Beat egg yolks until well blended; set aside. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, flour, and salt in top of a double boiler; stir in milk and egg yolks. Cook over boiling water, stirring constantly, 10 minutes or until mixture is very thick and smooth. Remove from heat; stir in 1/2 cup coconut and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Set aside.
Arrange half of cherries in a layer in pastry shell. Pour coconut mixture over cherries. Set aside.
Beat egg whites (at room temperature) in top of a double boiler until foamy. Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Place over boiling water. Beat at high speed of an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Remove from heat; add remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until well blended. Spread meringue over filling, sealing to edge of pastry.
Arrange remaining cherries on top of meringue, and sprinkle with remaining coconut. Bake at 350° for 12 minutes or until meringue is golden brown. Cool to room temperature; chill.
Note: Two cups of any fruit may be substituted for cherries.