ABOVE: Slice Triple Coconut Cream Pie
I’ve been teaching Olivia how to make pies this past week, and I’ve learned a few things myself.
I decided on two different kinds of pie: a cream pie, and a two crusted fruit pie. Olivia and I are both fans of coconut cream, so I set out to find the grand daddy of all coconut cream pies. I remembered an unbelievably great pie I had baked several years ago, and I once ordered the same pie at Tom Douglas’ restaurant, Dahlia Lounge, and I loved it! He calls it Triple Coconut Cream Pie, and it is over the top!
I don’t know why I started with a more involved recipe, but I told Olivia if you start with more challenging recipes, the other pie recipes will be a breeze.
Our timing couldn’t have been worse. We started making pie pastries late in the morning, and then we took our 3 mile hike on the beach while they chilled in the refrigerator. Sadly, we ran out of time, as Olivia had to leave before we finished the custard filling, but I was able to show her how to temper the eggs before she left. I completed the pie, and they joined us that evening to enjoy it.
We made our apple pie the next night. I should have known better than to squeeze two pies into one afternoon. Lesson learned.
Olivia brought her marble rolling pin, and I don’t think I’ll ever make another pie crust without one. They are just perfect for rolling out pie pastry.
Tom’s coconut pie pastry is a bit different than the usual pastry, the dough feels different than regular pie pastry. It has coconut and sugar mixed into it. It turned out very flavorful and flaky.
The pie filling calls for the seeds of a whole vanilla bean–the vanilla makes it! Don’t skip the real bean. If you have a World Market Cost Plus in your area, they are very affordable there.
This is one of my top five favorite pies ever! Next time, I will cut back on the amount of whipped cream topping, as it was just a bit too much for me, but when I mentioned that to Mark he gave the idea a thumbs down.
ABOVE: Olivia on a tea break
Olivia is the perfect future daughter-in-law. She is very patient, and she puts up with all my craziness in the kitchen. I can’t tell you how many times I had to tell her , “Don’t do what I just did!” 🙂 She makes a great walking partner too!
ABOVE: Flakes of toasted coconut and white chocolate shavings
I used Lindt white chocolate–go cray with it and make sure you pop a bit of it into your mouth!
Click more for RECIPE
Triple Coconut Cream Pie
Adapted from Tom Douglas Seattle Kitchen
For the coconut pastry cream:
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
Coconut Pie Shell –See recipe below
Combine the milk and coconut in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add both seeds and pod to the milk mixture. Heat over medium-high heat until it almost comes to a boil.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and flour until well combined. Temper the eggs (keep them from scrambling) by pouring a small amount of the hot milk to the egg mixture while whisking. Then add the warmed egg mixture to the saucepan. Whisk over medium-high heat until the cream thickens and begins to bubble. Continue to whisk until very thick, about 5 more minutes.
Remove from heat and add the butter, whisking until it melts. Remove the vanilla pod (I like to gently rinse it off and put it in sugar for later use!).
Transfer the cream to a bowl and place over a bowl of ice water. Stir occasionally until chilled. Once cooled, place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the cream to prevent a crust from forming. Refrigerate until completely cooled (it will thicken as it cools).
Once chilled, fill your pre-baked pie shell with it, smoothing the surface. Using an electric mixer whip the heavy cream with the sugar and vanilla on medium speed. Gradually increase speed to high until stiff peaks form. Spoon or pipe the whipped cream over the entire surface of the pie.
For the garnish, sprinkled toasted coconut chips and shaved white chocolate curls (use a vegetable peeler to create the curls).
Coconut Pie Shell
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup ice water, or more as needed
In a food processor, combine the flour, coconut, diced butter, sugar, and salt. Pulse to form course crumbs. Gradually add the water while pulsing. Use only as much water as needed for the dough to hold together when gently pressed between your fingers–don’t start with dumping in the entire 1/3 cup water, like I did J You don’t want to work the dough with your hands; you just want to make sure the dough is holding. The dough will be quite loose.
Place a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter and dump the coconut dough on top. Pull the edges of the wrap around the dough, forming a rough flat round. Chill for 30 minutes to an hour before rolling.
Once chilled, unwrap the dough and place onto a lightly floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 1/8-inch thick circle. Add more flour if the round sticks to the surface. Trim to a 12- to 13-inch circle.
Transfer dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Ease the dough into the plate. Take care to not stretch the dough as it will shrink during baking. Trim any excess dough to a 1- to 1 1/2-inch overhang. Turn the dough under the edge of the pie plate and flute the edge with your finger. Chill at least one hour before baking. This will help prevent shrinkage during baking.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a sheet of foil or parchment paper in the pie shell and fill with pie weights (or dried beans) to prevent bubbling. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden. Remove the pie weights and foil and continue to bake another 10-12 minutes, or until the bottom of the crust has golden brown patches. Allow to cool before filling.
Note: The dough can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days, or in the freezer for a few weeks.