Dahlia Triple Coconut Cream Pie

About a dozen years ago, on a visit to Seattle, I stumbled upon the Dahlia Lounge for an early dinner. While the meal was superb, the dessert was simply amazing. A piece of the Dahlia Triple Coconut Cream Pie that was to die for. Every time I was able to make it back to Seattle I was sure to have a piece. I must not be the only Coconut Cream Pie lover as Tom & Shelley say they have sold over 345,000 pies.
Fast forward the fall of 2012 and a miraculous event occurred – The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook is released! I was quick to add it to my Christmas list and lo and behold a Generous Santa ensured it was under the tree!
I made this for a dinner party earlier this spring and it was amazing! Better that I remember it at the restaurant.
Thanks Tom Douglas & Shelley Lance!!!
Triple Coconut Cream Pie
For this recipe I used:
165 Grams All Purpose Flour

165 Grams All Purpose Flour
50 Grams Shredded Sweetened Coconut
113 Grams Cold Unsalted Butter
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1/8 Teaspoon of Salt
30 Grams Vodka
35 Grams Ice Cold Water
Pastry Cream Filling:
230 Grams Whole Milk
230 Grams Unsweetened Coconut Milk – stirred
170 Grams Sweetened Shredded Coconut
1 Vanilla Bean – Split Lengthwise
2 Large Eggs
125 Grams Sugar
26 Grams All Purpose Flour
57 Grams Unsalted Butter – room temperature
Whipped Cream Topping:
600 Grams Heavy Cream – Chilled
63 Grams Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
57 Grams Sweetened Coconut
60 Grams Curled White Chocolate – or more
Crust ingredients:
Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Crust Ingredients

I started by mixing the flour, sugar, salt and coconut together in a bowl then cutting in the chilled butter with a pastry blender. I continued until the butter was in small pieces well coated with flour.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Cutting in the Butter

Next I added all of the water and Vodka and mixed well with a fork.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Adding Water & Vodka

When the dough came together I turned it out onto the counter and brought it together.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Thoroughly Mixed Dough

Wrapped and ready for an hour in the fridge.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Dough for the Fridge
Triple Coconut Cream Pie – The Book and Dough

Now it was time to make the Pastry Cream filling:

In a pot I mixed together the milk, coconut milk and the shredded coconut.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Milks & Coconut in the Pot

Now it was time to scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean and put the seeds and the bean in the coconut milk pot and heat everything on medium high heat until the mixture just starts to boil. Keep a close watch here!

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Splitting and Scraping the Vanilla Bean

While the coconut & vanilla mixture is coming to temperature whisk the eggs, sugar, and flour together.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Mixing The Eggs, Sugar & Flour
Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Just boiled milks

Once the coconut & vanilla mixture comes just to a boil I removed the pot from the heat and whisked a small amount of the hot mixture into the egg mixture. Tempering the eggs.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Tempering the Eggs

After quickly tempering the egg mixture I added it to the coconut mixture pot while whisking quickly. Place the pot back on the heat and continue to whisk until the mixture is very thick. 4 to 5 minutes. My time was 7 minutes.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Adding the Tempered Eggs for the Final Boil

After thickening, I transferred the mixture to a medium bowl and whisked in the room temperature butter a bit at a time until thoroughly combined.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Incorporating the Butter

I removed the vanilla pod and discard it. Place plastic wrap directly on the warm mixture and chilled it well in the fridge. This can take a couple of hours. Ensure the plastic wrap is in direct contact with the pastry cream while it is in the fridge to avoid a skin forming.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Ready to be Chilled

With the pastry cream in the fridge it was time to finish the coconut crust. I turned on the oven to heat it to 400˚. After removing the dough from the ridge and letting it rest for 10 minutes on the counter. I started to roll it out. Keeping the counter well floured and constantly lifting the pastry made it easy to roll out the dough to the right size.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Rolling out the Crust

I place the pie plate I was going to use over the rolled out dough to make sure I had the right size.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Ensuring the Right Sized Crust

I rolled the dough over the rolling pin to easily move it to the pie plate.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Transferring to the Pie Plate

I gently unrolled the dough over the pie plate and then worked it into the corners.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Working the Crust into the Pie Plate

I trimmed the dough so that it had about a 2 cm over hang and then crimped the edges.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Crimping the Crust

After crimping the edges I pricked the bottom of the pastry with a fork. This helps ensure there are no air domes created when it is time to bake the pastry shell. Then I put the pie plate in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Docking the Crust

After 10 minutes in the freezer I lined the pan with parchment paper and filled the cavity with pie weights and into the oven the crust went.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Parchment & Pie Weights for Blind Baking

After 20 minutes, when the edge started to brown, I remove the parchment paper and the pie weights and put the pie pan back into the oven until the pastry had completely cooked. That took 15 or so more minutes. The pie does not get cooked again so be sure the bottom crust is fully baked.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Finished Crust
While the crust was cooling completely I started with the final garnish. Sadly I could not find any large flake coconut so I used shredded sweetened coconut and toasted it in a fry pan for 10  to 20 minutes on medium low.
Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Toasting the Coconut
Once the coconut had browned remove it from the heat and transfer it to a bowl to let it cool. There is a small possibility the coconut could continue to cook in the fry pan and burn.
Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Toasted Coconut

Take a block of white chocolate and use a sturdy vegetable peeler to shave off curls. You can try to use the palm of your hand to slightly warm up the chocolate to get better curls.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Creating White Chocolate Curls
Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Chocolate Curls

Now it was time for the final assembly! Ensuring the pastry shell is completely cooled I added the coconut pastry cream ans smoothed it out into a slight dome.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Pie Assembly –  Pastry Cream

I whipped the cream topping and piped it onto the pastry cream.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Pie Assembly – Whipped Cream

Finally I added the toasted coconut and the white chocolate curls. Then off to the fridge until dessert time.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Pie Assembly- Coconut and White Chocolate Garnish

This pie was simply amazing! Worth getting the cookbook for if you can’t make it to Seattle.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie – Ready for Eating!!

Cooks Notes:

  • I used the America’s Test Kitchen method of using Vodka for some of the water in the crust. Vodka contains less water and brings a lighter crispier crust. I think some of the butter in this crust could be replaced with shortening for a few more flakes
  • When making the coconut pastry cream stay focused. I can see how this would easily go wrong. Having said that… have no fear!
  • When making the chocolate curls – use a sturdy vegetable peeler
  • Consider using your own home made shredded coconut – this would make the pie utterly sublime

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