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Chocolate Coconut Pie

Chocolate Coconut Pie

Pastry chef Lisa Ludwinski is making a decadent dessert with a homemade all-butter pie crust.
Ingredients for Filling
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fine yellow cornmeal
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3⁄4 cup (11⁄2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 11⁄4 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
  • One 9-inch crust made with All-Butter Pie Dough (recipe follows below), blind baked and cooled
  • 1 large egg, beaten
Ingredients for Ganache
  • 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1⁄3 cup large flake coconut, toasted
Ingredients for All-Butter Pie Dough
  • 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted European-style butter, straight from the fridge
  • 1⁄2 cup ice-cold water-vinegar mixture
Ingredients for Blind Baking
  • One 9-inch crust, crimped and frozen for at least 15 minutes
  • Aluminum foil
  • 1 1⁄2 pounds dried beans (we use pinto and black, but use whatever you have)

Directions for Filling

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Make the filling: Measure the sugar, cornmeal, and salt into a medium bowl.
3. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter with the chocolate chips and coconut milk while stirring gently with a whisk to prevent scorching.
4. Add the cocoa powder and stir until no clumps remain. Once the butter mixture is fully melted and incorporated, pour it over the sugar mixture.
5. Whisk until completely mixed.
6. Slowly mix in the eggs until combined. Then, with a silicone spatula, gently fold in the shredded coconut.
7. Place the blind-baked shell on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the crimped edge with the beaten egg. Pour the filling into the pie shell until it reaches the bottom of the crimps. Transfer the baking sheet with the pie on it to the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the pie after 20 minutes. The pie will be very puffed in the middle. It will still jiggle quite a bit when shaken, but you can take it out once the middle of the pie has split away from the edge of the filling, which will have begun to crack.

Directions for Ganache
1. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool for 4 to 6 hours.
2. While the pie is cooling, make the ganache: In a small, heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, combine the cream and chocolate pieces. Whisk until completely smooth.
3. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
4. When the ganache and pie are both at room temperature, pour the ganache onto the center of the pie and spread it around with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon.
5. Sprinkle the coconut flakes on top, slice into 6 to 8 pieces, and serve.
6. Store leftover pie, well wrapped in plastic wrap or under a pie dome, at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Directions for All-Butter Pie Dough

Makes 2 discs, enough for one 9-inch double-crust lattice-topped or full-top pie or two 9-inch single-crust pies

1. Fill a 1-cup measuring cup with one inch of water and freeze until solid. After you've mixed your dry ingredients, add 2 Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar to the measuring cup and fill with water to the 1/2-cup mark. The water/vinegar mixture should look like apple juice. Set the mixture aside while you mix the other ingredients for the dough. Add the water/vinegar mixture to the dough when called for (step 5 below).
2. In a large stainless steel bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and stir to mix well. Place the sticks of butter in the bowl and coat on all sides with the flour mixture.
3. Using a bench scraper, cut the butter into 1⁄2-inch cubes. Work quickly to separate the cubes with your hands until they are all lightly coated in flour. Grab that bench scraper once again and cut each cube in half. I always tell my pie dough students that it’s unnecessary to actually cut each cube perfectly in half, but it’s a good idea to break up the butter enough so that you can be super-efficient when it’s pastry blender time.
4. It’s pastry blender time! Switch to the pastry blender and begin to cut in the butter with one hand while turning the bowl with the other. It’s important not to aim for the same spot at the bottom of the bowl with each stroke of the pastry blender, but to actually slice through butter every time to maximize efficiency. When the pastry blender clogs up, carefully clean it out with your fingers (watch out, it bites!) or a butter knife and use your hands to toss the ingredients a bit. Continue to blend and turn until the largest pieces are the size and shape of peas and the rest of the mixture feels and looks freakishly similar to canned Parmesan cheese.
5. At this point, add the water-vinegar mixture all at once, and switch back to the bench scraper. Scrape as much of the mixture as you can from one side of the bowl to the other, until you can’t see visible pools of liquid anymore. Now it’s hand time. Scoop up as much of the mixture as you can, and use the tips of your fingers (and a whole lot of pressure) to press it back down onto the rest of the ingredients. Rotate the bowl a quarter-turn and repeat. Scoop, press, and turn. With each fold, your intention is to be quickly forming the mixture into one cohesive mass. Remember to incorporate any dry, floury bits that have congregated at the bottom of the bowl, and once those are completely gone and the dough is formed, it’s time to stop.
6. Remove the dough from the bowl, place it on a lightly floured counter, and use your bench scraper to divide it into two equal pieces. Gently pat each into a 2-inch-thick disc, working quickly to seal any broken edges before wrapping them tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap. If you’re portioning for a lattice-topped pie, shape one half into a 2-inch-thick disc and the other half into a 6 by 3-inch rectangle. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or, ideally, overnight. When you go to roll out the crust, you want the discs to feel as hard and cold as the butter did when you removed it from the fridge to make the dough. This will make the roll-out way easier.
You can keep the pie dough in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for up to 1 year. If frozen, remove the dough and place it in the refrigerator to thaw one full day before you intend to use it. If you’re planning to make only one single-crust pie, wrap the discs separately and place one in the freezer.


Directions for Blind Baking

1. Preheat your oven to 450°F with the rack on the lowest level.
2. Remove the pie crust from the freezer, tear off a square of aluminum foil that is slightly larger than the pie shell, and gently fit it into the frozen crust.
3. Fill the crust with the dried beans (they should come all the way up to the crimps) and place the pie pan on a baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 25 to 27 minutes.
4. Check for doneness by peeling up a piece of foil—the crimps should be light golden brown. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. After 6 minutes, carefully remove the foil and beans. You did it! You are now ready to fill the pie.

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