Oh, man, it seems like ages since I made this pie even though I baked it right after our recent dinner at Dahlia Lounge. But what can one say about a pie when life is a roller coaster? Life Life has been challenging lately.
I find it hard to write about food when family stuff and life are not fun or funny. Food should be fun, right? On the other hand, food is the most daily thing, an itegral part of ordinary life, connected to whatever emotion exists at the time.
I started by writing a lil’ pie poem because this coconut cream pie makes me happy but then the temperature rose to 94-98 degrees Fahrenheit and we have no air-conditioning. (No air-conditioning in most of the houses around here ’cause usually it’s cold and rainy.) My brain melted, the poem melted. It was challenging enough to roll the buttery dough so I has to abandon the poetry. The butter liquefies faster than the speed of light at 94+ F, but worth the struggle when you’re goal is to eat pie, preferably chilled, when you sweat. There is a certain something about… pie, doesn’t matter what’s the weather.
The creator of the pie is Tom Douglas. I remember the first time we had it in one of his restaurants, Etta’s. We finished eating it within a few seconds–faster than the speed of light! Quite a local legend, it’s no ordinary pie. No no no, siree. And if you don’t believe me, just see how many bloggers have made this pie and wrote about it. From the popular blogger Jessie of Cakespy and Foodista, to elliemay’s, Mary cooks, Angelnina’s cottage, seaviewwa, and plenty others.
Recommended: click the link to watch a video tutorial on how to make this pie by Tom Douglas and his chef.
Triple coconut cream pie
Slightly modified from the recipe in Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen cookbook
Makes one 9-inch pie, serves about 6-10 in out house
For the 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 small dice
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup ice water, or more if needed
For the coconut pastry cream:
2 cups milk
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut (I used 1 1/2 cups)
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
For whipped cream:
2 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled (I used 1 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ounces unsweetened “chip” or large-shred coconut (about 11/2 cups) or sweetened shredded coconut, toasted in a 350°F for 7-8 minutes
Chunks of white chocolate (4 to 6 ounces, to make 2 ounces of curls)
For the coconut pie shell:
In a food processor, put all the ingredients, besides water. Pulse until you get coarse crumbs. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing once after each addition, until dough holds together when pressed between fingers. (The dough will not form a ball or even clump together in processor—it will be loose.)
Dump the dough out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap, press into a disc, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 30-60 minutes.
Roll dough on a floured surface into a 12- to 13-inch circle. Ease the dough gently (don’t stretch) into a 9-inch pie pan (I used a tart pan), trim the excess. Chill at least 1 hour before baking.
Preheat oven to 400°. Place a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper in the pie crust, extending over edges, and fill with dried beans, rice, or pie weights. Bake for 20-25 minutes until rim is golden. Remove from oven; discard foil and beans, and return piecrust to oven. Bake for 10-12 more minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and cool completely on a wire rack.
For the coconut pastry 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 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 pastry cream will thicken as it cools. When the pastry cream is cold, fill the prebaked pie shell with it, smoothing the surface.
For the whipped cream:
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. (I used the spoon method. Much easier and faster. Less time to wait for the eating part of the pie)
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.
Sprinkle the pie with coconuts and chocolate.
And, the winner of the signed copy of Memorable Recipes cookbook by Renee Behnke giveaway isssssssssssssss………
Donna of My Tasty Treasures blog! Congrats!!!
Donna, e-mail me (nurit AT familyfriendlyfood DOT com) with your address.
Tags : cake, coconut, cream pie, Dessert, pie, recipe, Seattle, Tom Douglas, whipped cream
Categories : A cake for the weekend, Cakes, Dessert, Party Food/Potluck, Recipes, Seattle/Pacific NW, Tarts and pies