Creamy Coconut Custard from the 2008 National Pie Championships

Cocunut Custard Pie croppedThe first year I entered the National Pie Championships, I was awful.  No, I was beyond awful.  I’d watched a special on Food Network about it and arrogantly thought, “I can do that!,” without ever considering that I’d never made my own pie crust before.  After that first disasterous year, I read, practiced, and studied pies.  By the next year, I won 1st place in 2 categories–custard and cream cheese.

This recipe is actually a take on two classics…egg custard/flan and coconut cream.  It has the consistency of creamy egg custard/flan, but the flavor of coconut cream.  It’s also one of the quickest pies to make.  Granted, it needs a night in the refrigerator to chill, but it’s relatively quick to get in the oven.

Crust

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour (chilled)

1/4 cup Crisco shortening (chilled)

1/4 cut cold butter (cut into small cubes)

½ tsp salt

4-6 tbsp ice cold water

1 egg

1 tbsp water

In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter and shortening. Gradually add water until dough forms. Roll out and line pie plate. Refrigerate until ready to fill.

Filling

1-15 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

4 eggs

8 oz. cream of coconut (Coco Lopez)

3/4 c. milk

1 tsp coconut extract

3/4 c. sweetened flake coconut

In a bowl, whisk together sweetened condensed milk and eggs.  Add cream of coconut and milk.  Whisk until completely combined.  Stir in coconut extract. Pour into prepared pie crust.

Create an egg was of egg and 1 tbsp of water. Brush over crust edges. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes.  Sprinkle the top with coconut.  Increase temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 15 minutes to allow coconut to brown slightly. To test custard doneness, insert a wet knife in the center.  If it comes out clean or almost clean, remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool before refrigerating.

Refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours before serving.

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