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Texas Cafes

It seems like everyone's taking their vacations now. Every Summer, many people head to the beautiful Texas Hill Country to visit places like Marble Falls, where if you drive through you will pass their famous Blue Bonnet Cafe. This legendary eatery is known for their delicious pies, so it is with great pleasure that we're able to offer you their recipe for Coconut Meringue Pie.

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Coconut Meringue Pie

Many people have enjoyed an afternoon stop at the Blue Bonnet Cafe in Marble Falls, Texas on US Hwy 281. It's one of Texas' famous old diners which has a "pie happy hour" every weekday afternoon. If you can't make it, this coconut meringue pie recipe is almost good enough to take you there. You'll enjoy this pie served cold.

This recipe is from the excellent restaurant collection, The Texas Hill Country: A Food and Wine Lover's Paradise.

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 ½ can sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 baked, cooled 9-inch pie shell
  • Toasted coconut
Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. To make the filling, combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt and milk in a heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture boils and thickens, then cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a seperate bowl, beat the egg yolks. Whisking vigorously, slowly stir 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the yolks. Stir the warmed yolks into the remainder of the milk mixture and bring to a gentle boil. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla, stirring until the butter has melted. Add the coconut, blending well.
  6. Pour into cooled, baked 9-inch pie crust and top with meringue (recipes follow), sealing meringue to edge of pastry. Bake in a 350°F oven 12 to 15 minutes or until nicely browned.
  7. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.
  8. Cool completely before serving.

Meringue

  • 4 egg whites, at room temperature
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form and the sugar is dissolved, about 2 to 4 minutes. Add vanilla and beat just to blend.

Pile atop pie, and bake at 350°F for 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Note: Be sure to seal the meringue to the pastry edge when spreading it on your pie. To minimize "weeping", spread the meringue on the pie filling while the filling is hot. Also, remember that meringue pies cut better with a wet knife blade. We talk more in depth about the meringue for this recipe in our post Secrets to Good Meringue.

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