This classic coconut cream pie is made with coconut milk for extra creaminess and more coconut flavor. It’s a dairy-free dessert that everyone will want to eat! Recipe courtesy of the American Egg Board.
Serve freshly made pie at room temperature, or refrigerate, uncovered.
For neat slices, dip knife into glass of water, letting excess water drip off, before each cut. This prevents the meringue from sticking to knife and tearing it. Be sure to cut completely through the crust.
A hot filling is important. The heat of the filling cooks the bottom of the meringue and prevents it from weeping and creating a slippery layer between filling and topping. Set up your equipment and measure meringue ingredients before you make the filling and work quickly to make meringue before filling cools.
To check if sugar is dissolved, rub a bit of meringue between thumb and forefinger. If sugar is dissolved, it will feel completely smooth. If it feels grainy, continue beating.
What's a soft peak? To check for soft peaks, stop the mixer and lift the beater. The peaks left in the meringue should curl at the tips. If the peaks stand straight and tall (stiff peaks), the meringue has been overbeaten.
Anchor the meringue. Be sure to attach the meringue to the crust all around the edge of the pie. This prevents the meringue from pulling away from the edge during baking.
Beads may form on meringue when refrigerated; gently touch beads with tip of paper towel to absorb.
Refrigerate any leftover pie promptly.
Pie crust options: Pie can be made with any standard baked 9-inch pie crust or with a Graham cracker crumb crust or gingersnap crumb crust.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Beat the egg yolks well in medium bowl; gradually stir in the milk until blended. Mix the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large heavy saucepan. Gradually stir in the milk mixture until blended. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil, 10 to 15 minutes. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from the heat immediately. Stir in the vanilla and coconut flakes. Pour the custard into the pie crust.
Immediately make the meringue. Dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water in a 1-cup glass measure. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds; stir. Microwave until the mixture boils, 15 to 30 seconds longer. Remove; cover.
Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment on high speed until foamy. Beating constantly, add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition until the sugar is dissolved before adding the next. Continue beating until the whites are glossy and stand in soft peaks. Beating constantly, add the cornstarch paste, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time. Beat in the vanilla.
Pour the hot filling into the piecrust. Quickly spread the meringue evenly over filling, starting at edge and sealing to the crust all around; swirl with back of spoon. Sprinkle with the coconut. Bake in the upper third of the oven until lightly browned, 16 to 18 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour, then refrigerate 3 to 4 hours before serving.