Coconut Cream Pie with Macaroon Crust
Before becoming a pie maker, I would never have called myself a dessert person… unless that dessert had coconut in it. I love coconut and my rule was, if there is coconut in the dessert, order the dessert. In Seattle, this led me some favorites like the Coconut Sticky Rice with fresh Mango at Wild Ginger and Tom Douglas’ famous Coconut Cream pie at Dahlia Lounge. Oh my… just the memory of those has my mouth watering.
My earliest memories of coconut love are from my Oma’s refrigerator which always contained a bag of shredded coconut in a zip lock bag. I don’t know why she had that bag of coconut and have no memories of her ever making anything for us with shredded coconut, but I used to sneak pinches of coconut whenever we visited.
Back at home, in the summertime, I remember coconuts arriving in the grocery. One of the neighborhood dads would come home with a half dozen or so, hammer holes in their tops so all the kids share the sweet coconut milk from the hairy gourd. Once empty, we would each take turns smashing them on a driveway and, once smashed, we would scramble to collect the meaty flesh. Elbows may have been thrown. I cannot really remember that clearly.
I also LOVED Mounds candy bars and hoarded them after my Halloween haul so I could enjoy coconut throughout the year. And - Girls Scout Cookies! Samoas are my absolute favorite of all the cookies. When I was living alone, I would buy 5 – 10 boxes and store them in my freezer, rationing myself one cookie a week or so… enough to last until the next year when the Girl Scouts would come back to my door.
Since I began baking pies, I have made a few variations of coconut cream pie – using cookie crust, graham cracker crust, pastry crust even toasted coconut crust. Surprisingly, when people ask me which is my favorite pie, I rarely even think of any of these coconut cream pie variations. They were good, but none came close to being a favorite… until Bon Appetite published a Coconut Cream Pie with Macaroon Press in Crust…
The image of this pie sets my mouth to watering, as you can imagine given my coconut fixation. That’s a toasted coconut crust. Chocolate painted on the inside. Coconut cream – what looked like Samoas crushed along the rim. So I invited 20 of our closest friends over saying, basically, I need an excuse to make this pie! Come over and eat some!!
Though I have a coconut crust recipe, I did not even bother to look at it. I wanted this crust to be theirs. My coconut crust includes lemon zest, which for a coconut macaroon didn’t seem right (though on second thought…). Their coconut custard called for some weird ingredients – pandan leaf? I don’t even know what that is. Lime zest? Meh… I really like my coconut custard, so I just used my own recipe.
Additionally, their recipe calls for milk and coconut milk. I’ve started using coconut cream in my version. As one of the recipes I’ve used in the past says “coconut cream makes the coconut flavor go through the roof!” And, knowing what you now know about me, isn’t that really what I would go for anyway?
The toasted coconut crust was super easy to make. And since I only had sweetened coconut flakes on hand, I did not add any additional sugar to the crust. And honestly, there is so much sugar in the chocolate and cream, I would not add sugar to this crust anyway. Once everything was mixed and pressed into the pie shell, the recipe says to bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 325 degrees. My oven kept this crust for 25 minutes.
I melted the chocolate after the crust had cooled. I was unsure how to paint chocolate, so I started by pouring ½ of the melted chocolate into the center of the coconut crust. Coconut crust, as you can imagine, is pretty porous, so much of that initial pour soaked into the crust before I could spread it around. Then, as the chocolate cooled, I had trouble getting much of the chocolate paint out to the rest of the crust. Actually, rather than attempting to paint the chocolate, it’s better to dab the chocolate across the crust.
To make the bark, I followed their instructions – thinking the entire time that 2 oz. of chocolate was not enough chocolate. Two oz was plenty and making the bark truly could not have been easier. After melting the chocolate in the microwave, I poured in a spiral on a piece of parchment paper. I sprinkled the coconut and the toasted almonds evenly across the chocolate, then put the parchment paper on a plate in the refrigerator to chill overnight.
I completed all these steps the night before my pie party. The next afternoon, just before my guests arrived, I whipped the cream, crumbled the bark and decorated the edges of the pie, then dolloped the fresh whipped cream in the center and swirled it around.
This pie was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!! It looked awesome at every stage of development –
the coconut shell with the painted chocolate….
Shell filled with coconut cream and chocolate bark…
the filled shell with the chocolate bark around the edges…
and the finished pie topped with whipped cream.
Even the slices were gorgeous!
<<<Sorry. This pie was eaten to quickly for a photo of a slice to be taken>>>
I LOVE this pie and it is my favorite of all my pies… until my next pie anyway.
Coconut Macaroon Cream Pie with Chocolate Bark
1 egg white
1 3/4 cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted & slightly cooled
Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.
Coat you pie pan with non-stick spray or butter.
Mix the egg white, coconut, butter and salt together with a rubber spatula in a large bowl until evenly combined.
Dump the mixture into your pie pan (9”) and using your hands, press evenly into the bottom and up the sides.
Bake until the edges are golden brown and the bottom is set and just barely golden. My oven kept the pie for 25 minutes. Start checking your oven at about 15 minutes.
Once the crust is cool (30 to 45 minutes), melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave or in a double boiler.
Pour ¾ of the chocolate in a spiral pattern around the crust and paint up the sides and along the bottom. Use the remaining ¼ of the chocolate to fill in any holes.
1 can coconut milk or cream
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
½ cup sugar
3 egg yolks
3 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
Whisk sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a saucepan.
Whisk in the milk and egg yolks.
Place over medium heat and cook, whisking until the filling begins to bubble.
Continue whisking for about a minute.
Remove from the heat and add butter.
Whisk in vanilla and flaked coconut.
Pour into cooled pie shell. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the filling and chill overnight.
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted & slightly cooled
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
¼ raw almonds (optional)
Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave or in a double boiler.
If using, toast the almonds on a cookie sheet at 325 for 8 to 10 minutes, or until slightly darkened and fragrant then pour into a bowl to cool.
On the same cookie sheet, toast the coconut for about 4 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Add them to the bowl with the almonds and mix together.
Place a piece of parchment paper on a cutting board and pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper.
Spread the chocolate out into a thin layer then sprinkle with the almonds and coconut.
Place in the refrigerator overnight.
About an hour before your guests arrive, whip the heavy cream. Crush the chocolate bark into irregular shapes and spread around the edge of the pie. Dollop the whipped cream in the center of the pie then try, try, try not to eat it before everyone else gets there.