We lived in the tiny apartment our first year of college along with a toddler and a half. We’d moved from out-of-town and had no idea where to live so we took the first affordable place. Think olden days way before the interwebs, email, cell phones and handy Craigslist.
We lived there just long enough to know that sometimes cheap comes with a steep price in sanity. With little heat, no air conditioning or even window screens, we endured the smell and noise of industry bustling around us. The greasy spoon opened at 5AM in time for the bus drivers to get a heart-attack worthy breakfast that wafted up into our apartment. I’d like to say it was great diner food, but it was not even that.
But in that little apartment with the crazy big kitchen I learned how to bake in circumstances that would give me pause today. The gas oven had one temperature when it worked. The refrigerator was vintage in more than a good way. The roaches checked in and never checked out. We actually began to name the mice.
But in that whole mess I learned to bake my first coconut custard pie. I’ve changed it slightly over the years, but it is essentially still the same retro-good pie. There are few things from those early days that remain with us today (think cinder block bookshelves) but thankfully this pie is one of them.
You will want to make the 3-2-1 pie crust. Or you can certainly buy a GF crust from someplace like Whole Foods. Pre-bake it slightly. Blend the other stuff together, fill the shell, bake and cool to room temperature. It is that easy.
- one GF pie crust see post for link
- 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup more if you enjoy sweeter pie
- 5 large eggs
- 1 cup cream or half/half
- 1.5 cups whole milk
- pinch of nutmeg some in the pie shell, and some for sprinkling on top
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut save a tablespoon or so for the top
- Preheat oven to 375. Pre-bake pie shell for about 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, cream, milk, nutmeg. Add coconut to bottom of pie crust. Strain custard into pie shell slowly until it reaches almost up to the rim. You will want it to be rather full. Sprinkle remaining coconut flakes on the top. Add a pinch more nutmeg to the top.
- Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes. Turn temperature to 325 and bake for about 30 minutes or just until the center is slightly wiggly. You can test it by inserting a knife in the center – if it comes out clean, the pie is quite done. It will set more as it cools. Serve room temperature or chilled – your choice.