Dahlia Bakery Triple Coconut Cream Pie

Dahlia Bakery Coconut Cream Pie IntroTom Douglas…

…if you live outside of Seattle then I may forgive you for not knowing his name, but owning eighteen of the hottest eateries in the city (as well as the Hot Stove Society cooking school) he is the man when it comes to serving seriously good food in Seattle. In fact, he is Sweetness in Seattle itself – I wish I could claim credit for that great line, but it is actually the subtitle of his latest Dahlia Bakery Cookbook.

Dahlia Bakery Brittany Sonia Coconut Cream PieAs one of his greatest fans, I thought all of my eclairs had been baked at once when I not only had the opportunity to take part in his Seattle Kitchen radio show, but also managed to swipe a personal Pie Baking Masterclass with Dahlia Bakery Pastry Chef, Brittany Bardeleben. When Brittany asked me which pie I would like to bake, there was only one answer that any true Tom Douglas fan could give, his signature Triple Coconut Cream Pie.

Dahlia Bakery Coconut Cream Pie with Toasted CoconutIf you love pie (duh!!!) and you love coconut (of course!) I defy you not to fall in love with his recipe – this is the Adonis of all pies! With coconut enveloped within every single layer – hiding demurely within the crust, delicately infusing the creamy pie filling, and then basking in glory over the fresh cream topping – this is sheer dessert heaven! It’s no wonder that more than a hundred of these pies are enjoyed every single day.

Brittany Finished Pie DoughBut I digress! Brittany is a true pundit of pastry and I learnt so much during our session together. I was totally in awe of how easily she lined the pie pan, creating a perfectly scalloped edge without the use of any crimping tools or gadgets (see her magic fingers in action in the video below). It was a fantastic afternoon and a memory that I will treasure forever – unfortunately the pie that escorted me home didn’t last anywhere near so long!

I am truly honoured to be able to share this recipe for Tom Douglas’ Triple Coconut Cream Pie (courtesy of The Dahlia Bakery and The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook) – thanks also to Brittany for our wonderful afternoon!

To make the Coconut Pie Dough:

Very cold butter makes a flakier crust, so if your butter is not very cold put it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes before you start on your dough. In the same vein, you will also need to use iced water.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, coconut, diced butter, sugar, and salt. Pulse until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Then gradually add the iced water, one tablespoon at a time, pulsing each time. Use only as much water as needed for the dough to hold together when gently pressed between your fingers (the dough will not form a ball or even clump together in the processor – it will still be quite loose).

Pie Dough in Processor

Place a large sheet of plastic wrap onto the counter and dump the coconut dough onto it. Pull the plastic wrap around the dough forcing it into a rough flattened round with the pressure of the plastic wrap.  Like most pastry doughs, this one must be chilled for at least 30 minutes before rolling.Dahlia Bakery Coconut Cream Pie Crust to Chill

Once chilled, unwrap the pastry dough and place it onto a lightly floured board. Roll the dough out into a circle about an 1/8 inch thick and then trim to a 12″ to 13″ circle.

Transfer the dough to a 9″ pie pan and ease the dough loosely and gently into the pan. Be careful not to stretch the dough while doing this because it will shrink when it is baked. Trim any excess dough to a 1″ to 1½” overhang, then turn the dough under along the rim of the pie pan and use your fingers and thumb to flute the edge – this is where Brittany’s skills truly amazed me!

Chill the unbaked pie shell for at least an hour before baking to prevent the dough from shrinking in the oven.

Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF. We now need to ‘blind bake’ the pie shell. So place a piece of parchment in the chilled pie shell, with sides overhanging the pan, and fill with ceramic pie weights, dried beans, or rice. This will prevent the bottom of the sell from puffing up during baking. When you blind bake the pastry shell, be sure to bake it thoroughly, or the crust may be tough.

Bake the pie crust for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry rim is golden. Remove the paper and pie weights/beans and continue to bake for another 10 to 12 minutes, or until bottom of crust has golden brown patches. Remove from the oven and allow the pie shell to cool completely.Dahlia Bakery Coconut Cream Pie Baked Crust

To make the Coconut Pastry Cream:

Combine the milk, coconut milk, and shredded coconut in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Then, using a paring knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add both the scrapings and the vanilla pod to the milk mixture. Place the saucepan on a medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture almost comes to a boil.

Dahlia Bakery Coconut Cream Pie Filling on hob

In a bowl whisk together the eggs, sugar and flour until well combined. Temper the eggs 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, about 4 to 5 minutes more.IMG_3980

Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the butter and whisk until it melts. Now remove and discard the vanilla pod. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and place it over a bowl of ice water, stirring it occasionally, until it is cool. Then place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a” skin” from forming.Dahlia Bakery Coconut Cream Pie Plastic Over Filling

Refrigerate the filling until it is completely cold – the cream will also thicken. NOTE: you can make the coconut pastry cream up to a day ahead and keep it covered and refrigerated, but fill and top the pie only when you are ready to serve it.

