Sunday, June 3, 2012

Foodie 100 list - Tom Douglas' Triple Coconut Cream Pie

Long before I even knew of this Foodie 100 list's existence, the very first item I ever had from the Foodie 100 list was Tom Douglas' Triple Coconut Cream Pie.  My grandma used to make a coconut cream pie that was pretty good.  I'm sorry grandma, but Tom's got you trumped!

I first tried this back in September 2008 during my very first visit to Seattle.  Chance took me to the Dahlia Bakery, and he ordered 2 slices of the pie to go.  I'm very glad he ordered 2 because I probably would've stabbed him with my plastic fork to get the last few bites.  Since it was in the early part of our relationship, that could have made things awkward...  I licked that cardboard after I was done, and I wasn't even sorry!

I get that coconut is one of those polarizing foods - people either love it or hate it.  Most people who hate it hate it for the texture.  Up until the first time I came to Seattle, I had never even seen the wide coconut flakes.  They always just sold shredded coconut at the stores in Texas, so I guess I could understand why people wouldn't like the coconut shreds getting stuck in their teeth.  This pie uses mostly coconut flakes, and only some shreds in the actual filling, so that would negate most of the arguments against coconut.

In all seriousness, this triple coconut cream pie... it's just so.. so.. beautiful.  It's like Mary Poppins.  It's practically perfect in every way.  It has most definitely earned its spot on the Seattle Foodie 100 list!

They bake coconut shreds into the crust.  They top it with coconut flakes and white chocolate flakes.  It's a very high pie, and it's just delicious!  They sell it in little bites if you just want a little taste because you're diabetic or you hate coconut.  They sell it by the slice, a half-pie, and a full pie.  It is pretty expensive to buy the full pie, but it's SO delicious!

Even if you're not after this pie, you can still get other things in this bakery that will still give you that cooking show O-face (except this time it would be genuine).  If you see something that looks tasty and appealing to your senses, get it.  I'd almost guarantee that it will live up to every fan-tasty filled thought you would have about it.

Plus this bakery is 1/3 of the leg in the Bermseada triangle (get it?  Berm-SEA-da?) of my biggest weak points: gourmet pizza at Serious Pie, crab cakes and cocktails at Dahlia Lounge, and the triple coconut cream pie here.  Oh, Tom.  You complete me.

It's dangerous territory.  You've been warned.  Even so, it's worth the venture.  My significant other drove 4 hours to Seattle to buy me a whole pie for my birthday 2 years ago.  His sacrifice was greatly appreciated, and I did not let one single crumb of that pie go to waste.

Tom does publish his recipe, so if you're not in Seattle and want to give it a go: have fun!  Another food blogger put together a blog when she made Tom's recipe.  I've personally never tried it (though I've threatened to many times), so I really can't help you out if you have issues with it.  It does look a bit complicated.

Mary Cook's Blog - Tom Douglas Triple Coconut Cream Pie

I will say one thing: I see two ways to greatly increase the aesthetics and ease of making this pie.  There is a simple and cheap solution to forming pie crusts available on Amazon.  I seriously don't know how someone didn't come up with this idea years ago!

It's called a Pie Crust Bag.  Basically it's a clear round bag with a zipper along the side.  You just lightly flour it, close the zipper up, shake, toss your ball of crust dough in the center, zip, and roll it out until the dough fills up to the edges.  That's it!  They sell them in 11" and 14" sizes.  I have both, though I've only used the 11" one since I only have 9 inch pie dishes.  I don't know too many people who have 12" pie dishes (aside from Martha Stewart).  So if you're unsure of your pie dish size, go with the 11" one.  I have only found two down sides to these things:

1) Cleanup is kind of a pain since the butter, milk, and shortening in pie crust tend to get caked on the plastic.  Though it is much less of a pain than cleaning up after rolling out a crust the old-fashioned way!
2) Since the zipper doesn't fold on one side of the package, the edge of the crust will have a small line in it.  This isn't really a huge deal if you crimp my pie crust with a fork.

I also recommend getting a silicon pie crust shield to keep it from burning the edge of the crust.  The one I bought from Amazon worked really, really well.

Of course every pie-maker needs pie beads.  Sure, you can use pinto beans to hold down your pie.  Though really, if you're going to make lots of pies, just get the beads!  I put down a round circle of either parchment paper or aluminum foil on the bottom of the pie crust before putting the beads down.  I prefer using aluminum foil because I can press it on the bottom of the pie pan and form a nice round shape.  I then cut the foil around that circle, and voila!  When I'm done, I run the beads through a metal colander to cool them off before I put them back in a bag. 

I even included a handy little link for finding these items below. They're very affordable. If you mouse over the links, I included some helpful comments for each item. Enjoy!

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