mini coconut cream pie

Mini Coconut Cream Pie

Although I’m a 2nd year resident, I don’t get to work with the interns for quite a long time – 2.5 months because of how my rotations are set up (this is super atypical).

While I’m bummed not to get to know the new interns as well, they have time to learn the computer system/pagers and re-learn some medicine that may have been forgotten during 4th year medical school vacation (at least, before I take them under my wing hehe).

I made these mini coconut cream pies a while back, during one of my last rotations, the Fitkin floor, as an intern (I used many of the same ingredients from my Chocolate Cake with Coconut Frosting). Fitkin is general medicine rotation which pairs up interns and 3rd years together on a month of 28 hr call – it’s designed to give us a lot of independence to prep the interns to be residents and to prep the 3rd years to be attendings.

Since I had this rotation at the end of the year, it was great practice for me, as my 3rd years let me take the lead in managing patients and carrying the admission pagers.

They say that jumping from 1st to 2nd year is the hardest transition… surprisingly harder than going from med student to intern/1st year of residency (even though that’s when you change from “student” to “doctor with an MD which means your orders and prescriptions are real now.”)

I do enjoy teaching and we had an excellent medical student who was eager to learn. Although just a fresh 2nd year, she did a great job with her patients. A good medical student is a boon to a tired intern, as they can help with filing paperwork, making phone calls, and setting up appointments. Although I do try very hard to not give any scut work to students (they are paying a lot of Yale tuition to learn after all), the last 4 hours of your 28 hr hour is generally a haze which any help is gladly appreciated.

Plus, medical students are cute and charming. There is a very entertaining (if somewhat dark) satire on the difference between medical students and residents on Gomerblog. Some of my favorite excerpts from that post are:

medical student knows anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology, but knows nothing about clinical medicine.  
resident knows clinical medicine and is only too happy to have forgotten everything else.
A medical student is motivated by the quest for knowledge and a hope for a better tomorrow. 
A resident is motivated only by coffee and sleep.

medical student loves to ask and be asked questions: why? where? what? when? how?  
resident asks only two questions: (1) can the patient go home? and (2) can I go home?  

I’m sharing this Mini Coconut Cream Pie (recipe adapted from Bobby Flay and Allrecipes), which I brought to my team to eat during one of our 28 hr call days. It kept quite well in the room, although it was all gone by early afternoon. Glucose is needed for brain power on call days! 

Mini Coconut Cream Pie

1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream.
4-5 tablespoons sugar
coconut flakes, toasted

GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST: Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter or margarine, and cinnamon in a bowl. Press mixture into your mini tart tins (made 3 mini tarts for me). Bake at 375 degrees F for 7 minutes. Let it cool. 
COCONUT CUSTARD: In a medium saucepan and combine coconut milk and 1/2 cup of heavy cream and bring to a simmer. In another bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg mixture, stirring frequently, to temper the eggs.  Pour the mixture back into the saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened. Add almond extract. Cool to room temperature then chill at least an hour in the refrigerator.
WHIPPED CREAM: While custard is chilling, make the whipped cream. Chill a metal mixing bowl with a refrigerator or freezer prior. Combine sugar and heavy whipping cream in your mixing bowl. With an electric mixer, beat until the cream reaches stiff peaks, about 5 min. 
Once the coconut custard is chilled, gently fold 1/2 cup of the whipped cream with the custard. Reserve the remainder of the whipped cream for the topping.
ASSEMBLY: Spoon your coconut custard into your cooled tarts. With a pipping bag, swirl the shipped cream on top of the custard. Sprinkle the toasted coconut flakes on top. Chill until ready to serve.

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  1. Oh my, don't these look lovely as well as delicious! I absolutely love coconut cream pie, and basically anything made in a graham cracker crust, so these are definitely for me!

  2. I love that these are so little! It will feel like I'm cheating on my healthy diet, except I'm just enjoying in moderation. Love! Photographs are beautiful, too.