Old Fashioned Coconut Custard Pie

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This Old Fashioned Coconut Custard Pie is similar to what you would imagine a coconut crème brulee might be. The flaky pie crust is filled with loads of shredded coconut set in a baked custard.

This recipe and photo have been updated in 2018

A slice of coconut pie on a blue polka dot plate

I am constantly trying to push my comfort zone when it comes to baking. The best way to challenge yourself is to try and try again! Often times, I will test recipes from cookbooks, new and old. What I love about older cookbooks, is that the details are very vague, and it leaves the interpretation up to you.

This Old Fashioned Coconut Custard Pie was adapted from a cookbook that was copyright from 1933, and this edition was printed in 1937. The pages are an aged yellow, and it smells like the library. There are some notes inside the front cover from the pervious owner, and all the photos are in black and white. These are the best kind of cookbooks!

An overhead view of a whole coconut pie with dollops of whipped cream and two strawberries in the middle

The original name for this was “Vanity Fair Coconut Custard Pie”. I have never baked anything like this before. The ingredients are simple: 3 eggs, sugar, a dash of salt, milk and lots of coconut. After it is baked, it reminds me of crème brulee in that the filling is a baked custard.

When I originally cut into this pie, I wasn’t sure if it was quite right, but after looking through several updated versions of the recipe, I saw that it in fact resembled the vintage pie.

I baked this recipe a second time, adding my own spin to the recipe. Instead of using all regular milk, I substituted 1 cup of coconut milk. The original recipe, while full of coconut flakes, did not have enough flavor for me. So I decided to also add one teaspoon of coconut extract, and I doubled the amount of coconut flakes that the recipe called for. I was much happier with the second version.

A slice of coconut pie with a couple of bites missing

Since the filling is pretty much pure liquid, I was not sure if the crust would get soggy. Turns out it was actually perfect! It was soft, yet flaky. I decided that I would keep this pie refrigerated, but the recipe did not specify. I think I liked the idea of a cold pie better for the summer anyway!

This pie definitely needs to cool all the way before serving. The filling will still be a bit jiggly, which will make you question whether it is done for not. I still used a toothpick to see if it was baked through, and it was. As it cools, it will become more firm. This is typical with custard pies.

A quarter slice of pie in a teal pie plate decorated with whipped cream

For the crust, you should use your favorite recipe. My personal favorite is from Pioneer woman, but the recipe makes 2 full crusts. I usually end up freezing one. I also have a gluten-free pie crust that I adapted from Ree’s recipe.

Remember, that with any pie crust, it is better to work with it cold! I struggle to make the prettiest edges, but practice makes perfect, right? I find that I have been more successful with a Crisco based pie crust recipe. The edges tend to shrink less because Crisco has a higher melting temperature.

This pie can be made in a standard 9-inch pie dish in either a regular or a deep dish pie. Since I updated the recipe that is significantly less liquid, and a deep dish pan is not needed.

When I served this pie to my friends, they suggested that it would be awesome with a drizzle of raspberry sauce, and I couldn’t agree more!

Old Fashioned Coconut Custard Pie

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A slice of coconut pie on a blue polka dot plate

Old Fashioned Coconut Custard Pie

  • Author: Julianne Bayer
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices

Description

This Old Fashioned Coconut Custard Pie is similar to what you would imagine a coconut crème brulee might be. The flaky pie crust is filled with loads of shredded coconut set in a baked custard.

Ingredients

  • 1 Pie pastry shell, prepared
  • 3 Large eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 cup  Milk (I used non0fat)
  • 1 cup coconut milk, mixed
  • 2 cups shredded coconut, sweetened
  • Whipped cream for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  2. Prepare a pastry pie shell, roll about and place in pie plate. Trim and flute the edges.
  3. To prepare the filling start by whisking the eggs, gradually adding in sugar and salt. Whisk until smooth and frothy.
  4. Add coconut extract, milk and coconut milk. Be sure to mix the coconut milk before adding to the eggs.
  5. Last, add the shredded coconut and whisk into the filling. Pour batter into prepared pie shell.
  6. Place pie plate on lower rack in your oven. Bake at 450°F for 20 minutes.
  7. After 20 minutes, turn the oven down to 350° F and cover the crust with foil to prevent burning. Bake for another 20-25 minutes.
  8. Pie will still be slightly jiggly on top, but stick a toothpick around the pie to ensure the filling has baked. If there is any bubbling or liquid on top, dab it lightly with a paper towel.
  9. Allow pie to cool completely before serving. I suggest to refrigerate and serve cold. Serve with whipped cream or a raspberry sauce.

Notes

This recipe and photo have been updated in 2018 to reduce the amount of liquid in this recipe.

