Adventures in Pi(e)-Making

Tomorrow is Pi(e) Day, and so I must do my nerdly patriotic duty and make pie. (Don’t tell anyone, but I also bought a pie because strawberry rhubarb pie is one of my weaknesses and that one feels out of my league at the moment.)

A link for a coconut custard pie crossed my path recently. Looked simple enough, so I googled other recipes for variations and found a few I could mix and match. I figured I’d bake two because I like to share.

It looked simple:

  1. Blind-bake the crust. Done. (I used pre-made crust – saves me time.)
  2. Toast the coconut flakes. Easy.
  3. Mix the filling. No problem!
  4. Pour it into the pie crusts. Well…

I mean, that’s not hard, but I had more filling than will fit into two 9-inch crusts, and this is where things started to get (literally) sticky. I did NOT overfill them. I feel like I need to say that up front, considering what happened next. One of the recipes I found recommended baking the pies on preheated cookie sheets, and I am SO glad I followed that advice. Advice I could have used: pour the filling into the pie crusts as close to the oven as you can possibly get to avoid carrying a pie full of liquid across the entire kitchen. I had the oven open, the rack out (mistake #2, although it was the lower rack and I don’t know what else I could have done), and I had banished Jack to the pantry. I didn’t drip any filling onto the kitchen floor, but lowering myself down to the level of the lower rack in the oven was not so successful. Yeah, that’s pie filling on the window in the oven door. Yes, that’s pie filling on the cookie sheet the pie is going to sit on. And no, the rack did not slide smoothly back into the oven, so yes, I lost even more pie filling to the cookie sheet as it jolted back into place. The second pie, going to the top rack, lost less filling. I got the oven closed.

THEN, as always happens with my cookie sheets in the oven, I heard a loud metal sound because my cookie sheets bend in the heat, and of COURSE they’re going to do it today. I turned the light on and looked through the cloudy pie-filling-covered oven window. The pie still had all of its filling, but it’s tilted dangerously to the back and super uneven now in the crust.

They’re both baking now, and what could have been a lovely smell of warm coconut is drowned out by the smell of burnt milk and eggs.

Update: out of the oven, they look okay, and the smell up close is much nicer.

Here’s the not-quite-as-filled one, with burnt filling all around.

Here’s the lopsided one.

Happy Pi(e) Day!


  1. Betty

    Happy Pi(e) Day! I’m sure they tasted delicious. And I’m glad Jack won’t ever have to ask you, “Mommy, what’s a pie?”

  2. Zannah

    Super good cold. Jack was not impressed. I think he didn’t like the texture with the coconut. And because I had him try that one first, he didn’t trust me on the strawberry rhubarb pie, so he’s missing out.

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