Coconut-Custard Meringue Pie


A fluffy meringue tops this creamy coconut custard pie. The flaky pie crust needs to be prebaked before filling it with custard to prevent it from becoming soggy. The pie dough recipe makes enough for a double-crust pie, so save one half for another recipe.

Coconut-Custard Meringue Pie
Photo: © Rick Lew
Active Time:
1 hrs
Chill Time:
2 hrs 45 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 30 mins
1 (9-inch) pie


Flaky Pie Crust

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup cold solid vegetable shortening, cut into 4 pieces

  • 1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice water

Coconut Custard

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

  • Pinch of salt

  • 4 large eggs, separated (whites saved for meringue)

  • 1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 4 large egg whites

  • Pinch of cream of tartar

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup (about 1 ounce) sweetened shredded coconut


Make the Pie Crust

  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and pulse several times. Add the vegetable shortening and pulse 5 or 6 times, until the shortening is the size of peas. Add the butter and pulse 5 or 6 times, until the butter is the size of peas. Pour the ice water evenly over the top. Replace the lid and pulse 5 or 6 times, just until moistened.

  2. Transfer the pastry to a lightly floured work surface and knead several times, just until it comes together. Divide the pastry in half and pat it into two 6-inch disks; wrap the disks in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes or overnight, or freeze.

  3. Remove one disk, and on a lightly floured surface, gently tap the pastry with a rolling pin to flatten it slightly. Dust lightly with flour and roll out the pastry to a 13 1/2-inch round 1/8 inch thick. Roll the pastry around the rolling pin, then unroll it over a 9-inch glass pie plate. Trim the overhang to 1 inch, fold it under itself, and crimp decoratively.

  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Refrigerate the pie crust until chilled, about 15 minutes.

  5. Line the pastry with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 30 minutes, or until nearly cooked through and dry to the touch. Carefully remove the foil and weights. Bake for 10 minutes longer, until golden. Let cool completely.

Make the Custard

  1. Set a fine strainer over a medium heatproof bowl. In a medium saucepan, combine the milk with the sugar, flour, and salt; whisk until smooth. Cook over moderate heat, whisking, until the mixture is the consistency of sour cream, about 8 minutes.

  2. Put the egg yolks in a bowl and gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture. Whisk the egg mixture in the bowl back into the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly until thickened, about 2 minutes. Strain the custard into the heatproof bowl. Stir in the coconut and vanilla. Press plastic wrap directly onto the custard and refrigerate until chilled.

  3. Spoon the custard into the baked pie crust and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Make the Meringue

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large, stainless-steel bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar at medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed to high and beat until firm peaks form. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until glossy.

  2. Spoon the meringue onto the custard, spreading it to the edge of the crust, and swirl decoratively, using the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the coconut on top. Bake until the meringue is golden and the coconut toasted, 7 minutes. Let cool, cut into wedges, and serve.

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