Makes one 9" pie
This pie happily stands alone without the chocolate dipped macaroon embellishment. If time allows, a half batch of the macaroon crust recipe will yield plenty to adorn your dessert.
2⅔ cups coconut, total (I use 1⅓ cups of Angel Flake sweetened coconut and 1⅓ cups desiccated coconut)
4 tablespoons potato starch
¼ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup sugar
4 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large bowl, toss together the coconut and potato starch. In a medium bowl, whisk together the salt, sugar, egg whites, and vanilla. Whisk until the whites and sugar are thoroughly combined. Pour the egg white mixture over the coconut mixture and use a rubber spatula to thoroughly combine the two. Pour the mixture into a heavy bottomed large saucepan. Cook over low heat for 8 minutes, stirring continuously with a rubber spatula to prevent sticking. Remove from the heat and scrape the mixture into a clean bowl. Let cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9” glass pie plate. Using an ice cream or cookie scoop, scoop the macaroon mixture into the pie plate. Dip your fingers in cold water and press the mixture evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate, creating an edge. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet. Bake on the lowest rack of the oven for 18-20 minutes, just until the pie shell is golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely before filling.
Lemon filling- adapted from BBC Good Food
4 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon potato starch
1 cup lemon juice, strained (about 5 lemons)
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (or a butter substitute such as Earth Balance)
one 9” Prebaked Macaroon Crust
Place a fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar, pinch of salt, potato starch and lemon juice. Place in a heavy bottomed saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking to start then stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Cook until the mixture thickens, about 8-10 minutes. (An insta-read thermometer should register 170 degrees F.) Remove the filling from the heat and pour the mixture through the fine mesh strainer. Let the filling cool for about 20 minutes then whisk in the butter until thoroughly incorporated. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the filling and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the cooled pie shell on a baking sheet. Remove the plastic wrap, pour the lemon filling into the pie shell and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 10-12 minutes until the filling sets around the edges and jiggles slightly in the middle. Set aside on a cooling rack while you prepare the meringue.
3 large egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1½ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
¼ cup water
Set a Pyrex measuring cup next to the stove. Place the egg whites and vanilla in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, stir together the sugar, cream of tartar, and water until the sugar is dissolved. Cook over low heat. When the sugar syrup reaches 240 degrees F, immediately pour it into the Pyrex measuring cup to stop further cooking. Turn the stand mixer on to medium and carefully pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites, being careful to avoid the whisk and the sides of the bowl. Add all of the syrup then turn the mixer to high. Beat at high speed for about 8 minutes until the egg whites are very thick. (Do not overbeat.) Use a rubber spatula to gently place the meringue on top of the lemon filling. Use an offset spatula to create spiky peaks of meringue. Toast the meringue using a handheld kitchen torch. Let the pie cool on a rack for at least 4 hours before slicing. Refrigerate any leftovers.
(Note: You can prepare a half batch of the macaroon crust to make additional macaroons. Use a small cookie scoop to scoop the mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-10 minutes (for small macaroons) 15-18 minutes (for larger macaroons). Rotate the pan halfway through baking. Coconut can turn from golden to dark rather quickly, so keep an eye on things. If you wish, when the macaroons cool, dip the bottoms in melted dark or semi-sweet chocolate. Contrary to popular belief, tart lemon and chocolate play nicely together in desserts.