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Coconut Custard Pie

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“Think of this pie as a coconut crème brûlée, ensconced in a flaky pastry crust,” says Michele Stuart in “Perfect Pies: The Best Sweet and Savory Recipes from America’s Pie-Baking Champion” (Ballantine Books, $25). A slight hint of lemony citrus finishes it all off, adding just a tinge of unexpected zing to the rich and creamy coconut flavor.”

With thoughts of the Coconut Custard Pie at the Wimberley Pie Company fresh in my head, I set out to make this version in hopes of finding a soul sister of that ridiculously good pie. But when I read Stuart’s introduction, I decided to simplify matters even further and eliminate the pie crust altogether.

I also made it in ramekins, which shortened the length of cooking time. But it also required me to bake them in a water bath so that the center would set up better. So, if you play around with the recipe, make sure you monitor the results.

Coconut Custard Pie

1 (9-inch) pie crust

1 1/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
3 large eggs
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon resh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To prepare the pie shell: On a clean, lightly floured surface, roll out half the ball of dough with a rolling pin until it forms a 10-inch circle. Fold the circle in half, place it in a 9-inch pie plate so that the edges of the circle drop over the rim and unfold the dough to completely cover the pie plate. Using your thumb and index finger, crimp the edges of the pie shell. Brush the edges of the pie shell with heavy cream to create a perfect, golden brown finish. Set the pie shell to the side while you make the filling.

Spread the shredded coconut onto a banking sheet. Toast in the 350-degree oven for 2 minutes. Watch carefully as the coconut can brown easily. Toss with a spatula and toast for 1 more minute or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

Reset oven to 375 degrees.

To prepare the filling, using an electric mixer on medium speed, mix together the eggs, sugar and salt. Add the flour, milk, melted butter, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla, and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Stir the toasted coconut into the filling. Pour the filling into the pie shell.

To bake, place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the filling is firm in the middle. Transfer the pie plate to a wire cooling rack and allow the pie to cool and set for 1 hour before serving.

Coconut Custard Pie should be served cold. it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Makes 1 pie.

From “Perfect Pies” by Michele Stuart


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