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Had this at one of Tom Douglas' restaurants. Just had to make it at home. It is fabulous. Based on recipe by Tom Douglas. Adopted 9/06 (Mean Chef)
- 1 classic pie crust, blind baked (see Classic Pie Crust, Idiot Proof Step-By-Step Photo Tutorial)
Coconut Pastry Cream
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
- 2 large eggs
- 10 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1⁄2 cups heavy cream, chilled
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 ounces unsweetened coconut, chip or large-shred (about 11/2 cups) or 2 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
- 4 -6 ounces chunks white chocolate, to make curls
- To make the 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 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, 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.
- 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.
- For the garnish, 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.
- On The Plate: Cut the pie into 6 to 8 wedges and place on dessert plates.
- Decorate each wedge of pie with white chocolate curls and the toasted coconut.
- A Step Ahead: If not serving immediately, keep the pie refrigerated, covered with plastic wrap.
- The finished pie should be consumed within a day.
- Prepare the garnishes just before serving.
- The coconut pastry cream can be made a day ahead and stored chilled in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap as described above.
- Fill the pie shell and top it with whipped cream and garnishes when you are ready to serve the pie.