Coconut Cream Pie with Chocolate Macadamia Nut Crust
I work with a man named Carl Murphy. He’s 70 years old and works for my company as a shuttle driver. This is his retirement job. In his previous working life he owned a pie shop…. how could I be so lucky as to have this man in my daily life?? You can imagine how excited I was to learn this about him! I mean, Carl is basically a bad ass!
Of course, I’ve had to ask him a million questions and to my delight, he loves to answer them all. One question in particular, “What is you favorite pie?” He told me that his favorite pie is Coconut Cream. Whenever he sees this pie on a menu he orders it but he said that most of the time it’s not very good. He can never find one that is perfect. So, with his advice of what is needed to create a perfect Coconut Cream Pie and a few of my own additions, this recipe was created. The best part is that Carl loved it! Mission accomplished.
Chocolate Macadamia Nut Pie Crust:
1 1/4 unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBSP sugar
2 TBSP Cocoa Powder
6 TBSP cold unsalted butter cut into 1/4″ cubes
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cold cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup vodka (cold)
2 TBSP water (cold)
1/4 cup raw, unsalted macadamia nuts, chopped
Coconut Cream Filling:
1 cup milk
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups Bakers Angel Flake coconut
1 vanilla bean
2 large eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 TBSP sugar
3 TBSP all purpose flour
4 TBSP unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup Bakers Angel Flake coconut
Dark chocolate (shaved onto top of pie)
With a pastry blender, mix flour, salt and sugar and cocoa until combined. Add butter and shortening until like pea size and nothing uncoated.
Sprinkle Vodka and water over the mixture and with a rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix, pressing down on the dough until it is slightly tacky.
Roll into a ball and press down into a thick circular shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Let chill for at least two hours but it is best to remove after 24 hours.
When ready to use, flour surface and roll out by pushing the rolling pin over once, turning the dough slightly and rolling again until the dough is large enough to hang over the edge of the pie plate by one inch.
Sprinkle the top of the dough with the chopped macadamia nuts and lightly roll over the top with the rolling pin (this will gently press the nuts into the dough). Turn the dough over so that the macadamia nuts are facing the outside of the tart pan and gently place into 9″ greased tart pan. You will lose some of the nuts but that’s okay! Press into place and trim the top edges of the crust so that it rests at the top of the tart pan. Place into the freezer for at least 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375°. After the oven has reached full temperature, remove the pie crust from the freezer and line the inside with aluminum foil. Place baking beads on top of the aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove from the oven. Remove foil and baking beads and return to oven for another 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on baking rack.
While the pie crust is cooling, you will make the cream filling.
Combine milk, coconut milk and coconut flake in a medium saucepan. Using a paring knife cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk mixture and then add the pod to the mixture as well. Stir on medium high heat until the mixture begins to comes to a boil.
In a bowl, whisk eggs, sugar and flour until combined. Pour 1/3 cup of the boiling milk mixture into the egg mixture and whisk together. Add the egg mixture to the boiling pan of the milk mixture. Whisk over medium high heat until the cream begins to thicken and starts to bubble. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes very thick and then remove the saucepan from the stove.
Add the butter to the saucepan and whisk until the butter melts. Remove the vanilla bean pod. Transfer the cream to a medium sized bowl and cover with plastic wrap, making sure that the plastic touches the cream. Let the cream thicken and cool until room temperature (a couple of hours).
Preheat oven to 350°. Place 1/4 cup coconut onto a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Move the coconut around for even toasting and bake for another 3-5 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
Once the cream has cooled to room temperature, carefully fill the chocolate crust with the cream, smoothing the top.
In a medium bowl, place whipping cream, sugar and vanilla extract. With the whisk attachment of an electric mixer, whip the cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Top the pie with the whipped cream.
Sprinkle toasted, cooled coconut over the top of the whipped cream.
With a potato peeler, shave a bar of dark chocolate onto the top of the pie to your desired amount of chocolate.
Chill in the refrigerator for one hour and then serve!