday nights in the late ’70s were devoted to wanderlust, thanks to back-to-back episodes of The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. At nine, viewers were invited aboard for something exciting and new; though, really, it was always famous passengers (the premiere featured Meredith Baxter, Jimmie “JJ” Walker, Suzanne Somers and Blaxploitation regular Brenda Sykes) looking for love. Then at ten, you were whisked off to the aptly-named Fantasy Island, where Roarke and Tattoo acted as resident dream-granters. That our tropical coconut cream pie laced with rum is no-bake makes it the stuff that dreams are really made of.

serves 6 to 8

  • 1 ½ cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs (6 oz)
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • zest from 1 lime

Filling and Topping
  • 2 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • 1 (13½-oz) can coconut milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar, divided
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp white rum
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 ½ cups heavy creams
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

  • 1

    Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate. Stir together crust ingredients and press into bottom and sides of plate. Freeze until firm.

  • 2

    Sprinkle gelatin over ¼ cup whole milk and let stand to soften. Bring the coconut milk and remaining whole milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan.

  • 3

    Whisk yolks and ½ cup sugar in a large bowl until pale, then whisk in flour. Gradually ladle hot milk mixture into sweetened yolks, whisking constantly, then return to saucepan. Slowly bring mixture to a boil, and then boil 3 minutes, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and immediately stir in gelatin, stirring to dissolve completely, then stir in rum, lime juice, and a pinch of salt. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and pour into frozen crust. Chill until completely set, at least 3 hours or overnight.

  • 4

    Beat cream with remaining Tbsp sugar until medium peaks form and spread into a fluffy mound onto pie. Sprinkle with coconut.