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Toasted Coconut Chess Pie



  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk or cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons butter melted then cooled
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup toasted sweetened coconut


  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 3-4 tablespoons cold water


  1. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, salt, and cold butter until crumbly. Add the first 3 tablespoons of cold water and pulse again. If needed, add an additional tablespoon of cold water. Press the dough together, cover in plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling. Or you can make the dough ahead of time and freeze for up to 3 days.
  2. Once you're ready, roll out out the dough on a lightly floured surface and place in a buttered pie pan. Poke a few holes (with a fork) in the bottom of the crust before filling.
  3. Melt the butter in the microwave and allow to cool while you prepare the coconut.
  4. Toast the coconut in a dry pan over medium/low heat until lightly brown and crunchy. I like to use a rubber, heatproof spatula while toasting coconut this way, as it allows you to easily remove bits from the side of the pan so they don't become too toasted while you work.
  5. In a large bowl, stir together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and cooled (but still melted) butter. Stir in the sugar. Now add the salt, cornmeal, flour, and vinegar, and stir to combine. Stir in half of the toasted coconut, reserving the rest to sprinkle over the top.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 45-50 minutes. The pie should only have some very slight movement (jiggle), and the top should look crusty and browned. Allow the pie to cool for at least 30 minutes before trying to cut into it, or else it may not be set enough and will ooze.