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Rich and custardy French Coconut Pie
One of the easiest pies you’ll ever make
I’m not sure if this French Coconut Pie is authentically French, but I do know it’s incredibly melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Everybody that loves coconut, loves this pie!
The first time I made this pie in 2011 my first thoughts were how incredibly easy it was to make. Whisk together the ingredients, fold in the shredded coconut and pour into an unbaked pie shell. Done and done!
I also remember thinking that the original recipe yielded a pie that was just a little too rich for me. My husband adored it as made, but I thought I could tweak it a little here and there and make it even better.
Over the years I’ve made some adjustments and now I’m so completely thrilled with this version, I had to share it with you!
The texture of the filling is silky but with plenty of chewy coconut. The flavor is still rich but not over the top sweet. I think you’re going to LOVE this one!
Overview of ingredients
- 3 large eggs plus one egg yolk at room temperature
- granulated sugar
- table salt
- white distilled vinegar
- vanilla extract
- coconut extract
- unsalted butter melted and cooled
- flaked sweetened coconut
- unbaked pie crust either homemade or store-bought
How to make the best French Coconut Pie:
1. Prep the pie crust and preheat the oven
Prepare an unbaked 9-inch pie crust. If using a store-bought pie crust, follow the package directions before filling.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place a baking stone or heavy-duty baking pan in the oven to preheat. The pie will be baked directly on the preheated hot stone.
2. Whisk together the filling
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the eggs, egg yolk and sugar. Add the vinegar, salt, vanilla and coconut extracts.
Slowly add the melted butter while whisking constantly. Stir in the coconut and pour the mixture into the prepared crust.
Bake the pie on the hot stone for 50 to 55 minutes or until the pie is deep golden brown and the center is just set. Tent the pie with foil if needed to prevent over browning.
Cool the pie to room temperature or serve slightly warm topped with a dollop of whipped cream if desired.
Here are the changes made to the original recipe
Many readers agreed that the original recipe was a little too sweet.
While I also thought the custard pie was a little too sweet, I found that good flaked sweetened coconut was still the best way to go. Unsweetened coconut is best softened before baking and doesn’t brown in the oven like sweetened coconut.
Once I settled on using sweetened coconut, I tried reducing the granulated sugar from 1 and 1/2 cups to just one cup sugar total. While the pie was still tasty, the custard filling was pretty dry. As you know sugar melts into liquid and having just the right amount is essential for this recipe.
Next I tried reducing the sugar to 1 and 1/4 cups. While the consistency was much improved and not at all dry, there was still a little more work to be done.
To balance the flavor we increased the amount of vinegar from 1 tablespoon to 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon. This may not seem like much, but it really helped.
We added 1/2 teaspoon of coconut extract along with the vanilla. Not so much that you can taste the extract, but just enough to enhance the coconut flavor.
Finally we increased the salt slightly and added 1 egg yolk to the mix. This final step sealed the deal. The additional egg yolk added plenty of richness without an overly eggy flavor.
The final version
While this final adapted version is still sweet, it’s sweet in a good way and not at all cloying.
To ensure the bottom crust didn’t get soggy, we assembled the pie in a metal pan that conducts heat very well and baked it on a hot preheated stone. No more gooey, soggy bottom crust!
You can serve this pie slightly warm, room temperature or even cold. Cut into small slices and top with lightly sweetened whipped cream if desired.
This recipe was worth the effort
If you’re a long time reader you probably know I have a thing for pies. This French Coconut Pie recipe was part of our year of pies. In 2011 we made a pie a week for the entire year. This recipe was No. 18.
I must say this recipe was worth the effort to rework and is now one of our all-time favorites.
With the adjustments this pie has the light crispy crust on top, a gooey, chewy coconut custardy middle and a flaky, buttery crust.
If you love coconut, you’re going to LOVE this pie!
How to store French Coconut Pie
This pie keeps well stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage refrigerate leftovers.
You can also freeze leftovers well sealed in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then bring to room temperature for 1 hour before serving.
More coconut recipes you might like
- Coconut Macaroons
- Coconut Key Lime Bars
- Chocolate Coconut Balls
- Coconut Key Lime Meltaways
- Apricot Coconut Balls
- 7-Layer Magic Cookie Bars
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French Coconut Pie
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk (reserve white for brushing on crust)
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar (275g)
- ⅛ teaspoon table salt
- 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar plus 1 teaspoon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon coconut extract
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted and cooled (113g or 4oz)
- 1 cup flaked sweetened coconut like Baker's Angel Flake Coconut (127g or 4 1/2oz)
- 1 9-inch unbaked pie crust homemade or store-bought
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place a baking stone or heavy baking pan in the oven to preheat. The pie will be baked directly on the hot stone to quick-cook the bottom crust and prevent it from being soggy.
- Whisk the eggs, egg yolk and sugar in a large mixing bowl just until well blended. Add the vinegar, salt, vanilla and coconut extracts. Whisk until blended.
- Slowly add the melted butter while whisking constantly until combined. Fold in the coconut. Pour the mixture into the prepared unbaked pie crust. Beat the remaining egg white with a fork then brush on all exposed edges of the pie pastry.
- Place the pie directly on the hot stone and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the filling is just set. Tent the pie with foil if needed to prevent over-browning.
- Allow the pie to cool before slicing. The pie can be served at room temperature, cold or slightly warm.
- Store leftovers in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Refrigerate for longer storage.
- To use unsweetened coconut in place of sweetened coconut, soak the unsweetened coconut in the melted butter for 15 minutes before adding to the mixture. Increase the sugar to 1 and 1/2 cups. The top will not brown as much when using unsweetened coconut. You can also use half sweetened and half unsweetened coconut for this recipe.
Originally published May 2011, updated May 2022
French Coconut Pie for coconut lovers!
There you have it; another wonderful, delicious moan-worthy pie recipe that’s been tested and perfected. If you love to bake and adore coconut, this is a must-make recipe!