My mother is renowned for her pies. Never one to rest on her laurels, she is constantly experimenting with new techniques and recipes.
Although her seasonal fruit pies are standard at holiday celebrations — pumpkin and apple for Thanksgiving, peach and blueberry for the Fourth of July, she invariably mixes it up with something a little different for each gathering.
This past Thanksgiving, she made a coconut custard pie that was out of this world. And the best part about it was that she used a no-roll crust. The recipe can be made dairy or pareve, and the crust can be used for any pie recipe.
I loathe rolling dough, so I never make pies, but this nifty trick has made me reconsider my position. Oh, and even better — the crust is mixed and baked in the pie pan — so there isn’t even a bowl to clean.
This pie makes a lovely addition to any holiday meal, and can also be presented as a hostess gift or holiday gift. It certainly breaks a baking barrier in terms of the usual cookie or pumpkin bread, and it is quite simple to make.
Makes a 9-inch pie shell
- 1½ cups flour
- 1½ tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup oil
- 2 tablespoons milk (or water, or non-dairy milk)
Place the flour in a pie pan and add the sugar and salt; mix well.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the oil and milk.
Using your fingers, mix the ingredients until it becomes dough.
Press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan, finishing off the edges decoratively (or not).
Fill as desired and bake.
Coconut Custard Filling
Regarding the coconut: Sweetened or unsweetened coconut can be used; the pie is plenty sweet either way.
Makes enough to fill a 9-inch pie.
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
- 1 cup milk or coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup shredded sweetened or unsweetened coconut (cook’s choice)
Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Blend all the ingredients and pour them into a 9-inch unbaked pie shell.
Bake for 45 minutes until the crust is brown and the custard is set.
Serve slightly warm, at room temperature or chilled.