a piece of memory – coconut custard pecan bars

a piece of memory – coconut custard pecan bars

It has been years since my dad passed away, Do I miss him? Absolutely, Do I think of him every moment? It’s less thinking and more of who I am; there will always be a part of him within me.

My father had instilled a lot of wisdom in me yet his last words will forever live vividly in my memory. “Take care of yourself” he said when I hugged him to say goodbye before I left for the airport, New York bound. At that moment, those words weren’t meant to be the last goodbye. It should have been more of a  “until we meet again” … yet it felt absolute. Two weeks later, my dad left this world in his sleep.

I had written about my dad in the past and I wasn’t going to do so this Father’s Day. I asked myself what more could I talk about, yet after reading MJ’s post  I can’t stop thinking about my dad and how I wish I was that little boy again.

These Coconut Custard Pecan Bars are not an exact recipe from my childhood, but the coconut custard reminded me of afternoon with dad. In my recollection of him, he always choose the coconut custard tart out of the dozen of pastries my Mom brings home. He always warms it up in the toaster oven and enjoyed it with his tea. Of course, silly me at 8 or was it 10, follow suit and place my slice of cake with buttercream in the toaster oven. Need less to say, my cake was coated in melted butter but I enjoyed it just as well.

Though I won’t be physically celebrating Father’s Day this Sunday, I will folly remember my dad for being there all those years to mold me into adulthood. Though I have to say dad, telling me about the birds and the bees at 17 was a bit behind schedule. xo


Coconut Custard Pecan Bars


Cake Base
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 5 ounces graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) light brown sugar, packed
  • Pinch table salt
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Coconut Custard
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoons coconut rum
  • 1/8 teaspoon of fine sea salt
  • 1-1/2 cups 6 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut


Cake Base

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350℉. Cut about 12-inch length extra-wide heavy-duty foil; fold cut edges back to form 7 1/2-inch width. With folded sides facing down, fit foil securely into bottom and up sides of 8-inch-square baking pan, allowing excess to overhang pan sides. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Toast shredded coconut and pecan until golden brown and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly. In the bowl of a food processor add graham crackers toasted coconut, pecans , brown sugar and salt; pulse until evenly fine. Drizzle butter over crumbs and pulse until crumbs are evenly moistened with butter, about ten 1-second pulses. Press crumbs evenly and firmly into bottom of prepared pan. Bake until deep golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Cool on wire rack while making custard. Do not turn off oven.

Coconut Custard

1. In a medium bowl, whisk sugar, butter and eggs to combine. Add coconut milk, vanilla, rum and salt, whisk until incorporated. Stir in the coconut.

2. Pour the filling into prepared pan with base and bake until custard is set and golden brown on top, about 40-45 minutes. Let cool in pan completely, then lift out of pan with the help of the foil sling, cut into sixteen 2-inch squares and serve.