Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cambodian Coconut Pie

After a prolonged absence, I have once again entered the pie baking world!! I have been in Cambodia for about two and a half months now, and I was able to bake my first pie last week. Now, baking a pie in Cambodia is not an easy feat for a multitude of reasons. I will give you just a few here. 1. The only oven you have to work with is a convection toaster oven that sits on your counter. 2. Baking dishes in Cambodia? No, they don't really have those. Thus, you have to wait for some pie tins to be shipped to you. (Measuring cups and spoons also have to be shipped.) 3. Everything you need at one convenient location. I think not! I think I have been to 3 different supermarkets trying to track down ingredients that I wanted. 4. Rolling pins are also not available here. Trust me. I have looked. So, my crust options are limited.

But, despite all of these difficulties, I was able to successfully make a pie! So, here it is...a coconut custard pie made right here in my Cambodian kitchen!

3 packages of $0.45 cream-o's (or about a half package of oreos)
6 Tbsp. butter
1 c. flaked coconut (1/2 c. toasted)
3 eggs
1-14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
1-1/4 c. hot water
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 425F.

2. Crush cookies and put in bowl. Melt butter.
3. Stir together cookies and melted butter. Pat into pie tin. Bake in oven for 7-8 minutes. Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl (or a saucepan if that is all you have!), beat eggs.
5. Add sweetened condensed milk, water, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg. Mix well.
6. Stir in 1/2 c. untoasted coconut.
7. Pour into waiting pie crust. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.
8. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn oven down to 350F and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes.
9. Pie is done when the center is set. Allow to cool and serve warm or chilled.
The Verdict
For pie-making in Cambodia, I think it turned out quite well. The consistency was really nice, and the coconut flavor wasn't as overwhelming as I thought it might be. The chocolate crust actually turned out to be a nice compliment to the coconut, as well. Please note that I used the above directions as I would have done in America because the baking times and temperatures ended up being quite different here, but thank goodness I have gotten used to my oven. We have become friends now, so I don't burn things anymore! Also, if you have never toasted coconut, you can either do it in the microwave by spreading it out on a microwave safe plate with a couple tablespoons of powdered sugar and microwave for 30 second increments and stir until it starts to brown. Or, you can do it in the oven on a baking sheet in a 350F oven, again stirring every 30 seconds until it is dry and starts to brown.


  1. Yay! I have missed your pie inspiration! That is one yummy looking pie!

  2. ho ho! that looks fantastic!