Pineapple, like lemon juice, is acidic and will prevent the cornstarch from thickening properly if added before the custard is cooked. Chilling the pie after it cools at room temperature further sets the filling and makes for perfect slices.
Southern Living JUNE 2008
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together cookie crumbs, 1 cup coconut, and 1/4 cup melted butter; firmly press on bottom, up sides, and onto lip of a lightly greased 9-inch pieplate.
2. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack, and let cool 1 hour or until completely cool.
3. Whisk together milk and cornstarch in a heavy saucepan, whisking until cornstarch is dissolved. Whisk in egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar, whisking until blended. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until a chilled pudding-like thickness. (Mixture will just begin to bubble and will be thick enough to hold soft peaks when whisk is lifted.) Remove from heat; stir in pineapple, 1 Tbsp. butter, and vanilla. Spoon immediately into cooled piecrust.
4. Beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Spread meringue over hot filling, sealing edges. Sprinkle remaining 1/3 cup coconut over meringue.
5. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven to wire rack, and let cool 1 hour or until completely cool. Chill 4 hours.
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