Coconut cream pie isn't for everyone. Some people don't like the taste. Some don't like the texture. Some just don't like the classics. That's OK. It leaves more for the rest of us.
When I make coconut cream pie, I always think of my older brother Dave. He liked Almond Joy candy bars, so he would like the mix of chocolate and coconut in these pies.
Bagged coconut is one-size-fits-most. But if you are really committed to handmade, homemade food, go to the produce section and get the real deal.
There are videos on YouTube that show how to disassemble a coconut, so I wont get into that here. My personal tips are to use a vegetable pealer to remove the inner husk, then use a food processor to shred the flesh, then chop the shreddings so they aren't too long in the finished pie. A chubby coconut will make enough for two pies. (or a pie and muffins, or a pie and whatever)
After you are glowing with the sense of accomplishment from the do-it-yourself shredded coconut, you are ready to make a pie. Follow the instructions for a graham cracker crust, but use chocolate graham crackers. The follow my instructions for a cream pie filling, and add half of the shredded coconut to the cooked pudding. Take a handful of the coconut and spread it on parchment paper or a baking sheet. Put it in the oven under a low broiler to brown it slightly. Be diligent in watching the coconut because it will go from lightly browned to crispy charcoal in the time it takes to say "Coconut Suntan."
Finish cooling and assembling the pie as described in the cream pie instructions.
Shredded raw coconut can feel a bit "raw", which means it can feel a little tough and firm. (But still better than bagged.)
But if you really aspire to the handmade, homemade ring of honor, saute your shredded coconut in some water and sugar. Just a couple tablespoons of sugar and enough water to saute it for about 10 minutes. Try to finish the cooking with the coconut just damp. Spread that coconut on parchment paper to dry. This can take overnight. The cooking helps soften the flesh and release some flavor.