March 4, 2012

Coconut Cream Mini Pies & How To Make Pie Crust Flowers

Coconut Cream Mini Pies

I have a deep, dark secret: I don't like coconut.  So, why am I making coconut cream pies?  My husband loves them, and I had never made them before, which means a new challenge for me!  I decided to miniaturize these because my husband would be the only one eating them, and he can only eat so much coconut cream pie.

Coconut Cream Mini Pies

I used a coconut cream pie recipe from, although I cheated and used packaged, pre-shredded coconut.   I also halved the recipe since I was only making two mini pies.  For the crust, I used my usual pie crust recipe, but once again, halved it since I only needed two one-crust pies.  Whenever I bake pie shells, I always have a hard time finding something suitable to weigh the middle of the pie down with.  You need to do this because otherwise, the pie crust will bubble up in the middle and leave you with no room for filling.  This time, my eyes fell on my laundry money stash.  Bam!  Quarters for pie weights!

Unbaked Pie Crusts with Quarters for Pie Weights

Pie Crust
Makes enough for 2 (5-inch) mini pies with crust to spare. 

1 ¼ cups (6 ¼ oz) flour
2 tbsp sugar
½  tsp salt
1 ¼ sticks cold unsalted butter
~½ cup ice water

Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together with a fork.
Cube the butter and "cut" it into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until there are no butter bits that are bigger than a pea.  Make sure you don't go smaller than this, however, since you'll start to lose flakiness if the butter is too small.
Add the ice water, a tablespoon or two at a time and use a fork to wet the flour/butter mixture.  Keep adding until the dough just starts to hold together.  You don't want the dough too wet, and you don't want to mix in the water too much.  I find it useful to just use my hands to mix at this point.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for a couple hours at least (overnight is best).

These pies were very tasty according to my husband.  I could have done with less coconut (as in, none).

Coconut Cream Pie with Pie Crust Flower

I also decided to use this pie-making adventure as an opportunity to try something I've been thinking about for a while: beautifying pies.  Don't get me wrong - I think pies are beautiful in a rustic, wholesome way.  However, you never really can do as much decorating with pies as you can with cakes.  Recently, I've been working a lot with fondant flowers (see my grapefruit cupcakes and sesame red bean cupcakes), and it gave me an idea: pie crust flowers.

Painted Pie Crust Flowers

They're certainly not as delicate as the fondant flowers, but they're still pretty and they add a dash of color to the pie. Also, they taste much better than the fondant flowers I've been making!

How To Make Pie Crust Flowers

Preheat your oven to 400°.  Prepare some colors for painting your flowers by putting some food coloring on a plate (if you're using gel food coloring as I was, put a bit of water on the plate and then add a small drop of color and mix).  Roll out your leftover pie crust.  Using a flower cutter, cut a flower out of the dough.

Pie crust flower cut-out
Using a small paintbrush, paint your flower however you like.  I used a yellow background, and then some red in the center.  I then used a toothpick to pull streaks of red out of the center of the flower.  Try to make sure you paint the sides of your flowers (I missed these) since they will become more prominent once baked.  For the flower center, roll a small portion of dough into a ball and flatten it.  Paint it, and place it in the center of the flower.

Place your flowers in aluminum foil flower forming cups.  See my grapefruit cupcakes post for more information on these. Put each of the forming cups in a muffin pan to make it easier to get them in and out of the oven.

Pie Crust Flowers, Ready for Baking

Bake for approximately 6-8 minutes.  Remove the muffin pan from the oven, and let the flowers cool in the forming cups for several minutes.  Remove the flowers from the cups, and place on your pie!


  1. Oh wow! This flower trick makes the pies extra cute!

  2. Those flowers and their simple but effective technique has been saved - you are a genius :D

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Brown Butter Mixed M&M Chewy Cookies

    1. Thanks! Let me know how it goes if you give the flowers a try!

  3. What a great trick!!! Thanks for sharing

  4. What an adorable idea! I love it! So happy to have found your blog :)

  5. oh man those pies looks so good that I will dream about them tonight.

  6. Really fun flowers. My sister saw this on facebook and got really excited too.


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