"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Buko (Young Coconut) Pie - my most expensive homemade pie in the US

Buko Pie
I had an old old post of buko pie but at the time, not knowing where to get buko, I used macapuno. Not quite the same.

This time, I now know that I can order young coconuts from Hannaford grocery stores and get them the very next day or so. The coconuts are imported from Thailand. I trust Hannaford when it comes to sourcing their produce. So even if pricey at $3.99 per piece, I get my buko fix from Hannaford. Tip: If you order them then get them right away, you will get white meat. If you wait and get the ones displayed on the shelves, the meat is pinkish. Not sure why, but it tastes okay if you can get past the color change.

Yes, it is expensive! Just for the cost of ingredients alone, a pie can cost $15. Add in the labor, gas for the trip to the grocery store, gas to bake, and it could easily be ideally sold at a minimum of $50 per pie! Now if only the pie makers like Marie Callenders can make frozen buko pie from the source, then import them here to the US as ready-to-bake pies...hmmmm...maybe we Fil-Ams should make a demand.

A friend of mine brought buko pie last December for my birthday/Christmas party. One of my co-workers (Black American) who I invited loved the pie and asked me to give one to her as a birthday gift. Her birthday was last Tuesday; I ordered the coconuts Monday. We both worked Wed and Thu, and I finally got my coconuts last Friday. My son's birthday party was yesterday (Saturday) so now that it is Sunday, I finally found the time to tackle this gargantuan task with the help of my son.

Coconut meat scraped from a case of young coconuts imported from Thailand
My able-bodied son cracked the coconuts open and drained the water out into a pitcher, while I scraped the meat. The thinner meat were shaped into squares, and the thicker ones were scraped with the looped scraper (that results to noodle-like shape). After all were done, I ended up with enough to make 3 pies. So, one pie = 3 young coconuts  = roughly 2 cups.

Ingredients: (To make 3 pies)
9 young coconuts (This makes a whole case.)
1 can of 12-oz evap milk
2&1/4 c sugar
1&1/2 c tapioca starch (or cornstarch, if you prefer more body instead of gooey)
1&1/2 c coconut water
3 t pandan extract
few drops of lemon extract

Double pie crusts x 3
egg wash (1 egg plus 1 T milk; beat together)

Mix all ingredients except meat from young coconuts.

Cook on low medium heat while stirring constantly until thick.

Turn off heat and mix in the coconut meat.

This is your filling for 3 double-crust pies.
I only made 2. I froze the third portion for filling another pie at a later time.

I used this organic pie shell for bottom. I used Marie Callender's for top crust.
Brush top with egg wash.

Bake at 400ºF x 15 mins then at 325ºF x 45 mins.

Perfectly golden brown!

Puffed up at the middle. Of course it will shrink once cooled.
Enjoy while warm! Great with coffee or vanilla ice cream. As my son's experience goes, does not go well with cold coconut water (because the coconut water taste becomes indistinguishable).
Mostly coconut meat!

I had a second portion!

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