Monday, July 2, 2012

coconut cream pie---probably the best thing i've ever made

184:365 coconut cream pie from the heavens
sort of really diggin' this picture as i pat myself on the back for this one.....

 i like coconut, but i don't love it. either way i'm gonna go ahead and say that this pie is probably the best thing i've ever made to date. i have Tom Douglas to thank for the recipe. he's a restauranteur/chef from Seattle. his pizza spot Serious Pie is crazy good, and Dahlia Bakery is where i first tried this famous coconut cream pie. when i read the reviews i thought "how good could a coconut cream pie really be?" then at first bite my heart melted and my tummy sang praises. 

if you've got time on your hands and coconut is your thing (or even if it isn't), make this. it's really light and isn't very sweet. it's as coconutty as can be. coconut is found in the crust, the filling and on top, so before you face dive into this pie, please be sure you're not allergic to coconut!

the hardest part about making pies is rolling out the dough in a uniform circle. not to mention avoiding cracks around the edges too. i'm not very good at that, so i like to say my pies look "rustic." haha.

filling ingredients

vaniller beans. these suckers are expensive!! 

filling in the making

filling, taking an ice bath to cool down

it's lookin' like success! is there anything better than fresh whipped cream? methinks not! 

coconut cream pie


for pie crust:
- 1 cup plus 2 tbs all purpose flour
- 1/2 c sweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 c cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2" cubes
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 c ice water

for pastry cream:
-2 c milk
-2 c sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 c plus 2 tbs sugar
- 3 tbs all purpose flour
- 1/4 c unsalted butter

to finish the pie:
- 2 1/2 c heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 c sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 tbs sweetened shredded coconut
- 4 tbs sliced almonds


to make crust:
1. in a blender combine flour, coconut, butter, sugar and salt.
2. pulse to form coarse crumbs
3. gradually add water 1 tbsp at a time until the dough just holds together (not all of the water may be necessary.)
4. pour out onto plastic wrap. wrap to form a solid disk.
5. chill 30mins-1hr.
6. take dough out of plastic wrap and place on lightly floured surface
7. with a rolling pin, roll into a circle about 1/8" thick
8. lay dough into pie pan to fit the edges and chill unbaked pie crust for at least an hour before baking.
9. preheat oven to 400 degrees F
10. place a sheet of foil over pie crust and fill cavity with pie weights or dried beans
11. bake crust until edge is golden,  about 20 mins
12. remove foil and beans and bake for another 10 mins or until the bottom portion of the crust begins to turn golden.
13. remove from oven. allow to cool completely

to make pastry cream:
1. in a medium pot combine milk and coconut
2. scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add seeds and pod to the pot
3. heat mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it begins to steam and little bubbles form around the edge.
4. remove pan from heat
5. in a bowl whisk together eggs, sugar and flour until well combined
6. while continuously mixing, add 1/3 of the milk mixture to the egg mixture (this tempers the egg so it doesn't scramble)
7. add warmed egg mixture into the milk mixture
9. over medium high heat, whisk mixture until it thickens (about 4 mins)
10. remove pot from heat and stir in butter until it melts.
11. remove vanilla pod and transfer pastry cream to a bowl
12. place the hot bowl of pastry cream over a bigger bowl filled with ice water
13. stir until mixture cools
14. place plastic wrap over pastry cream so that it touches the cream.
15. refrigerate until completely cooled (approx 1 hr)

to make pie toppings:
1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. place sliced almonds on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned
3. remove almonds and place in small bowl. set aside.
4. on same baking sheet add coconut and bake until lightly browned.
5. remove coconut and place in small bowl. set aside.
6. in a large bowl whisk heavy cream, vanilla extract and sugar until it forms stiff peaks

to put pie together:
1. fill pie crust with pastry cream. evenly spread with a spatula.
2. top pie with whipped cream. evenly spread with a spatula.
3. sprinkle toasted coconut and toasted almonds over the pie.

don't mind the extra dark regions of the pie crust. they pretty much fall off when i scoop up the slices anyway so nobody has to know the edges are slightly burned. rustic i say! rustic! 

voila! coconut heaven on a plate! 

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