Coconut Creme Pie
This is a combination of two recipes, with a couple of little tweaks of my own. It has the familiar rich, creamy coconut filling, but is topped with a meringue, similar to a lemon meringue pie. It was delicious, and went fast. I upped the amount of cornstarch and flour in the filling though, as my pie wasn’t able to hold it’s shape when cut. The measurements I have given here should take care of that. This one is definitely a keeper!
You will need a baked deep dish pie shell. You can either buy one or make one. If you need a recipe for the pastry, you can go here.
Start by heating 21/2 cups of milk, 1/2 cup sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler until the sugar is dissolved and the milk is hot, almost boiling. The water should be at a steady simmer in the bottom pot, but the water should not be deep enough to touch the top pot. Instead, it’s the steam that evenly heats the bottom of the top pot.
Meanwhile, in a separate small bowl, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining ½ cup milk. Use a ladle, and whisk some of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper the yolks.
Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining hot milk, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens. (In the top of a double boiler, the milk may not actually boil, but it will thicken, and once it is very thick and it isn’t getting any thicker, it’s done.)
Remove the thickened filling from the heat, and stir in the butter/margarine, vanilla and coconut flavours, and the coconut. Cover the pot and set aside on a cooling rack to cool for 20 minutes, stirring once during that time.
While the filling is cooling a bit, you can make the meringue. Beat the egg whites along with the creme of tartar and the vanilla until foamy. Continue to beat while adding the sugar gradually, until stiff peaks form when the beaters are removed from the mixture. Stir in 1/3 cup coconut.
Pour the filling into the cooked pie shell. Then spoon large dollops of the eggs white mixture all over the top of the pie filling.
Smooth the meringue out, creating little peaks all over the pie. Sprinkle some unsweetened coconut all around the edges for decoration. Large flakes like shown here make a nice decoration, but you can use whatever you have.
Even though the filling is already cooked, the pie is baked again, this time to cook the meringue. Once the meringue is nicely golden brown, take the pie out of the oven and cool to room temperature on a cooling rack. Refrigerate pie for at least 3 hours before cutting to serve.
The classic; creamy, coconutty, with a twist. I hate to have egg whites left over, so this pie has a 4 egg-white meringue on top. I find that the filling is rich enough that it doesn’t need whipped cream on top, but you can top it with whipped cream if you like. Either way, this pie is delicious! Note: it takes a while to cool, so plan on making it the day before you want to serve it.
- 1 baked deep-dish pie shell
- 3 cups whole milk*
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut flavour
- 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut**
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
- 6 Tb. sugar
- 1/3 cup sweetened coconut
- 2/3 cup large, unsweetened coconut flakes for garnish
- In the top of a double boiler****, stir together 2 ½ cups of the milk, the sugar, and salt. The bottom of the double boiler should be at a simmer to provide constant steam heat to the top of the double boiler. Cook, stirring to dissolve the sugar, until the filling is hot.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch, flour, and egg yolks with the remaining ½ cup milk.
- Whisk some of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper the yolks. Pour the egg/milk mixture back into the remaining hot milk, whisking constantly.
- Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk, until the mixture thickens.
- Remove from the heat. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl – only if you have not used a double boiler.
- Stir in the butter, vanilla, coconut flavouring, and flaked coconut. Cover and let it sit, stirring once, for 20 minutes. Pour into the prebaked pie shell. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In medium bowl, using the mixer, beat egg whites until foamy, about 1 minute. Add: 1/2 tsp. vanilla and cream of tartar. Gradually add sugar (6 Tb), beating on high speed until stiff peaks form. Spread over hot filling, making sure edges seal to crust (to prevent separating) and sprinkle coconut flakes over meringue. Bake 30 minutes; cool to room temperature, then refrigerate at least 3 hours before cutting and serving.
*You can use 2% milk here so it’s not so rich. But I wouldn’t recommend using 1% or skim as they are too watery. **You can use unsweetened coconut in this pie. If you do, I recommend increasing the sugar to at least 2/3 cup, or as much as ¾ cup, depending on how sweet you like it. ***You can use a medium saucepan here instead of a double boiler, but you must be extra careful to heat the mixture slowly and to stir constantly. Also, I recommend that you pour the thickened custard through a fine sieve into a bowl before adding the coconut. This will remove any lumps of cooked egg. This rarely is necessary using a double boiler, which is why I always use one for thickening fillings and puddings like this.