Southern Coconut Pie

Tender, flakey, rich, and sweet, this southern coconut pie has everything a coconut lover could want. This pie is unbeatable in flavor and texture and is made with very simple but good ingredients. Get the recipe below.

My grandma was as southern as they come. She grew up in South Carolina along with generations of her family before her. And she came from a line of great bakers and cooks. This is my grandma’s southern coconut pie she made for years, and so this post, while short and sweet, is my Ode to her.

a slice of southern coconut pie on a plate

What’s in Southern Coconut Pie?

It doesn’t get much simpler than southern coconut pie. My grandma always used a store-bought pie crust (sometimes I still do just because it tastes more like her recipe). I, however, made my easy pie crust recipe for this post.

(I use the same crust for my apple pecan pie, which works beautifully every time.)

What’s even better? There is no special mixer required to mix the filling. Literally, mix it in a bowl and pour into the unbaked pie crust, and bake.

Ingredients

This custard coconut pie recipe has 6 simple ingredients:

Butter: Use unsalted butter for the best results. This way, you have control over how much salt goes into the pie and the balance is right every time.

Granulated Sugar: Granulated sugar adds sweetness to this pie, which is essential for creating the custard filling.

Evaporated Milk: I love evaporated milk for baking because it’s richer than cow’s milk. It takes the flavor to the next level and is so good!

Vanilla: Use good vanilla extract to add flavor to this pie

Eggs: Always use large eggs. If you change the egg size, this will change the result of coconut pie filling but making it either too runny or too thick. A large egg (out of the shell), weighs 50 grams, so check the weight for accuracy.

Shredded Coconut: Obviously this wouldn’t be Southern coconut pie without coconut. See below for more info on the best kind to use for this recipe.

Souther coconut pie

How to Know When Coconut Pie is Done

Custard desserts can be intimidating whether you’re an experienced baker or a new recipe developer.

However, this pie is pretty foolproof.

You know your coconut pie is ready by giving it a little jiggle or shake while still in the oven. Do this when the pie has been baking for 45-50 minutes.

If the entire pie ripples and seems less set, it needs more baking time.

If the pie has a gentle jiggle or ripples more toward the center, then the pie is ready. Generally, bake coconut pie for 50-60 minutes, but be aware of how brown the crust is in the process.

Slice of southern coconut pie

How to Make Coconut Pie

This is a simplified version of the recipe. Please see the full recipe below.

  1. Make the crust, chill the dough, and roll it out.
  2. Form the crust into a 9″ pie dish, and finish the edges.
  3. Combine the coconut custard ingredients in a bowl, stir, and pour into the unbaked pie shell.
  4. Bake for 50-60 minutes at 350 F until the top is golden brown and is still slightly jiggly in the center.
  5. Cool for at least 2 hours, and then serve at room temperature. Can also refrigerate and serve cold.

Can You Make This Pie Ahead?

You can make the pie crust and refrigerate or freeze it before baking. When it comes time to make the coconut pie, take it out, add the filling, and bake.

Once the pie has been baked, it will be the freshest and crispest on day one. It’s still excellent on day two, but on day three, you’ll notice that the crust is quite a bit softer. So, to answer this question, I would not bake this pie more than one day in advance for the best eating experience.

In addition, you can freeze the entire pie once it has been baked. The crust will be a bit softer when it thaws, but it’s still a great way to save the pie and not throw any away if there are a few slices leftover (but honestly, I could eat the whole pie in one sitting!).

Best Type of Coconut for This Recipe

While you could use unsweetened coconut, it will not taste the same as the recommended “sweetened shredded coconut.” The sweetness from the sweetened coconut plays a key role in the overall flavor of the custard, and it’s delicious!

Whether you use organic or not, just make sure it’s sweetened and the coconut flakes are thin, like this. My grandma always used coconut like this, and it’s perfect.

Does Coconut Pie Need to Be Refrigerated?

Coconut pie can be stored at room temperature for up to 24 hours. After that, it can be refrigerated for up to a week. If you don’t like to eat coconut pie when it’s cold, remove it from the fridge an hour before eating to take the chill off. You can also warm a slice in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds if you don’t want to wait an hour.

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Southern Coconut Pie

a slice of southern coconut pie on a white plate with a fork and white backdrop

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No pie beats my Grandma’s Southern Coconut Pie. It’s easy, delicious, and doesn’t need any garnishes. Between the coconut custard filling and the buttery pie crust, it’s amazing as is!

  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: pie

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Crust

  • 192 g all purpose flour
  • 16 g granulated sugar
  • 34 g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • 57 g unsalted butter, cubed and frozen
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 45 Tbs ice cold water
  • 1 egg (for egg wash, optional)
  • 1 Tbs water (for egg wash, optional)
  • 1 9-inch pie plate

For the Coconut Pie Filling

  • 2 large eggs
  • 200 g granulated sugar (1 c)
  • 6 oz evaporated milk
  • 1/2 Tbs vanilla
  • 28 g unsalted butter, room temp (2 Tbs)
  • 5 oz sweetened shredded coconut

Instructions

To Make the Pie Dough

  1. Add flour, salt, sugar, and cold butter to a food processor and pulse until butter pieces are no bigger than green peas.
  2. Next, add the frozen butter pieces and pulse until butter is no bigger than green peas.
  3. Sprinkle in the vinegar and 4 tablespoons of water and pulse a few times. If you are able to squeeze a handful of the crumbly pie dough and it comes together into a dough, then it is ready. If it still seems dry, add another tablespoon of water and pulse. You should not need more than 5 tablespoons unless you added more flour than was called for.
  4. Pour crumbly dough out onto a work surface and gently knead until all of the dough comes together. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  5. If the dough chills for more than an hour, let the dough sit out for 20-30 minutes so it’s easier to work with.

To Make Southern Coconut Pie

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Roll out the pie dough and form into traditional 9-inch pie dish (not deep dish).
  3. In a medium size bowl, stir butter and sugar together, gently mashing the butter into the sugar. It doesn’t need to be completely blended.
  4. Add eggs, stir, and then add the remaining ingredients and stir.
  5. Pour ingredients into unbaked pie shell and smooth out coconut. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and just the center of the pie jiggles.
  6. Cool for at least 2 hours before serving. Store coconut pie covered at room temperature for 1-2 days, but place in the fridge afterward for up to one week. 

edges of the crust with foil so they don’t burn.

Bake about 60 minutes at 350* – or until center is firm.

Notes

This is a Baker Street Society recipe.

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