Ok, if you like coconut and dark chocolate, then this is the pie for you. It’s seriously like eating a chocolate covered macaroon. This is John’s new favorite dessert. He saw it in the Martha Stewart’s New Pie and Tarts cookbook and asked me to please make it for him (he asked me to make the pie this summer, but I finally got around to making it in November, oops). One thing about John is that he is a HUGE fan of coconut. His birthday cake request every year is Barefoot Contessa’s coconut cake. I have made this pie 3 times in the past month and he still gets super excited when I place a slice in front of him for dessert. I have never gotten a bigger compliment from him than when I made this pie, seriously.
This pie was a bit complicated as there were some things wrong or should I say strange with the initial instructions. I followed the recipe to a “T” from the book, but looked on-line at other recipes and reviews when things were not going according to plan. My crust took way longer to cook and it did not form a ball when processing like the cookbook and on-line recipes said. I think my crust may have taken longer due to the fact that it was cooked in a ceramic pie dish as opposed to a tin pie dish. The original recipe called for 8-ounces of bittersweet chocolate, but I found that it wasn’t enough filling for the pie we wanted. All in all, the pie tasted amazing in the end, so you really can’t mess it up.
If you’re not a fan of dark chocolate, then you could substitute a semisweet chocolate and it would taste great. I will warn you that this pie is rich, so smaller slices are key and you must top it off with some whipped cream!
This is a great Holiday or party pie because it serves a crowd and looks fancy with the shiny gnache filling and the crispy coconut crust. People will be impressed thinking you spent hours slaving over this pie, when in reality you didn’t. It’s an easy pie to throw together and requires only 4 simple ingredients, plus its gluten-free to boot.
chocolate coconut pie:
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s New Pies and Tarts
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 11 ounces of sweetened shredded coconut, a little over 3/4 of a 14-ounce bag
- 12 ounces (3 4-ounce bars) bittersweet chocolate, preferably 60%- you can also use semisweet, if you’re not a fan of bittersweet chocolate
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
We’re going to make the crust first. Measure out your coconut. I have a scale, so I just measured out a bit over 10-ounces.
As you can see, I used a 14-ounce bag and had just a little under a lightly packed cup leftover in the bag. Basically, if you don’t have a scale, just pour a little over 3/4 of the bag in a bowl. You can double-check that you have enough coconut by pouring the remainder into a 1-cup measuring cup, like I show below.
Ok, the recipe calls for you to throw one-third (roughly 4-ounces) of the coconut plus the 4 tablespoons of butter into a food processor and process until the mixture forms a ball. Ok, mine did not form a ball and maybe it was because my food processor was to big and I should have used my mini food processor, but it doesn’t really matter because all you’re looking to do is mix the butter with one-third (roughly 4-ounces) of the coconut. If you don’t have a scale, 4-ounces is roughly 1 1/3 loosely packed cups. Throw the remaining two-thirds of the coconut into a small or medium-sized bowl, and set aside.
You can blend the butter and the one-third coconut 3 ways, in a large food processor, a smaller one like a mini-prep, or by hand. Process the mixture for about 1-2 minutes or until its combined. I used my food processor and had to take a spatula and wipe down the sides a few times, but it worked.
Here’s what my coconut and butter mixture looked like after it was processed.
Place a 9-inch pie dish or tart pan onto a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Press the coconut mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the pie dish to form a crust, leaving the top edges a bit loose and fluffy.
Here’s the part of the recipe that will vary depending on your oven and what pie dish you use. The original recipe used a pie tin and called for the middle crust to brown in 10-15 minutes with the foil ring on, and then for 4-5 minutes more (with the foil ring off) for the rest of the crust to brown evenly. Your pie make take this short of a time to brown if you’re using a pie tin. I made this pie 3 times and it took mine a lot longer to brown to the consistency that I liked.
If you’re using a ceramic pie dish such as I did, then place your pie in the oven for 9-10 minutes with the foil ring on. The middle of your crust should be a bit browned, but don’t worry if it’s not, as it will brown as it bakes up. Take off the foil ring and cook your crust until all if the crust browns evenly, anywhere from 15-25 minutes. Please keep checking to see that your crust isn’t getting to browned in one area, and if it is, then put some foil over that section. This step is basically a watch and see process and not a time to leave the kitchen and do other things.
See how evenly my crust browned up? I like it a little browner and crisper on the top.
Transfer pie crust to a wire rack to cool completely.
Once your pie crust has cooled, its time to make the gnache filling. Chop up your chocolate. I like to use a serrated knife when chopping up my chocolate.
Stir to combine with a spatula making sure to scrape the bottoms and sides so that all the chocolate is melted and combined with the cream. At first it might seem like there’s more cream than chocolate, but keep stirring and the chocolate and cream will blend together to create this dark rich and shiny gnache.
Take the set pie out about an hour before you’re going to slice into it. I find that it slices better when at room temperature.
Slice up a thin piece and top it with some whipped cream. I use a cake spatula to scoop out the slices.
My friend Sarah made a vegan version of this pie in muffin tins, so check hers out!