Unroll pie crust and place in an 8 by 8 square glass baking dish. Press crust into baking dish and shape it up the sides as far as you can press it. Crust will shrink back some during baking. Prick the bottom and sides with a fork to allow steam to escape while the crust is baking.
Bake crust according to package instructions, usually 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely, about 15 minutes.
Whisk together pudding mix, milk, and coconut extract (if desired). Whisk for 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.
Whisk in 1 cup of flaked coconut, optional.
Spread pudding mixture into cooled pie crust.
Spread thawed whipped topping over the pudding mixture.
Place in the freezer to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Spread remaining cup of coconut flakes in a pie plate or small sheet pan. Bake in 450 degrees F oven for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring every few minutes, until coconut is golden and toasted. Remove from pan immediately and cool.
Sprinkle toasted coconut over the chilled pie. Cut and serve!
In addition to pricking the pie crust before blind baking, you could use pie weights to keep it from puffing up.It only takes a few minutes to toast the flaked coconut, so watch carefully and use a spatula or give the cookie sheet a good shake a few times to ensure the coconut browns evenly and doesn’t burn.Try a homemade shortbread crust instead of pie crust or shortbread cookie crust by making your own pastry with 1 cup butter, 2 cups flour, and ½ cup powdered sugar. Press and blind bake the same.Make a “sling” out of foil to help get the bars out of the pan easier: overlap two pieces of foil with enough overhang to lift up when finished.