This is by far one of my favourtie desserts. Not just because of its taste but because this reminds me of Laguna - where my mum is from in the Philippines. Just about remember my grandad's farm that had rows and rows of coconut trees and having fresh coconut water at my disposal. On the way out to Manila you would see women selling freshly baked pies made from the local produce - that was the real deal!
My favourite part of this dish is how the buttery and crumbly pastry that compliments the sweet and creamy coconut filling made from the young coconut flesh. Great for merienda (tea time) or any time really! I like this served slightly warm with a tea or ice cream!
So here's the recipe for 2 x mini buko pies:
175g of plain flour
25g of icing sugar
100g of cold butter
1 tbsp water
1 egg yolk
2 x fresh coconuts or frozen coconut meat
1/2 cup of cream
1/2 cup of fresh coconut water
2 tbsps cornflour mixed with water solution
1/2 cup of caster sugar
Pre heat oven to 180C or 150C fan assisted.
In a food processor add the flour, icing sugar and butter then blitz untill the butter has been evenly distributed. Next add the egg yolk and water then blitz until a dough ball is formed. Take out the pastry and knead a few times to combine. Slice the pastry into 4 even parts and set 2 aside somewhere cool - like the fridge or by the window!
Flour the surface and rolling pin. Roll out 1/4 of the dough in a circle making sure that its roughly an inch and a half larger than the base of the flan tin. I used the mini flan tins which are around 10cm in diameter. Carefully lift and line the tin with the pastry. Lightly push the pasty into every crevice and allow the excess pasty to flow over the top. Don't worry if there are rips just pinch a piece of somewhere and patch up. Prick the base a few times with a fork. Grab some foil and line on top of the pastry then add a suitable baking weight to avoid it rising - I used the ceramic baking beans. Do the same for the second tin.
Place both tins on a baking tray and bake for 10mins.
For the filling, if you've opted for the frozen meat then simply defrost before using but if you're feeling like a castaway on a desert island then take the next step.
Hack the top of the coconut open untill a small opening is formed. Be careful as the coconut is filled with juice. Empty out the juice into a jug and set aside 1/2 cup then help yourself to the rest! Place the coconut on its side and hack longways. It will take a few tries untill you crack the shell but once you do you can use your hands to split. With the back of the spoon scrape the coconut meat off. Some of the brown shell might come off with it but simply use a knife to slice off. The aim is to get the meat as clean as possible. I like the meat to be in thin sheets so I use the knife, position it diagonally and carve the meat to get the right thickness. I prefer the filling to be as soft without having to chew the meat too much.
Take the meat and place in a pan over medium to low heat then add the sugar, cream and coconut water. Stir till the sugar dissolves and then add the corn flour/water solution then stir untill the liquid becomes a thick consistency - like custard.
After 10 minutes take out the pastry from the oven. Remove the foil with weight and put the tarts back in for a further 7 - 10 minutes constantly keeping an eye untill its cooked. You'll know its cooked because the pastry is no longer springy.
Spoon the filling into the pastry cases untill its a half a cm from the top.
Grab the other 2 quarters of dough. Roll out the dough into a circle, making sure its half an inch larger than the top and carefully place the pastry sheet on top. Pinch the top edges with the sides, sealing any gaps. Do the same for the other pie.
Brush the top with milk or melted butter or even syrup - what ever tickles your fancy.
Bake pies for a further 10 minutes in the oven or untill the top of the pies are slightly brown.
Leave to cool fully then slowly remove the pies out of the tin cases by carfully pushing the base up.
Enjoy slightly warm with a dollop of your favourite pie condiment!
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