Once the pastry cream is cold, fill the pastry shell, smoothing over the surface with a silicone spatula.

To make the Whipped Cream Topping:

In an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream with the sugar and vanilla until firm peaks form. Place the cream into an icing bag fitted with a star tip and pipe it over the surface of the pie.

Dahlia Bakery Sonia Piping Coconut Cream Pie

For the Garnish:

Now you need to toast the coconut chips. To do this, pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Spread the coconut chips over a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 7 to 8 minutes, watching carefully and stirring once or twice until lightly browned – be sure to keep an eye over this as coconut burns easily! Remove the toasted coconut chips from the oven and allow to cool, then sprinkle over the top of the pie.

Now add the final garnish of white chocolate shavings. Note: you can create your own shavings with a vegetable peeler on a bar of white chocolate.

Dahlia Bakery Coconut Cream Pie

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Dahlia Bakery Triple Coconut Cream Pie

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Ingredients:

For the Pie Dough:
1 Cup + 2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
½ Cup Sweetened, Shredded Coconut
8 Tbsp (1 Stick) Cold Unsalted Butter (Cut into ½ inch cubes)
2 Tsp Sugar
¼ Tsp Kosher Salt
1/3 Cup Ice Cold Water (or more as needed)

For the Coconut Pastry Cream:
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Canned, Unsweetened Coconut Milk, Stirred
2 Cups Shredded Sweetened Coconut
1 Vanilla Bean (Split in Half Lengthwise)
2 Large Eggs
½ Cup (+ 2 Tbsp) Sugar
3 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Room Temperature

For the Whipped Cream Topping:
2½ Cups Heavy Cream, Chilled
1/3 Cup Sugar
1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

For the Garnish:
White Chocolate Shavings (2 oz of curls)
1½ Cups Unsweetened Large Shred Coconut, or Sweetened Shredded Coconut

Instructions:

To make the Coconut Pie Dough:

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, coconut, diced butter, sugar, and salt, and pulse to form coarse crumbs. 

Gradually add the water, a tablespoon at a time, pulsing each time.  Use only as much water as needed for the dough to hold together when gently pressed between your fingers (the dough will not form a ball or even clump together in the processor- it will still be quite loose). 

Place a large sheet of plastic wrap on the counter and dump the coconut dough onto it.  Pull the plastic wrap around the dough forcing it into a rough flattened round with the pressure of the plastic wrap.  Chill for 30 minutes to an hour before rolling.

Unwrap the round of coconut dough and place it on a lightly floured board. Roll the dough out into a circle about an 1/8 inch thick and trim to a 12 to 13 inch circle. 

Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie pan. Ease the dough loosely and gently into the pan (do not stretch the dough because it will shrink when it is baked). Trim any excess dough to a 1 to 1½ inch overhang. Turn the dough under along the rim of the pie pan and use your fingers and thumb to flute the edge. Chill the unbaked pie shell for at least an hour before baking (this prevents the dough from shrinking in the oven.) 

Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF. Place a piece of  parchment in the pie shell, with sides overhanging the pan, and fill with ceramic pie weights, dried beans, or rice (to prevent the bottom of the shell from puffing up during baking).

Bake the pie crust for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry rim is golden. Remove the pie pan from the oven. Remove the paper and beans and return the pie crust to the oven.

Bake for another 10 to 12 minutes, or until bottom of crust has golden brown patches. Remove from the oven and allow the pie shell to cool completely.

To make the Coconut Pastry Cream:

Combine the milk, coconut milk, and shredded coconut in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan.

Use a paring knife to scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add both the scrapings and the pod to the milk mixture. Place the saucepan on medium-high heat, stirring 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 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, about 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 another 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).

Once the pastry cream is cold, fill the pastry shell, smoothing over the surface with a silicone spatula. 

To make the Whipped Cream Topping:

In an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream with the sugar and vanilla until firm peaks form. 

Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a star tip, with the whipped cream and pipe it over the surface of the pie.

For the Garnish:

Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF.

Spread the coconut chips on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 7 to 8 minutes, watching carefully and stirring once or twice until lightly browned – Note: coconut burns easily!

Remove the coconut from the oven and allow to cool, then sprinkle over the top of the pie.

Sprinkle over the white chocolate shavings to finish. Note: you can use a vegetable peeler on a bar of white chocolate to make curls.  

NOTE: You can make the coconut pastry cream up to a day ahead and keep it covered and refrigerated, but fill and top the pie only when you are ready to serve it.

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