White Christmas Pie
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 10 inch pie
This pie may be named for its resemblance to the North Pole, but one taste of its fluffy and creamy coconut filling and you’ll be thinking of white sandy beaches instead! It’s like the dreamiest combination of a panna cotta and a coconut cream pie. While this recipe uses a frozen pie shell, feel free to make yours from scratch if you like — this recipe makes enough filling for a 10-inch pie.
[Note: The original version of this recipe appeared in the 1952 edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook — but included raw egg whites, which poses a risk for food-borne illness. This updated version solves that problem by using Italian meringue, which is cooked, instead of raw French meringue.]
¾ cup sugar
⅓ cup water
3 egg whites (room temperature)
¼ tsp cream of tartar
1 tbsp unflavored gelatin powder
¼ cup water
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
1 tsp kosher salt (or ½ tsp fine sea salt)
1 ½ cups whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract
1 ½ cup sweetened flaked coconut, divided
½ cup heavy whipping cream
- Make the Italian meringue: combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, only stirring until the sugar is dissolved (once it’s boiling, don’t stir). Boil until the temperature reaches 240o on an instant-read or candy thermometer. If sugar crystallizes on the sides of the pot, brush them down with a pastry brush dipped in water.
- While the sugar is boiling, pour the egg whites and cream of tartar into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, and whip until soft peaks form (when the whisk is pulled out, the egg whites should make a soft point that flops over).
- With the mixer running on medium speed, slowly (and carefully!) drizzle in the hot syrup, pouring it against the side of the bowl rather than directly onto the egg whites. Increase speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form. Set aside to cool.
- Make the coconut pudding: in a small bowl, whisk the gelatin into the water and let it sit for 5 minutes to soften.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar, flour, and salt together, then whisk in the milk until fully combined. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and when it’s cooled to lukewarm, add the vanilla and almond extracts and whip until smooth. Add 1 cup of the coconut and stir until it’s fully combined.
- Make the whipped cream: Whip the cream until stiff and fold it into the coconut pudding mixture.
Fold the meringue into the whipped cream and coconut pudding mixture, then pile it into your baked (and cooled) pie shell. Sprinkle on the remaining ½ cup of coconut (you can toast it if you like — it improves the flavor but won’t be white).
Recipe and photo by Heather Arndt Anderson at voodooandsauce.com