I think there’s a common misconception about healthy eating that deters a lot of people away from even trying. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be synonymous with bland salads, dry chicken breast or counting calories, and that’s why I started this blog baby in the first place. There is always a way to put a healthy, whole food twist on classic, not-so-good-for-you favorites… like this Paleo Chocolate Coconut Custard Pie… PIE!
This is a tribute of sorts to all the Bakers Square pie I consumed as a teen. French silk, pumpkin, apple, custard, oreo, pecan… omg don’t even get me started on Free Pie Wednesday. Even though Bakers Square is no longer a part of my life, I still think about it sometimes and that’s how most of my recipe creations start. I think of something I really want to eat, browse the web for ways to make it healthier, and start experimenting.
Most of the things I make, especially desserts, are inspired from recipes that already exist. Then all I have to do is tweak a few things to make it my own. Here, I took two different recipes and combined them to make a whole pie with a Roots and Sol-y twist. I’ve learned the hard way that when it comes to baking, it’s best to get a rough outline because, unlike savory cooking, science plays a bigger role in things actually looking and, more importantly, tasting how they’re supposed to. Special thanks to Fountain Avenue Kitchen for her Almond Flour Pie Crust and Dr. Anthony Gustin for his Creamy Coconut Milk Paleo Custard.
Happie-ness & health
If I told you this beautiful pie was healthy, would you believe me? I sure hope so! Unlike your average sugar and buttah filled pies, this one is loaded with good-for-you fats and fiber from the almond flour crust and dreamy coconut custard filling. AND if you ate the whole thing, you would have only consumed 3 tablespoons of honey. No refined sugars here! The high fat and fiber content keeps you feeling fuller longer and low sugar means… yup… no crazy out of control sugar highs and subsequent crashes. What I’m telling you, is that this pie deserves your respect and your attention because I dare say that it is BETTER than what Bakers Square is servin’ up.
Coconut milk may be high in calories and saturated fat, but these fats are known as medium-chain triglycerides. One medium-chain fatty acid in particular, lauric acid, is converted into an awesomely beneficial antiviral and antibacterial compound called monolaurin (1). What does this mean for you? It means that the consumption of coconut milk could help protect your body against infections and viruses that wanna keep you down. AND, this super powered nut milk may even reduce inflammation, improve cholesterol levels, and rev up your metabolism (2). Wowza, gimme somma dat!
One important note: if you’re gonna buy canned coconut milk, get the good stuff that’s free from added sugar, guar gum and nasty preservatives. It’s only $1-2 more and is so worth it if you’re really trying to do your body a favor.
Think “custard” sounds intimidating to make?? Well think again because this recipe is easy as PIE. Get it?!?!? And for realz, if I can do it you can do it. The two recipes I was working from seemed easy enough, but the whole thing turned into me being like… WT actual F am I doing? So at one point I was really just throwing things together and livin’ on a prayer. But that’s the fun part about cooking and experimenting. And let me tell ya, it turned out so damn good… like woah. Don’t let anything intimidate you, especially not a pie.
Be a Pie-Oneer!
I really encourage you to be creative with this recipe and cooking in general. You can top this coconut custard beauty with whatever you like– bananas, blackberries, blueberries, nuts, more chocolate, cocoa. Whateva floats your pie boat! And don’t be afraid to tweak the spices in the custard itself. Perhaps a dash of cayenne or pumpkin pie spice? A splash of almond extract? Totally up to your inner creative goddess/god.
- Easiest crust ever because there’s no rolling and no floury mess.
- During the first baking of the crust, I would say it’s best to err on the side of less done- just until the crust is dry to the touch.
- If the edges start getting too brown, and mine obviously did, try putting tinfoil around the top. Learned this lil trick from my Grandma who is a rockstar at baking.
- When pouring the hot coconut milk into the eggs, do it slowly and steadily while whisking ferociously so that the eggs don’t start cooking.
- 2 cups almond flour
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- ¼ tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. vanilla (optional)
- 1 egg
- 1 can coconut milk (solid part only-- save the liquid for smoothies)
- 1 cup almond or coconut milk
- 4 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 4 eggs
- Preheat the oven to 350℉.
- In a food processor (you can totally do this sans food processor as well), add the almond flour, honey, baking soda and salt. Pulse several times. Then add the egg and vanilla. Pulse again. Scatter small pieces of coconut oil over top and continue to pulse until the mixture forms a dough like ball.
- Pour into a 9” pie dish and, using your hands, work the dough all the way up the sides. Try your best to get the dough as even as possible for even baking.
- Bake for about 10 minutes or until the crust is dry to the touch. Remove from oven.
- Bring 4 eggs to room temperature- this is important and keeps the eggs from burning when mixed into the milk.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan over low heat add canned coconut milk, almond or coconut milk and honey. Stir constantly until simmering. Then add cocoa powder and cinnamon and continue stirring.
- Crack room temp eggs into a medium size bowl and whisk.
- Take the milk mixture off the heat and while FEROCIOUSLY whisking the eggs, slowly pour in the coconut milk mixture. A steady whisk and slow pour will help prevent the eggs from immediately cooking.
- Pour the custard mixture into the par-baked pie shell and bake for 350℉ for about 30 minutes or until the custard sets.
- Remove from oven. Let cool completely and add the toppings of your choice. Or not… up to you. Enjoy!