Ok, let me tell you how much I sweated over this pie. It has nothing to do with the recipe (very easy, few ingredients, quick) but more with the fact that I had no idea how it’s suppose to taste. I’ve never been partial to coconut flakes. I find the toasted shavings hard, distasteful, and annoying to chew when I’m just trying to enjoy a good cake. While I was trying to come up with a good Christmas present for my future mother-in-law, I wanted to get them something special and homemade. Since my skills revolve mostly around the kitchen and I heard her raving with her family about coconut custard pie with her sister, I figured “ok, no big deal. I’ll find a recipe online and go from there.” The amount of recipes, the disagreeing reviews in ALL of them, the critics harsh comments and arguing in the recipe posts were numerous surrounding very basic ingredients and recipe posts. Worst off, I had absolutely NO idea what this pie should taste like, as I dislike coconut flakes in general.
So, being the cocky food critic I am, thought “ok, check reviews, combine people’s suggestions with recipe, and bake. I got this.” My first batch, I’m sorry to say, was the most egg-y, soggy, greasy mess. It was basically a coconut quiche gone all wrong with a firm coconut top and a soggy egg mess at the bottom. My darling Mr Man, another coconut stranger, tried to console me by saying that maybe that is what coconut custard is suppose to taste like. While I may be a stranger to coconut pie, I trust my palate- this CAN’T be what custard pie tastes like. This was the day before Christmas and Mother-in-law was planning on bringing it to her family’s annual Christmas dessert gathering. Oh Crap! Frantically reviewing other recipes and crying like an idiot, I turned to every Southerner’s muse: Paula Deen. There is a reason that woman racks up millions, is a food network star, and is loved by all Southerners. I may disagree with her butter-laced savory dishes but that woman knows her sweets! Slightly tweaking her French Coconut Pie, the pie came out looking gorgeous and, at the gathering, was an applauding success. Mother-in-law took one bite (with me sweating bullets nearby), swooned, then proceeded to steal the pie from her sisters at the end of the gathering to take home. Unlike the first disaster, this one resembled a large sweet piece of coconut macaroon, very firm in texture with coconut spread throughout. Thank you, Paula, you saved my reputation with the future family and converted me into a coconut pie lover!Prep Time: 10 minutes Bake Time: 45-60 minutes at 350F Ingredients (Adapted from Paula Deen’s with some of my additions) 1/2 stick Butter, melted (It’s Paula, what’d you expect?) 2 eggs 1 tbsp flour 3/4 cup sugar 1 tsp Vanilla Extract 2 cups Sweetened flaked coconut (I used Bakers brand) 1 cup Half and Half (or milk) 1 pastry pie, defrosted
-Whisk eggs, butter, vanilla extract and sugar first. Whisk in flour and Half & Half. Add the coconut and blend into mixture.
-Pour mixture into pie shell (it won’t completely fill up the pie shell to the top- this is ok).
-Bake for 45-60 min until the custard has risen, is golden brown, and firm. Knife inserted will come out clean but slightly oily.
-Let cool before refrigerating. Serving it cold tasted best to me.