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Sincere Acts of Sweetness

February 28, 2008

Mini Triple Coconut Cream Pies with Coconut Crust

Michelle told me that she heard about this recipe while listening to the radio one day and had wanted to try it. After hearing the name of the recipe, I knew it had to be pretty incredible. I've eaten at several of Tom Douglas's restaurants and have never been disappointed. Daliah's Lounge is probably my favorites, although I really enjoy Etta's too.
This was the first recipe of Tom's that I have ever made. It's a bit elaborate and time consuming, but it wasn't too scary. Since I was making it for Sugar Shock Friday and needed to share it with folks at work, I wanted to be able to serve it easily. My first goal was to try and "mini-fy" (is that a word?) the recipe as so as to make it more practical for feeding a crowd. That's where the mini-tart idea came from....that and I just really seem to be into tiny, bite sized food. :-)
I bought a silicone baking pan (my first one!) because I thought a traditional metal pan would be too difficult to work with. Although the silicon pan worked perfectly fine (and removal of the tarts was super easy), the metal pan actually worked just as well.

Note: The crust recipe yields 1 (9") pie crust or about 12-16 mini-pie crusts. I doubled the crust recipe recipe and ended up with 35. The cream filling and whipped cream yields enough to generously fill one 9" pie or 35+ tarts. If you decide to only make one batch of mini-pie crusts, I would half the coconut cream and whipped cream.

Triple Coconut Cream Pie
Yield: 1 (9-inch) pie crust or about 12-16 mini-pie crusts (I doubled this recipe and ended up with 32)
 Adapted from a recipe that I found at CottageLiving.com

Coconut Crust
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, packed
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 to 5 tablespoons ice water

Coconut Cream Filling
2 cups whole milk
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, packed
1 vanilla bean
2 large eggs
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Whipped Cream1 1/2 cups whipping cream, chilled
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut “chips” (large-shred coconut) or 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut (I use Let's Go Organic brand)
1 (4- to 6-ounce) bar white chocolate, shaved

Prepare Crust
Pulse first 5 ingredients in a food processor 6 to 10 times or until mixture is crumbly. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing once after each addition, until dough holds together when pressed between fingers. (Dough will not form a ball or even clump together in processor—it will be loose.)

Turn dough out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap; press into a disc. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill at least 1 hour or overnight.

For 9" crust: 
Roll dough 12- to 13-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate, trimming excess to a 1- to 11/2-inch overhang. Turn dough under along rim of pie pan, and flute edges. Chill at least 1 hour before baking.

Preheat oven to 400°. Place a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper in pie crust, extending over edges, and fill with dried beans, rice, or pie weights. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes. Remove from oven; discard foil and beans, and return pie crust to oven. Bake for 14 to 17 more minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven, and cool completely on a wire rack.

For mini tarts: 
Preheat oven to 400°. Spray a mini muffin tray with Pam. (not Pam with Flour, just plain Pam) Roll dough out to a normal, even thickness. Cut with a round cookie cutter that's slightly larger than the size of the top of the mini muffin cup.

Using a mortar or your fingers, push the dough down into the cup so it's laying flatly at the bottom of the cup. If the dough seems thin, take a small ball of dough and push it down into the bottom of the cup.
Bake one tray at a time in the center of the oven for 10-12 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. Remove the mini pie shells and cool on wire rack.

Prepare Coconut Cream Filling
Combine milk and 2 cups sweetened coconut in a 3 1/2-quart saucepan. Split vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and scrape seeds into milk mixture. Add pod. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture almost comes to a boil. Remove from heat.

Whisk together eggs, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and flour in a medium bowl until well blended. Gradually whisk about 1/3 cup milk mixture into egg mixture; pour back into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 4-6 minutes or until mixture thickens and begins to bubble. Whisk 3 more minutes or until very thick. Remove from heat; add butter, and whisk until melted. Discard vanilla pod. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl, and place entire bowl in a larger bowl of ice water.

Stir occasionally until mixture cools. Remove medium bowl from ice bath, and place plastic wrap directly on surface of mixture; chill 4 hours or until cold. (Mixture will thicken.)

Fill baked Coconut Pie crust with pastry cream, smoothing surface. For mini tarts, each tart can hold about 3 teaspoons.

3. Prepare Toasted Coconut Topping
Preheat oven to 350°. Spread coconut chips on a baking sheet, and bake at 350° for 7 to 8 minutes or until golden, stirring twice. (Keep an eye on them as they can go from white to burnt quickly!) Cool.

4. Prepare Whipped Topping
Beat whipping cream, 1/4 cup sugar, and vanilla extract at medium speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually increase speed to high, and beat until soft peaks form.

5. Pie Assembly - Yey!
Pipe or spoon whipped cream over pie(s). Sprinkle toasted coconut and white chocolate curls over the pie(s). Cover pie and store in the refrigerator.


  1. WOW!!!

    Look our Tom Douglas – Julia’s Triple Coconut Pie Thingy’s are fierce competition for his Dahlia Lounge.

  2. So so so good! Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. Julia,

    You are an absolute great BA! but I still think you are in the wrong profession ;) Those were YUMMMY !!!

  4. that was delicious :)

  5. Ooh Julia! Those look deelicious!

  6. Hi Julia,

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my site. Yes, I think that we made the same thing! I find that pie weights are helpful to prevent browning too much and to keep the shape, but with muffin tins they probably weren't necessary. I love your site and the coconut tarts look superb!


    (from www.peanutbutterandjulie.com)

  7. Oooh, not as cute as your Groundhog's Day cupcakes (I thought of those with desire this year when the day came around), but these still look adorable. Wish I could still enjoy your treats on a regular basis!


Your comments really make my day. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave one!


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