Coconut Pie Shell (Tom Douglas)

This is for Tom Douglas’ Triple Coconut Cream Pie

1 cup plus 2 T flour

1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/3 cup ice water, or more as needed

1. In a food processor, combine the flour, coconut, diced butter, sugar, and salt. Pulse to form course crumbs. Gradually add the water, a T at a time, pulsing each time. Use only as much water as is needed for the dough to hold together when gently pressed between your fingers; don’t work the dough with your hands, just test it to see if it is holding. The dough will not form a ball or even clump together in the processor – it will still be quite loose.

2. Place a large sheet of plastic wrap on the counter and dump the coconut dough onto it. Pull the plastic wrap around the dough, forcing it into a rough flattened round with the pressure of the plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes to an hour before rolling.

3. To roll out the dough, unwrap the round of coconut dough and put it on a lightly floured work board. Flour the rolling pin and your hands. Roll the dough out into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. Lift the dough with a board scraper occasionally to check that it is not sticking and add more flour if it seems about to stick. Trim to a 12- to 13-inch circle.

4. Transfer the rolled dough to a 9-inch pie pan. Ease the dough loosely and gently into the pan. You don’t want to stretch the dough at this point because it will shrink when it is baked. Trim any excess dough to a 1- to 1-1/2-inch overhang. Turn the dough under along the rim of the pie pan and use your finger to flute the edge. Chill the unbaked pie shell at least an hour before baking. This step prevents the dough from shrinking in the oven.

5. When you are ready to bake the pie crust, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper in the pie shell and fill with dried beans. Bake the pie crust until the pastry rim is golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pie pan from the oven. Remove the foil and beans and return the pie crust to the oven. Bake until the bottom of the crust has golden-brown patches, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before filling.

A step ahead: The dough can be wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator for a day or two, or frozen for a few weeks. Also the dough can be rolled out and fitted into a pie pan, and the unbaked pie shell can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated or frozen for the same amounts of time. Frozen pie shells can be baked directly out of the freezer, without thawing; the baking times will be a bit longer.

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