Best Coconut Custard Pie Recipe

If you're already a custard lover, then you undoubtedly already understand that the differences between custard and pudding are so significant, that it's almost mind-boggling how many people seem to use the terms interchangeably. Custard is thickened with eggs, and pudding is thickened with starch (such as flour, cornstarch, rice, or tapioca). As a direct result, custard has a slick mouthfeel and is almost semi-solid, whereas pudding has a velvety mouthfeel and a softer consistency, as recipe developer Miriam Hahn puts it. Hahn's recipe for coconut custard pie is a celebration of custard's elegant simplicity, and it appears that Hahn has increasingly come to appreciate this divine fact as she has come to know her mother-in-law over the years.

"My mother-in-law is a huge dessert pie person. So, we visit her a lot, and I like to bring her sweet treats," says Hahn, whose mother-in-law knows the difference between a coconut "cream" pie and a coconut custard pie and would always choose the latter over the former. And that brings us to this lovely recipe for coconut custard pie.

Gather your ingredients for coconut custard pie

To make Hahn's recipe for coconut custard pie, you'll need 2 large eggs, ½ cup of butter, and 1 cup of granulated sugar. You'll also need 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour (We'll explain why in a moment!) and ¾ of a cup of milk — any type, including vegan milks, although, "If you want it super decadent, you could use heavy cream," Hahn suggests. 

The coconut flavor will come from 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons of flaked coconut, which is the kind that isn't sticky because it hasn't been pre-sweetened, and also ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract, which offers a bit of much-needed grounding for all that coconut flavor. And, of course, you will need the bottom only of one frozen pie crust.

You can't make custard without cracking a couple of eggs

Start by preheating your oven to 350 F and taking the pie crust out of the freezer to defrost at room temperature. This should take about 10 minutes, which is how long the rest of the prep should take you. In the meantime, crack the eggs into a large bowl, and using a fork or a whisk, beat the eggs "lightly," Hahn says, and by that she means that you should really just make sure you've broken the yolks. Then, cut the butter into small cubes, and add those into the bowl. Measure, and add the sugar. Then, mix these three ingredients with an electric mixer at medium speed until blended.

Finish the custard base

Although custard does not, as a technical matter, need starch in order to thicken optimally, using a small amount of flour helps keep the eggs in the mixture from developing curds (like the kind you get when scrambling eggs) while the custard cooks in the oven. Still using the electric mixer, blend in 2 tablespoons of flour and then the ¾ cup of milk of your choice. At this point, the mixture should be "kind of bubbly," according to Hahn, and "not super thick." Hahn also notes, "It thickens up when you add the coconut flakes," and that's what we're about to turn to now.

Flavor your custard with coconut and vanilla, and bake the pie

Now it's time to stir in the coconut and the vanilla. As noted above, the addition of coconut will significantly thicken up your custard base, which you can now pour into the pie shell (even if the shell is not fully defrosted). Top the custard with the remaining coconut flakes that you have left. 

Then, when your oven reaches 350 F, carefully slide the pie pan into the middle shelf of your oven, and bake for 45 minutes. If the custard looks firm, you're ready to take your pie out of the oven. If not, allow it to bake for five more minutes. Allow your coconut custard pie to cool for one hour before slicing. Top with whipped cream, if desired. This recipe is sure to make a perfect dessert for any dinner guests!

Best Coconut Custard Pie Recipe
5 from 55 ratings
This recipe for coconut custard pie is a celebration of custard's elegant simplicity, and you're bound to fall in love with it.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
45
minutes
Servings
8
Slices
coconut custard pie
Total time: 55 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup milk (any type)
  • 1 cup + 3 tablespoons flaked coconut
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 frozen pie crust
Optional Ingredients
  • whipped cream, for serving
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs lightly.
  3. Cut the butter into small cubes, and add to the bowl along with the sugar.
  4. Set an electric mixer to medium speed, and mix until blended.
  5. Add in the flour, and blend again.
  6. Add the milk, and blend again.
  7. Stir in the coconut and vanilla.
  8. Pour the coconut custard into the pie shell.
  9. Top with the remaining coconut flakes.
  10. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until firm.
  11. Let the pie cool for 1 hour before slicing and serving. Top with whipped cream, if desired.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 405
Total Fat 24.6 g
Saturated Fat 14.3 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 72.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 44.1 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Total Sugars 26.9 g
Sodium 146.4 mg
Protein 3.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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