Lemon Coconut Meringue Pie

It’s April 3rd and snowing, but I promise this pie will make you forget about it and think you’re somewhere warm and sunny.

I’ve been fascinated with lemon meringue pie since I was a kid.  The pretty peaks of the meringue and vibrant yellow filling always looked so delicious in the bakery window.  I decided to try and make my own for the first time this weekend but added a little hint of tropical vibes with some coconut.

I also lightened up the crust with a graham cracker coconut base, and it’s basically addictive on its own before baking (this makes a bit more than you need so feel free to “taste test”).

Get your juicer out, you’ll need it!

Crust Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 5 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Optional egg wash: 1 egg white and 1 tsp of water whisked together

Lemon Filling Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3 whole eggs
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter

Meringue Ingredients

  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup lightly toasted shredded coconut

For the crust, stir all ingredients in a large bowl until combined and the butter and coconut oil is distributed evenly.IMG_8456

Press the mixture (minus a few tablespoons) evenly into a 9-10 inch pie pan using your fingers and a spatula to even out any bumps.  Place the crust in the freezer for 10 minutes to set and bake at 350F for 10 minutes.  Lightly brush the baked crust with the egg wash and put back in the oven for another minute until set.  This will moisture proof the crust and ensure it stays crunchy.  Set aside and let cool.

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Juice the lemons.

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Fill a pot with 1-2 inches of water and simmer over medium heat.

Whisk together your lemon juice, sugar, arrowroot, eggs, yolks and salt in a large metal or glass bowl (or double boiler) and set over the simmering water.  Stir the filling constantly with a wooden spoon or spatula, ensuring the more cooked part at the bottom is mixed in as well.

Once the filling is thick (easily coats the back of a spoon), remove from the pot and whisk in the butter until smooth.

Strain into the cooked crust.

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Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, start whisking your egg whites.  Once they’re foamy, add salt, cream of tartar and a spoonful of superfine sugar.  Continue to whisk until the egg whites make soft peaks when you lift the whisks.  Once you reach this stage, add the remaining sugar one spoonful at a time, whisking well in between.

Once complete, the meringue will be thick, white and glossy and hold large peaks.

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Gently fold in 1/2 cup toasted coconut into the meringue and pour over the lemon filled pie.  Using a spatula, spread the meringue ensuring it reaches and seals the side of the crust.  Make peaks with a spatula however you like.

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Bake at 300F for 30 minutes and then at 275F for 10-30 minutes depending on your preference.  If you want a softer meringue, bake for a shorter amount of time.  For a crunchier meringue top, bake longer.  Top the pie with more toasted coconut.

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(Isn’t it great when your uncle is an unreal photog?)

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