Original Coconut Cream Pie
A Great American Classic
Reprinted with permission from Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book of Southern Pies by Mollie Cox Bryan & Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant and Bakery, copyright © 2009. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House.
- Servings: 6 to 8, from one 9-inch pie.
This recipe was shared with us by Mollie Cox Bryan, author of her inspiring and sweet cookbook, Mrs. Rowe's Little Book of Southern Pies. As Ms. Cox Bryan writes in the recipe's introduction, "This is the most popular dessert at Mrs. Rowe's Restaurant and Bakery. Enough said."
The recipe calls for a single pre-baked pie crust and recommends using either Ms. Cox Bryan's plain pie pastry or her vinegar pie crust, instructions for both are included in the cookbook. But you could use a store-bought pie crust or your favorite pastry dough recipe.
- 1 prebaked 9-inch pie crust
- 4 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 eggs yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
- 3 cups milk
- 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Combine the egg whites and cream of tartar in a chilled bowl and beat with an electric mixer on show to medium speed until soft peaks form.
- Add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and continue beating on slow to medium speed until the whites form stiff peaks but aren't dry.
- The meringue is now ready to pile lightly over a pie.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Stir together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and just enough of the water to make a smooth paste. Heat the milk in a double boiler set over simmering water. When the milk begins to steam, gradually whisk in the egg mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 3/4 cup of the coconut, the butter, and the vanilla.
- Pour the filling into the crust and top with the meringue, sealing the edges well. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup coconut over the meringue.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until the meringue is golden brown and it’s firm to the careful touch (it’s easy to poke a hole in the meringue). Cool on a wire rack for 2 hours before slicing.
- Serve the pie at room temperature or, for a special treat, serve it warm—pop a slice in the microwave for about 10 seconds.