Imagine leche flan (steamed crème caramel) or crème brûlée without the hard topping. Imagine coconut flakes stirred into the custard. Now, imagine that delightful mixture enfolded by a buttery crust. That’s what this coconut custard pie is in a nutshell.
This dessert was born early this morning just after daybreak. I was looking for a good baking project but most that I found on the web either had ingredients that I’d have to pick out of the imported section of the grocery (pricey!) or were smothered by too much frosting. On Pinterest, I was seeing cupcakes with frosting taller than the cupcakes themselves and I wanted to gag. So, I figured maybe I should just invent something — a dessert that would be as gorgeous as it is delicious but without the fluff. And this coconut custard pie was born.
The formula for the custard is something I’ve tried before. The only difference is the addition of coconut flakes. The crust is not the rolled crust used for most fruit pies. This pie’s crust is the same as the bottom layer of lemon squares — buttery, crumbly and utterly gratifying.
Note that I used double recipe for the crust and it was a bit on the thick side. If you stick with the proportion of the ingredients given below, you’ll get a thinner crust (better, I think).
Coconut custard pie
For the crust
- 1/2 cup cold butter cut into small pieces
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a bowl, cut the butter with the flour and powdered sugar until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press onto the bottom and sides of an eight-inch pie plate. Bake for 15 minutes until dry to the touch. Cool slightly.
- While the crust cools, lower the oven temperature to 320F and prepare the filling.
- Stir together the eggs, cream, coconut cream, 1/3 cup of sugar and salt. STIR — DO NOT BEAT. Otherwise, the custard will be full of ugly bubbles after baking instead of having that soft and creamy texture. Taste, if your taste buds prefer a sweeter custard, add a few more teaspoonfuls of sugar. When the mixture is smooth, stir in half of the coconut flakes.
- Pour the mixture into the pre-baked pie crust. Sprinkle the rest of the coconut flakes on the custard.
- Bake at 320F for 45 minutes to one hour or until the filling is set and the top is dry to the touch. The custard will rise a bit but will deflate after cooling.
- For best results, leave in the oven for another 10 minutes after turning it off. That should prevent the filling from having a sunken appearance.
- Now, the most difficult step of all.
- Cool the custard completely then chill for a few hours before slicing. The custard needs to set and firm up. If you slice the pie while hot, the custard will be too soft and you won’t get clean slices.