Nutrition Information:
1 slice
373
24.2g
257.5mg
23.6g
36.4g
1.9g
6g
70.4mg
  • Category: Pie
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Pie, Coconut Pie, Coconut Custard

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More Coconut Pie Recipe you might like:

Coconut Cheesecake Pie from Taste and Tell

Coconut Chess Pie from Crazy for Crust

Almond Joy Pie from Life Love and Sugar

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This to-die-for Coconut Cream Pie has a dreamy homemade, sweet coconut custard filling and it’s topped with plenty of whipped cream. It sits in a classic flaky pie crust.

 

 

68 Responses
  1. JB

    I made this yesterday and I enjoyed it, but had a lot of comments from family about the amount of coconut in it. Do you do 2 cups (16 ounces) of coconut or 2 dry cups?

    Thanks!

  2. Chandra

    Hi,
    I absolutely love this recipe and outcome. It’s my husband’s birthday soon (this is His alltime Favorite) but I want to surprise him. He’s often working at home these days, any advise “where” I can buy and have delivered to me this pie to surprise him?? Thank You!

  3. Jane Gundlach

    This is a classic coconut custard. Meant to be exactly that. More modern recipes include butter, more sugar and flour, but they are not the recipes we remember from the grandma and diner pies of our youth. Perhaps you might also be thinking of a coconut cream, which is very different. Good custard pies require a bit of patience in baking and you have to wait until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. They make take more time to cook depending on your oven and altitude.

  4. Hristiana

    Hi, I’m planning to try your recipe. However I just have a quick question. Do you use sweetened or now coconuts flakes?
    Thank you so much, sounds wonderful, can’t wait to try it!

  5. Katy

    When you say to “mix” the coconut milk, what does that mean? Also, if I use store bought crust, you say to use two – is that so the filling doesn’t seep through? I’d try to make my own but I’m a self taught baker who hasn’t had luck with homemade crusts (yet) and any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Katy, the coconut milk will likely be separated when you open it and it should be mixed before you add it to the cake. So the store bought crust, I think splitting the recipe between two crusts would be better because the store bought crusts tend to be more shallow.

  6. Karen

    Today is 4/24/18, read through most of the recipes on your site, seems to take me back when my grandma & mom would fill the house with the smells of yesteryear, WOW, GOD bless you for staying grounded on recipes that aren’t filled with all the goo of chemicals that are killing us quietly, but swiftly!! Hope to get the ingredients for a few of your recipes, that look so great on the page, that I could lick the computer screen & actually taste the desserts!! Bless all of your gal pals that are submitting their recipes too!! Stay grounded in the Blood & Love of our LORD JESUS CHRIST!! May all keep a good thought!! Later, Karen!!

  7. Angelina

    This recipe was simple, quick and delicious. I didn’t have coconut extract so I used almond extract and made a pie crust by hand, using Genius Kitchen quick pie crust. Pre baked the crust, cooled it and had it baked and ready to go within two hours. Drizzled a bit of dark chocolate on the top for some color and contrast.

  8. Zev

    Thanks for the recipe, very simple and classic coconut custard. I like that it isn’t overwhelmingly sweet, it definitely reminds me of a pie my grandmother would have made. Mine is still baking but it looks and smells great. The only thing I did differently is added a few tablespoons of creamed coconut that I wanted to use up and next time I will use a deep-dish pan because I had extra filling. Looking forward to trying some of your other recipes 🙂

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Gabriella, yes you can, but you still have to follow the baking instructions. You may want to use 2 pie shells for this recipe if you’re using a store bought crust

  9. Me you

    this recipe is horrible!!! It doesn’t even remotely work, there is wayyyyyy too much milk, there are several ingredients obviously missing. What the hell is this a recipe for pudding? Thanks a lot for making me waste my time and supplies trying to make this stupid fucking thing, you really suck!!!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Wow, I feel sorry for you that you are so upset that you have to tear me down like that. Maybe you didn’t read my post were I mentioned that this is liquid before it goes into the oven. Maybe you should ask Angie, she said she made it three times and loved it.

    2. Emma

      Just made this for a church social for tomorrow. I followed it to a t and baked for 45 minutes. Next time though after the first 20 minutes I will cover the edge of the crust with foil it was to browned. It was jiggley when I took it out so I hope it sets. Smells great! Also ignore that mean post above! I have tried many recipes on Pinterest and some work and some don’t – but I would never talk like that to someone! Ignore them!?

      1. Beyond Frosting

        Hi Emma! That’s a great tip, I am going to add that into the notes for other who make this recipe. It will definitely still be jiggly like any custard pie when it comes out of the oven, but it will set as it cools! I hope you enjoy and thank you for your kind words.

  10. Jack

    This looks like a lovely recipe and I really want to try it, especially today being pi day.
    My question is, should I cook the pie crust first of throw everything together into the oven with out pre cooking it.
    My cooking intuition says to let it cook with the filling.

