You may be familiar with Pi Day which is celebrated on March 14th every year because, as you learned in high school math, π is 3.14 For Pi Day 2017 I did a post about a silky smooth chocolate pie and a previous post featured a crazy good citrusy beach pie, so either of those would be a good choice anytime you’re in the mood for an easy homemade pie. But when I was trying to decide on a pie recipe to make this year, I happened to hear the catchy 1979 hit “Escape (the Pina Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes and it reminded me that I love piña colada cocktails but that I haven’t had one in a long time. So I decided to celebrate Pi Day this year and escape to my happy place by making this luscious piña colada pie with juicy pineapple, fragrant coconut, and heady rum in a crunchy buttery coconut-ty crust
When I went shopping for ingredients, I searched the cookie aisle for an alternative to use in the crust that would be as easy to make as the old standby graham cracker crust. I found these coconut cookies that really kick up the flavor of the crust and add a nice textural contrast to the sensuous (really!) filling. Coconut cream instant pudding and coconut rum take the filling base of cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and crushed pineapple to the level of “When Harry Met Sally” I’ll-have-what-she’s-having deliciousness.
Fun fact: the piña colada cocktail was invented in Puerto Rico in the 1950s to use local ingredients and it was made the official cocktail of the commonwealth in 1978.
Break the cookies into three or four pieces and drop them into your food processor. Buzz the cookies into crumbs, then add melted butter while the machine is running. Pat them into a pie plate and bake until the edges are turning golden. Cool on a wire rack until you can handle the plate with your bare hands, then move it to the refrigerator to chill for an hour.
When the crust is completely cooled you can start the filling which will take less than 10 minutes to make. Pour it into the crust, smooth the top, and set in the frig for a couple of hours or so.
When you’re ready to serve, whip some heavy cream with a little sugar and some more of the coconut rum, then spread it all over the pie and top with toasted coconut. I buy toasted coconut from a bulk foods store near us, but you can make your own. Maraschino cherries are a frequent garnish for the cocktail and would add a pop of color to the whole piña colada pie or individual servings.
Now get out the plates and forks and invite your family and friends to join you because if you don’t, you may be tempted to eat the entire piña colada pie by yourself.
Please leave a question or a comment and rate this recipe with the stars below, then Pin, Tweet and/or share on Facebook and Instagram. If you make the recipe, I’d love your feedback.
Thanks, and bon appetit!
- 8 oz (226 grams) Voortman Coconut cookies (about 13 cookies)
- 4 tablespoons (2 oz, 57 grams) butter, melted
- 8 oz (226 grams) full fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 14 oz (396 grams) can sweetened condensed milk
- 3.4 oz (96 grams) package coconut cream instant pudding
- 8 oz (227 grams) can crushed pineapple in juice
- 1/4 cup (2 fluid oz, 60 ml) pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon (1/2 fluid oz, 15 ml) coconut rum
- 1 cup (8 fluid oz, 240 ml) whipping cream or heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon (1/2 fluid oz, 15 ml) coconut rum
- 3 tablespoons (1-1/2 oz, 43 grams) granulated sugar
- Toasted coconut, optional, for garnish
- Maraschino cherries, optional, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease or spray a 9" regular or deep dish pie plate.
- Break the cookies into 3 or 4 pieces and drop them into the work bowl of a food processor.
- Buzz the cookies until reduced to crumbs, then add the melted butter while the machine is running and process a few seconds until evenly combined.
- Turn the crumbs out into the prepared pie plate and pat evenly all over the bottom and up the sides.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven until the edges are golden brown and the crust is fragrant.
- Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes, then move to the refrigerator to chill for at least 60 minutes before starting the filling.
- Beat the room temperature cream cheese with a hand or stand mixer until smooth and fluffy, then gradually add the sweetened condensed milk while continuing to beat, until the mixture is perfectly smooth, stopping and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- With the mixer on low, add the dry pudding and mix until completely incorporated, stopping and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Add the crushed pinneapple with its juice and mix, then gradually add the additional pineapple juice and rum, mixing well.
- Pour filling into the chilled crust and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.
- Add the cream to a small bowl and beat with a hand mixer, starting on low and gradually increasing the speed until the cream starts getting foamy.
- Stop the mixer and add the rum, then resume beating and add the sugar and beat until the cream is stiff enough to spread on the pie.
- Scrape all the whipped cream onto the pie and spread to the edges, smoothing the top, then garnish as desired.
Do not use reduced or fat free cream cheese for this recipe.
If you prefer, you can buy a 20 oz can of crushed pineapple, but drain it well and measure out 1/2 cup of juice and 2/3 cup of the drained pineapple to use in the recipe. Use the remaining drained pineapple for another purpose.