- 1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
- Cooking spray
- 2 cups 1% low-fat milk
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 1/2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup flaked sweetened coconut, toasted
1. Preheat oven to 425°.
2. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under; flute. Line dough with foil; arrange pie weights or dried beans on foil. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes; remove weights and foil, and bake an additional 10 minutes or until golden. Cool completely on a wire rack.
3. Combine milk and half-and-half in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 cups coconut. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; stir seeds and pod into milk mixture. Bring milk mixture to a simmer; immediately remove from heat. Cover and let stand 15 minutes. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a bowl. Gather edges of cheesecloth; squeeze over bowl to release moisture. Discard solids.
4. Combine 2/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add milk mixture to egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Return milk mixture to pan; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Add butter; whisk until smooth. Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl for 6 minutes, stirring to cool. Pour into prepared crust. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
5. Place 3 egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 250°. Pour hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over egg whites, beating at high speed until thick. Spread meringue over pie. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Top with toasted coconut before serving.
Kathy Kitchens Downie, RD, Cooking Light, March 2011
Best coconut cream pie recipe I’ve ever tried. Both the filling and the merengue came out to the perfect consistency. The filling is light with a subtle flavor and the crust adds the perfect crisp complement. Instead of using the prepared dough, I recommend using Alan Carter’s Pie Recipe (https://chicagodinnerbell.wordpress.com/2010/12/26/alan-carters-pie-pastry/). I also use flat rocks that we brought back from Lake Superior as my pie weights. It’s not perfect, but it’s a nice alternative to having to buy yet another kitchen tool – I, for one, am out of room!