Not unlike old-fashioned chess pies, this simple adaptation of a 1954 creation from Mrs. Miles L. Croom of Ferndale, MI bakes into two layers: custard on the bottom and crunchy toasted coconut on the top. The original recipe called for two extracts, lemon and almond and rather a lot of salt. But we found those flavors overpowering. We think the pie tastes nice without the extracts, and with half the salt. If you can find a fresh coconut, make this pie with it!
Makes 1, 9-inch pie
- 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening or lard
- 3 to 4 Tbsp cold water
Coconut Filling Ingredients
- 3 egg yolks, well beaten
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp soft butter
- 1 cup shredded packaged sweetened coconut OR 1 cup fresh-grated coconut
- 3 egg whites
- Make crust: Sift flour with salt. Cut in shortening until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle cold water over mixture, tossing until dough is moist enough to hold together. Form into a ball. roll out on floured pastry cloth or board to an 11-inch circle. Fit loosely into pie pan. Fold edge to form standing rim; flute.
- Make filling: Combine three egg yolks with sugar and mix in salt. Add milk and softened butter. Beat thoroughly. Fold in 1 cup coconut. Set aside. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into egg yolk mixture. Pour into pie pan.
- Preheat oven to to 350. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.