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Ingredients for whipped cream topping - Yields 2 1/3 cup whipped topping
Prepare and bake your pie crust
Separate the eggs and put the egg whites in the refrigerator for the meringue Beat egg yolks in a small bowl.
In a 2 quart pot, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually stir in the milk combining well.
Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens and begins to boil. Let boil for 1 minute. *Stir the mixture continuously! It burns quickly.*
Once the filling has boiled for one minute, slowly stir ¾ of the hot mixture into your well-beaten egg yolks. Then immediately stir the egg mixture back into the pot with the rest of your pie filling.
Return the pie filling to a boil over medium heat. Let boil for 1 minute and remove from heat.
Add butter, coconut, and vanilla to the pot and combine well.
Pour your filling into your prepared pie crust.
If you are topping with whipped cream
Press parchment paper or plastic wrap onto the top of the pie. This will prevent a skin from forming on the pie. Let the pie cool on a cooling rack for a couple of hours. This allows the pie to set well. You can serve the pie warm but the filling will be runnier than a cold set pie. OR Cover as above and let cool on the counter for an hour, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the pie filling to set well.
Remove cover and serve with whipped topping.
If you are topping with meringue
Once you have your pie filling poured into the crust, beat the egg whites until fluffy.
Gradually add 5 tablespoons of sugar to the egg whites while continuously beating on high speed of your mixer or as fast as you can by hand. By hand takes forever and isn't as efficient - trust me.
Once stiff peaks form, spread the meringue over the top of your pie filling being careful to seal it to the edges. Sprinkle the top with a little coconut. Cook under your oven broiler until browned to your liking. **It will burn quickly so watch closely.** Let the pie sit on the counter to set for a couple of hours and serve warm. A warm pie filling will be runnier than a cold set pie. OR Let sit on the counter for an hour then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until the pie filling is set well.
Serve and enjoy!
To make whipped topping
Put 1 cup heavy whipping cream into a chilled bowl. Using the whisk attachment on your mixer, whip at the highest speed of your electric mixer until the cream begins to stiffen. Gradually add 3 Tablespoons sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. I put mine in a glass jar or bowl with a tight-fitting lid.
To make meringue
Whip the egg whites on high speed of an electric mixer using your whisk attachment until fluffy. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the sugar one tablespoon at a time until all 5 Tablespoons are added. Beat on low until the sugar is fully incorporated into the eggs (the graininess will be gone). Return mixer to highest speed and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Spread the meringue over the freshly cooked pie and brown under your broiler. Remember to watch it carefully, the meringue will brown and burn before you know it.