I've been forwarded several pie recipes through this past year, which I love, although I haven't had a chance to make all of them (sorry if you've sent me one and I haven't done it yet. Thank you for sending. Just hold on...). This one was forwarded to me this summer by my mother-in-law who told me that people in Seattle were raving about this pie. Even people who don't like coconut!
Which, in all honesty, has put me in a quandary for a few months. I don't know anyone that dislikes coconut more than my husband and since, technically, I'm making all of these pies for him, I didn't wanted to make something that is his favorite thing to eat and fill it with his least favorite ingredient. It just seemed kind of cruel. However, there was always that hope that even those who don't like coconut like this pie.
Eventually my curiosity overcame everything else (sorry Ryan) and I decided to try out this pie before the end of the year--luckily I have a forgiving husband.
The instance the milk, coconut, and vanilla bean begin to scold, he became a little more excited about this pie and by the time it was all together it smelled good enough that he was willing to try it.
Personally, I love the flavor of coconut, but I'm not the biggest fan of its woody texture. As far as the taste goes, I thought it was great. I loved the coconut in the crust. I loved the flavor of the filling. Also, for the white chocolate curls, I used a Lindt chocolate white chocolate coconut bar, which added an extra coconut taste which I loved. I still don't love the texture of coconut, but I really only noticed it on my first bite but didn't let it hold me back from the taste and the crust.
Triple Coconut Cream Pie
(Adapted from Tom Douglas at Dahliah's Bakery in Seattle)
Coconut pie crust
1 cup plus
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 to 5 tablespoons ice water
2 cups milk
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ounces unsweetened "chip" or large-shred coconut (about 1 1/2 cups) or sweetened shredded coconut
Chunks of white chocolate (4 to 6 ounces, to make 2 ounces of curls)
For Crust: Pulse first 5 ingredients in a food processor 6 to 10 times or until mixture is crumbly. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing once after each addition, until dough holds together when pressed between fingers. (Dough will not form a ball or even clump together in processor-it will be loose.)
Turn dough out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap; press into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill 1 hour.
Roll dough to a 12- to 13-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate, trimming excess to a 1- to 11/2-inch overhang. Turn dough under along rim of pie pan, and flute edges. Chill at least 1 hour before baking.
Preheat oven to 400°. Place a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper in pie crust, extending over edges, and fill with dried beans, rice, or pie weights. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Remove from oven; discard foil and beans, and return pie crust to oven. Bake for 14 to 17 more minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven, and cool completely on a wire rack.
Coconut Cream: (make the coconut cream while the crust is chilling in the fridge) To make the coconut cream, combine the milk and coconut in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add both the seeds and pod to the milk mixture. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and stir occasionally until the mixture almost comes to a boil.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and flour until well combined. Temper the eggs (to keep them from scrambling) by pouring a small amount (about 1/3 Cup) of the scalded milk into the egg mixture while whisking. Then add the warmed egg mixture to the saucepan of milk and coconut. Whisk over medium-high heat until the pastry cream thickens and begins to bubble. Keep whisking until the mixture is very thick, 4 to 5 minutes more. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Add the butter and whisk until it melts. Remove and discard the vanilla pod. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and place it over a bowl of ice water. Stir occasionally until it is cool. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a crust from forming and refrigerate until completely cold. The coconut cream will thicken as it cools.
When the coconut cream is cold, fill the prebaked pie shell with it, smoothing the surface. In an electric mixer with the whisk, whip the heavy cream with the sugar and vanilla on medium speed. Gradually increase the speed to high and whip to peaks that are firm enough to hold their shape. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip with the whipped cream and pipe it all over the surface of the pie, or spoon it over.
For the garnish: preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the coconut chips on a baking sheet and toast in the oven, watching carefully and stirring once or twice, since coconut burns easily, until lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Use a vegetable peeler to scrape about 2 ounces of the white chocolate into curls.