If you love the flavor of coconut and the airy lightness of meringue, this coconut cream pie with meringue topping is just for you!
I don’t know about you, but I love coconut cream pie! I’ll never forget as a kid tasting it for the first time and wondering why we had wasted so many years making vanilla pie and pudding when we could have added coconut at any time!
My history with pudding and pudding pie
I actually mentioned this in my gluten free chocolate pie recipe, but it’s a fun story, so I’m repeating it here. When I was a tween/early teen, I used to make quite a bit of pudding and pudding pie.
Why? Because we had milk cows, and whatever milk we didn’t use, we had to make cheese out of. A gallon of pudding (there were ten of us, so it’s not as much as it sounds like) was a gallon less cheese I had to make. (can you tell that my attitude about cheesemaking wasn’t the best?!)
Anyway, pudding pies like this are an easy and fairly wholesome dessert that you can take in so many directions. You can see that with this coconut cream pie with meringue. It has many of the same ingredients but tastes nothing like chocolate pie.
While there are several different parts to make (I make my gluten free pie crust from scratch and often freeze it), I love that it’s a simple recipe for my kids to follow. if they can measure and stir, they can make this pie!
By the way, this recipe is sponsored by Judee’s Ingredients. They’re my favorite for high quality gluten free products, and for this recipe, I used their toasted coconut chips.
While shredded coconut doesn’t bother me, some of my family don’t enjoy that texture. Instead, I use coconut chips – the perfect ingredient for us! I also like the toasted flavor they give.
Coconut Cream Pie with Meringue
- For this recipe, you’ll need an eight or nine-inch pie crust. As I mentioned above, I usually make my own to freeze and have on hand for recipes like this. You can use any pie crust you want – homemade, store-bought, gluten-free, or not – including graham cracker crust. (I have a recipe for gluten free graham cracker crust here). The main thing is that when making a cold pudding pie, it needs to be baked or ready to serve before you add the pie filling.
- You probably have had coconut cream pie served with whipped cream on top, which is delicious. But here, we’re using meringue. It’s fluffiness and the toasted flavor is just to die for when you combine it with coconut.
- Using whole milk in this recipe helps make it richer, but 2% milk is fine too. With the added egg yolks, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference.
- Cornstarch or arrowroot powder are my thickeners of choice. Since we have gluten-free people in our home, any recipe that can be made without gluten is made without gluten, and that includes this pie. I usually thicken it with arrowroot powder from Judee’s ingredients. cornstarch works just as well.
Making the pie
First, prepare your crust by fitting it in your pie plate, and baking it, then set it aside to cool.
Next, assemble your coconut pudding ingredients.
The easiest way to dissolve your cornstarch is to mix it with the sugar first. That way it doesn’t form big clumps.
Then stir the milk in and heat it over medium heat.
As it heats, continue stirring until it’s thickened. Next, remove from heat and add the coconut chips, coconut extract, and vanilla.
Now about those eggs…
Next comes the tricky part – and it’s really not that tricky.
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites.
What’s tricky here is that you cannot have any yolk in your white. It’s okay to get white in the yolk, but not the other way around. If a yolk breaks, don’t try to keep separating it. If a little yolk gets in your whites, get it and the white around it out.
The reason is simply that even a tiny bit of fat in your egg whites will cause them not to whip up into meringue.
Once they’re separated, cover your whites and put them back in the fridge.
Take the yolks, and beat them with a fork.
Then start adding pudding, a tablespoon at a time. Beating egg yolks between each addition (you can see this done in the video below). This is to temper the yolks and keep them from turning into pudding-poached egg yolks when you add them to the pudding.
Once you have several tablespoons of pudding beaten into the yolks, stir them into the coconut pie filling until fully incorporated.
Now it’s time to stir the butter.
At this point, you can set your pudding aside to cool. Once it and the pie crust are no longer scalding hot, pour the pudding into the pie shell, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
Just before serving, beat the egg white with a bit of sugar, top your pie, and broil until the meringue is golden brown. Hint: You can add a couple of additional egg whites to get a nice, tall meringue on top of your pie!
Your pie is ready to serve!
Scroll down to see the video tutorial and recipe card.
Coconut Cream Pie with Meringue
Creamy coconut pie topped with toasted meringue and coconut chips.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 10
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: dessert
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: American
- Prepare pie crust by pressing into 9″ pie plate, and baking as directed.
- While crust is baking, combine 1/2 cup of sugar and arrowroot powder/cornstarch in a saucepan
- Stir in milk, and heat over medium heat, continuing to stir until mixture is thickened
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and coconut extracts, and coconut chips
- Separate egg whites from yolks, placing whites in a tightly lidded container and refrigerating
- Beat yolks, then beat in coconut pudding mixture, one tablespoon at a time, until you have about 4-5 tablespoons beaten into the egg yolks.
- Stir egg yolk mixture back into saucepan, whisking, or beating with a fork, until all is incorporated
- Add butter, and allow to cool
- When filling and crust are both no longer scalding to touch, pour filling into crust, cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight
- Just before serving, Remove egg whites from refrigerator, and beat until soft peaks form
- Add remaining 3 Tablespoons of sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time, beating between each addition
- Beat until stiff peaks form
- Spread meringue over top of pie, and broil 6-8 inches from heating element until light golden brown (don’t turn your back, meringues brown quickly!)
- Remove from oven, and sprinkle with additional coconut chips if desired
- Slice and serve
Can sub virgin coconut oil for butter. This is an especially good idea if you don’t have coconut extract on hand!
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