During summer in college, I made the original Buko Pie recipe on this blog in 2010 (how time has flown). Back then I didn’t take pictures for the food blog, and it was more of a collection of recipes instead of a blog. I did a lot of baking that summer, and my roommates were also avid bakers and cooks.
Two roommates were from my Filipino organization at Stanford (PASU) and we were already good friends. We joked that Abe and I were the “dad” and “mom” since we did all the cooking, and Marco was the teenage son who would emerge once the dinner was on the table. The other was Gayle, a grad student and an Olympian (people at Stanford are crazy talented). In fact, they were the ones who told me I should start a food blog! So I have to thank Obsessive Cooking Disorder existed only because of them.
Sadly, I haven’t been very good at keeping touch with them, but I do know that Marco (now a pediatrician) recently married his partner, and Abe is still in the Bay Area (last I heard, he had moved in with his partner).
One of my favorite recipes we made that summer was Buko Pie (Filipino Coconut Pie). Like many Filipino desserts, buko pie is definitely not the healthiest, but it tastes amazing, especially with fresh coconut.
In the Philippines, buko (“boo-koh”) is young, green coconut, and the coconut meat is also called buko. The filling is sweet and creamy, and traditionally the crust is flaky and covers the top. My version is lighter since I don’t like my desserts too sweet, so I feel a little less guilty eating it.
I remade this recipe (adapted from Kawaling Pinoy) last year but never got around to posting it. In Philadelphia, B and I found a great Asian market that sold young coconuts, so I finally had the chance to make this again 10 years later.
It was dark, so admittedly, these aren’t the best photos and don’t do the buko pie justice, but I do hope you enjoy this Filipino speciality!
Buko Pie (Filipino Coconut Pie) II
FLAKY PIE CRUST
3 cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups shortening, chilled (can also use butter)
8 tablespoons cold water, additional for working with dough
2 tablespoons lemon juice
BUKO PIE FILLING
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups young coconut meat
1 small egg
1 tablespoon milk
FLAKY PIE DOUGH
In a bowl, sift flour and salt. Add chilled shortening, and cut in with a knife until resembling small peas . Add lemon juice or vinegar to the cold water and sprinkle in just enough cold water to the flour mixture to form a ball (I used a food proccessor)
Divide dough into two halves and chill dough to make for easier handling. Roll dough out and press onto a pie tin. Refrigerate 30 minutes to an hour while making the pie filling
Take the remaining half of the dough and roll it forming a circle. Place the dough on a parchment paper and roll it together into a cylinder. Refrigerate until ready to use.
BUKO PIE FILLING
In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in coconut water (cold, or cornstarch won’t dissolve) and set aside.
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the cream and sugar and bring to a simmer. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Add the coconut meat. Slowly add the coconut water with cornstarch, stirring regularly. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat.
ASSEMBLY AND BAKING
Pour the coconut filling filling on the chilled pie crust. Unroll the second crust dough with the parchment paper to cover the top of the pie. Cut the excess from the edges, if any, and pinch the sides to seal together with the crust. Using a fork, poke holes on top crust to serve as vents for the steam while baking.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Brush the top with the egg wash.
Bake in a 350 F for 30-35 minutes. Remove pie from oven and let it cool down for the filling to set in. Serve while just slightly warm. Enjoy!