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Toasted Coconut Cream Pie


Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours 
Makes 8-10 servings


For the custard:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut, lightly toasted

For the meringue:

  • 5 eggs whites
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • shredded sweetened coconut


Step 1: Toast coconut at 350 degrees until lightly toasted.  
Step 2: To make the custard: Bring the milk to a soft boil. 
Step 3: In a large saucepan whisk together the sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch and salt until well combined. While constantly whisking, pour 1/4 of the milk into the egg mixture. Continuing to whisk, slowly pour the remaining milk into the eggs. While still whisking, heat the mixture over medium heat until it begins to boil; let boil for up to 2 minutes, until it thickens. 
Step 4: Mix in the rum and vanilla. Let it stand for 5 minutes. Then add the bits of butter. This should make the custard very smooth. Stir in the toasted coconut. Cover with plastic wrap pressed against the custard and cool in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. You can also store the custard overnight until ready to use.
Step 5: To make the meringue: In a double boiler over medium-high heat, combine 1 cup sugar and the water. Dissolve the sugar completely. Do not stir. 
Step 6: Increase the heat and bring sugar to soft-ball stage (235 to 240 degrees). Use a candy thermometer for accuracy. Wash down the inside wall of the pot with a wet pastry brush. This will help prevent sugar crystals from forming around the sides, falling in and causing a chain reaction. 
Step 7: In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the eggs whites on low speed until foamy. Add 1/4 cup sugar and the cream of tartar, increase the speed to medium, and beat until soft peaks form.
Step 8: With the mixer running, pour the hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over fluffed egg whites. Beat until the egg whites are stiff and glossy. 
Step 9: To put the pie together: Lightly whisk the cooled custard and pour it into the crust. Spoon the meringue all over the pie and spread evenly to the edges. Sprinkle with coconut on top of the meringue. 
Step 10: Bake in the oven at 325 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes until meringue is golden and coconut is toasted.

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