Coconut Custard Pie
Dried coconut is sold in two styles: shredded and flaked. Either variety may be used here. Both are often sold sweetened, as called for in this recipe, although it is possible to buy unsweetened dried coconut in specialty-foods stores. Look for dried coconut in plastic bags or cans on market shelves. Once the container has been opened, refrigerate the coconut. Toasting the coconut will bring out its naturally nutty flavor.
- 1 batch Basic Pie Dough (see related recipe at left)
- 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded or flaked dried coconut
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, strained
- 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
Roll out the dough disk into a 12-inch round and transfer to a 9-inch pie dish. Trim the edge of the dough round, leaving 3/4 inch of overhang. Fold the overhang under itself and pinch it together to create a high edge on the pan’s rim. Flute the edge decoratively. Refrigerate or freeze the pie shell until firm, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375°F.
Line the chilled piecrust with a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil or parchment paper. Fill with pie weights, dried beans or uncooked rice. Bake for 20 minutes, then lift an edge of the foil. If the dough looks wet, continue to bake, checking it every 5 minutes, until it is pale golden. The total baking time will be 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the crust to a wire rack and remove the weights and foil.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
Spread the coconut evenly on a baking sheet and bake until lightly golden, about 12 minutes. Pour onto a plate to cool.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and salt until blended. Add the flour, milk, melted butter, lemon juice and lemon zest and stir well. Stir in the toasted coconut until combined. Pour the mixture into the partially baked crust. Bake the pie until the top is golden and the filling is firm in the center, 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool completely. Serve at room temperature. Makes one 9-inch pie; serves 8.
Adapted from The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book, Edited by Chuck Williams (Oxmoor House, 2009).