Buko Pie Recipe – Young coconut is a popular ingredient you’ll find in many Filipino desserts. One Filipino dish that features this ingredient is buko pie. Otherwise known as coconut pie, buko pie is a traditional Filipino pie that features young coconut and custard. Depending on the area, there are also versions of this pie that uses a thicker and stickier type of coconut called macapuno a.k.a. coconut sport.
In addition to a variation with different coconut, there are also buko pies that contain different flavors like pandan and vanilla. With the traditional version of this pie, you get a mixture of young coconut with a custard that involves condensed milk. Unlike American coconut pies, buko pie does not involve cream and mostly features a flaky pastry topping. One classic Buko Pie Recipe you can try is as follows:
Ingredients for Pie Crust
- 3 ¾ cups bread flour (375 g, plus more for dusting)
- 3 tbsp sugar (plus 2–3 tablespoons, for topping pie (optional))
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 4 oz cream cheese (85 g, very cold, and cut into ¼-inch (6 mm) cubes)
- 6 oz unsalted butter (170 g, very cold, and cut into ¼-inch (6 mm) cubes)
- ¼ cup ice water (60 mL, plus 1 tablespoon)
- 1 large egg (beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
Ingredients for Buko Filling
- 2 packages frozen buko (young coconut and thawed)
- ¼ cup all purpose flour (25 g)
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ¾ cup whole milk (180 mL)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter (60 g and cold)
- 7 oz condensed milk (200 g)
Process for Making the Crust
- Whisk the bread flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, and salt in a large bowl until the dry ingredients are well mixed then add the cream cheese. Rub the cream cheese into the flour mixture by hand until there are no large chunks left then add the butter. Mix them all together until only pea-sized pieces of the butter remain.
- Add half of the ice water and work into the flour mixture. Use your hands to carefully incorporate the ingredients together by pressing down. Once the ingredients are incorporated, pour the remaining ice water and gently knead to form a dough.
- Divide the dough in half (about 370 grams per portion) and shape them into ½-inch-thick discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap then refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour, or up to 3 days (you can also have them frozen for up to 1 week).
Process for the Filling
- Drain the juice from the buko packages. Make sure to reserve ¾ cup then add the buko to a large bowl.
- Add the flour, cornstarch, salt, whole milk, and reserved coconut juice to a medium saucepan and mix them together until there are no lumps. If there are any, you can pass the mixture through a fine mesh. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, whole milk, and reserved coconut juice, making sure there are no lumps (if any lumps do form, pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove). Cook over medium heat, whisking continuously, until thickened, 10–12 minutes. As the mixture thickens, you may want to switch to a wooden spoon for easier stirring.
- Cook the mixture over medium heat and whisk continuously until the mixture is thickened. The thickening process should take around 10-12 minutes. When that happens, switch to a wooden spoon for easier stirring.
- Remove the pot from heat and stir in the cold butter until it's melted and incorporated. Stir in the condensed milk until you get a smooth consistency.
- Pour the custard over the buko and stir until the buko is coated.
- Cover the mixture with plastic wrap (make sure to press the plastic directly against the surface to prevent a skin from forming) then transfer it to the refrigerator to cool completely, for about 1 hour. The filling will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Process for the Pie
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C)
- Roll a portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface. The dough should turn into a 13-inch circle with a ⅛-inch thickness. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough pieces.
- Transfer the dough circles to a 9-inch pie tin. Make sure to trim the edges so there’s about ¼ inch of dough overhanging the edges of the tin.
- Pour the buko filling into the crust and brush the edges with egg wash. Place the remaining round dough pieces on top of the pie and press the edges together gently to seal.
- Trim the edges to ¼ inch, then pinch the edges together and crimp as desired. Use a paring knife to cut vents on the top of the pie.
- Freeze the pie for 2 hours before baking (or wrap tightly and keep in the freezer for up to 1 month if you want to bake them later).
- Arrange an oven rack in the center position.
- Place the buko pie on a baking sheet, then brush the top with egg wash. You can sprinkle the remaining 2–3 tablespoons of sugar on top if you'd like
- Bake the pie for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350°F (180°C) and continue baking for another 65 minutes, until golden brown.
- Once the pies are baked, let them cool for 30 minutes and it'll be ready to serve
What Else to Know About a Buko Pie Recipe
If you are a fan of coconut, Buko Pie is a prime dessert to try. Some other desserts that have a similarity to buko pie include a South African dessert called klappertert. It is also a coconut pie, but unlike buko pie, it adds apricot jam and a dash of cinnamon to the coconut custard. Another similar coconut dessert is klappertaart. Klappertaart is a Dutch-Indonesian dessert that involves a baked creamy coconut custard containing raisins and nuts.