An easy, from-scratch recipe with a rich custard filling loaded with coconut and a piled-high meringue topping with toasted coconut. A classic holiday or special occasion dessert.
Cook refrigerated pie crust according to instructions. Set aside to cool.
In a medium saucepan, mix together the dry ingredients for the pie filling. In a small bowl, beat eggs. Add half and half and mix well.
Place the sauce pan with the dry ingredients over low heat. Add the milk and eggs a little at a time. Mixing well as you go. Continue to cook over low heat while stirring until pie filling thickens and is stiff. About 20 minutes.
Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Add 3-5 oz of shredded coconut a little at a time, mixing well.
Pour warm filling into cooled pie shell. Set aside and prepare meringue.
Preheat over to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix together corn starch and hot water. Stir until completely dissolved and set aside.
In a glass or metal bowl, beat egg whites and salt with a mixer medium- medium high speed until fluffy and large bubbles are forming around the edges.
Continue beating eggs while adding sugar one tablespoon at a time until all of the sugar has been added. Peaks should begin to form.
Continue beating on medium- medium high speed until peaks are glossy and firm. Add vanilla and cornstarch. Beat 1-2 minutes longer. Peaks should be stiff.
Spoon finished meringue onto warm pie, spreading all the way to the edges of the crust.
Fluff with a spatula or back of spoon to create swirls and peaks. Top with rest of coconut and brown the meringue and coconut in the over for 10 minutes or until the peaks are a nice golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before slicing or chilling in the refrigerator.