  11. Cindy

    I also noticed that my coconut milk was white and solidified most of it I did mix it as much as I could there was still a few white specks in it when I mix it in with the other wet ingredients don’t know if that has something to do with it

  12. Cindy

    Hi made the pie first time today tastes wonderful but I noticed after taking out of the refrigerator it was very wet at the bottom lots of water I don’t know why it came out too wet. . Follow the directions to the recipe second time lowered oven to 350 and bake for a mouse 30 minutes almost 35

  13. Angie

    I am here to confess that I have made this delicious pie 3 times in 2 weeks! Myself and my family are totally in love. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Kelly, I am not sure I would suggest that because the pie filling is very soupy at the start. Sorry I cannot offer more advice as I have no tested the pie this way. But if you give it a try, please let me know how it goes!

  14. steve

    I mistakenly forgot the 2 C of milk! But it seemed to be the perfect amount of liquid for the shell. Came out fine. I used 1 C of flaked unsweetened coconut, and 1 C sweetened shredded. Next attempt will be with half a C of each, soaking the flaked first. 1 C of milk, 1 C of coconut milk. Also a t of vanilla.
    This is exactly the kind of coconut custard pie I have found in Nova Scotia, and small diners back east. Thanks

  15. Erica Lynne

    So sad, I tried this last night. I am an experienced baker and I make egg custard pies often. I followed this to a tee and I have a curdled mess 🙁

    Not sure what I did wrong.

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Erica, I am sorry to hear this was not successful for you. May I asked what your baking time was? Did you allow it to cool 100% before cutting into it? I would like to send you an email so I can help determine what did not work for you.

      1. Erica Lynne

        baked at the 450 for 20 minutes- turned to 350 baked an additional 16 minutes, let set at room temp to cool for an hour, transferred to the fridge over night before even attempting to cut into it. Tried one this afternoon, with my ingredients all at room temp as I know my egg custard pie needs them to be at room temp to avoid curdling, Still same result, left at room temp from 1 to 2 pm and has been in the fridge for 4 hours now that I am slicing into it. just not mean to happen for me .

        1. Beyond Frosting

          Hi Erica. Thanks for your reply. The first time I baked the pie for 35 minutes and thought it did not set as much as I like. The 2nd time I baked it for 45 minutes as noted in the recipe. I thought when baked for 45 minutes that the filling was much more “set” and I enjoyed it better. I used a toothpick to test the center of the pie to see how “wet” it still was. The original recipe this is adapted from did not call for room temperature ingredients, and as such I did not use that either. I am sorry this has not worked out for you.

  16. Cristina

    I tried this today and it’s awesome! However, I ended up with a LOT of filling leftover that wouldn’t fit in the crust. Is this recipe for two pies and I just missed it?

    1. Beyond Frosting

      Hi Cristina! That is awesome! Thank you for sharing. I guess it could be a different size pie plate. I used a 9″ pie plate, and it was not a deep dish, but the sides were taller than you traditional Pyrex dish. I will have to test this again with a pyrex pie plate. Thank you so much for the feedback!

  17. Clara

    When you say eggs, do you mean the entire egg, or just the white part? I’m sorry, English is not my lenguage =$ I wanted to make this super pie for my dad’s birthday!

  18. Los - The Man, The Chef, The Dad

    I agree – those are ALWAYS the best recipes. Something about old recipes that really capture what you’re making. I think it’s because they did things simpler back then. Not so many ingredients that aren’t really needed.

    But some could use a little extra umph, And it sounds like you gave it nicely! I love substituting coconut milk for regular milk in a recipe like this. It’s such a no-brainer.

    Sounds like a perfect summer pie that won’t fill you with guilt. Might have to try it some time.

  19. Danae @ Recipe Runner

    Old cookbooks are the best! I have some of my grandma’s old ones and I love looking through them, you are so right about them being vague. Coconut cream pie is my favorite and this custard version looks so thick and creamy!

  20. Cyndi - My Kitchen Craze

    This is one gorgeous pie. I am horrible at pie and this is my new years resolution. Make better pie crust. Better get on that soon huh? Think I’ll just try with this gorgeous and delicious looking one! 😉 Yours looks perfect! Pinned! 😉

  21. Shashi at RunninSrilankan

    Wow – what a gorgeous pie! And on your second attempt too! I wish I could dig into that creamy coconut custardy filling right now!

  22. Christina @ Christina's Cucina

    I ADORE coconut and let’s just say that you wouldn’t have to twist my arm to eat a piece (or two) of that pie! Lovely recipe!

  23. Abby

    Hi,
    I’m on your site for the first time and I must tell you that I really love how you described your baking of this pie… just little details that will help others in their efforts.
    Wonderful recipes………
    Thanks

  24. Jocelyn (Grandbaby cakes)

    It is so great when we can push ourselves and learn new techniques and recipes so we can stay ahead and keep evolving. This pie looks absolutely perfect!

  25. Mir

    I love doing recipe exploration from old cookbooks! Because while they used so many odd ingredients back then, so many of the recipes are very basic and simple, hearkening back to a less processed time in our food approach.
    This pie looks perfect!

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