Southern Charm Coconut Lemon Meringue Pie



Ingredients for the Crust

1 1⁄3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3 tablespoons all-vegetable shortening

4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

Ingredients for the Filling

1⁄2 cup sugar

1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour

2 1⁄4 cups whole milk

4 egg yolks

1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut

3 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons lemon zest

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Garnish: toasted sweetened, flaked coconut


In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt for crust; stir well.

Using a pastry blender, cut in butter and shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, over flour mixture, tossing until moistened. Gather dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400°.

On a floured surface, roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate, pressing into the bottom and up the sides. Fold excess dough under; flute edges as desired. With a fork, generously prick bottom and sides of dough. Place a sheet of parchment paper in piecrust. Add pie weights on top of parchment paper.

Bake until edges of crust begin to brown, approximately 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°. Carefully remove pie weights. Bake until lightly browned, approximately 20 minutes longer. Remove from oven; let cool completely on a wire rack.

In a large saucepan, combine sugar and flour for filling; whisk in milk. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl, place egg yolks; whisk in 1 cup hot milk mixture. Return egg yolk mixture to remaining hot milk mixture in saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Add coconut, butter, and lemon zest and juice. Stir until butter melts. Spoon mixture into prepared piecrust. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on surface of filling. Refrigerate until chilled.

Remove plastic wrap. Make Meringue in a mixing bowl.  Add 4 egg whites and 1/8 teaspoon of cream of tarter.  Mix at medium speed until blended.  Turn mixer to high and add 6 tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Beat until the egg whites become stiff peaks.  Spoon the meringue onto center of pie filling, spreading to within 1 inch of crust. Using your fingers, pull meringue into tall peaks.

Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown top of Meringue or bake in preheated 400 degree F oven until lightly browned. Garnish with toasted coconut, if desired.

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