Photo: John Autry; Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine
Total Time
4 Hours 10 Mins
12 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)

With flavors better than the traditional version, the Cooking Light Test Kitchen shaved over 200 calories and 10 grams of saturated fat off this coconut cream pie while still maintaining its creamy, fluffy Italian meringue.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 425°.

Step 2

Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under; flute. Line dough with foil; arrange pie weights or dried beans on foil. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes; remove weights and foil, and bake an additional 10 minutes or until golden. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Step 3

Combine milk and half-and-half in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 cups coconut. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; stir seeds and pod into milk mixture. Bring milk mixture to a simmer; immediately remove from heat. Cover and let stand 15 minutes. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a bowl. Gather edges of cheesecloth; squeeze over bowl to release moisture. Discard solids.

Step 4

Combine 2/3 cup sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add milk mixture to egg yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Return milk mixture to pan; bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Add butter; whisk until smooth. Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl for 6 minutes, stirring to cool. Pour into prepared crust. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

Step 5

Place 3 egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until candy thermometer registers 250°. Pour hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over egg whites, beating at high speed until thick. Spread meringue over pie. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Top with toasted coconut before serving.

Ratings & Reviews


December 29, 2015
This pie is amazing! The custard filling is delicious, rich and creamy, and has a delightful coconut flavor. You'd never guess it was a lightened version! The meringue and toasted coconut are a perfect topping for its' awesomeness. My husband had been requesting a coconut cream pie - expecting the heavy Southern version, but fell in love with this one - I'll be making it again, for sure :)

Best Birthday Pie Ever

March 15, 2015
My daughter's made this pie for me for my birthday. You would not know it was light by the fabulous taste!

Kjp2unme's Review

April 19, 2014
Made this for Easter dinner. Straining the liquid to remove the coconut seemed I wanted Coconut Cream Pie (and I had used vanilla bean paste), so left it in and it was perfect! Thickened wonderfully!

ChickenChick's Review

March 27, 2013
By far my favorite Coconut Cream Pie recipe EVER! This pie can be found on my holiday dinner table for every occasion. I don't use the merigue topping...instead a slightly sweetened whipped cream. And thanks to my awesome hens...the color I get from their eggs makes the pie all the more amazing! And, instead of throwing the coconut out, I give it to my hens as a treat :-)

itsgigi's Review

June 30, 2012
This is by far the tastiest coconut cream pie ever!!! I followed the recipe to the letter except that I added a sprinkle of coconut before I put on the meringue, and I made my own pie crust. And the meringue!!!! It is sooooo much better than Cool Whip, and while not tastier than whipped cream, consider the calorie savings!! I doubt I will ever try another recipe for this. You did it again!!!! Thank you thank you!!!

dokey347's Review

June 12, 2012
I'm wondering why you have to toss out the coconut? I love coconut and that is the purpose for me to have the coconut! It seems like a lot of work for a pie.

1CouplesKitchen's Review

March 01, 2012
This was so delicious! I never would've guessed if I had it out that it was a "light" version. It does take a little time to make, so I wouldn't try this if you are in a hurry. I did use a frozen pie crust instead of refrigerated and just cooked it per the package instructions. This saved me the first two steps of this recipe. For our full review & pics:

Verveine's Review

February 04, 2012
delicious! i make my partner a coconut cream pie for her birthday every year, but really needed to find a lighter version this year. this was pretty awesome. we used redi whip instead of the "meringue" topping, but will definitely try the meringue next time. what i like the most is the fact that the coconut is strained out of the custard. i love toasted coconut, but chomping on raw coconut grosses me out, so that was nice.

Rae418's Review

April 30, 2011
LOVE this pie. I made it for dinner when we had my parents over and they loved it too. Mom's birthday was two weeks later and she asked for me to make 2 of them. I told her I would make her one for her birthday and she could have a coupon for another at a later date

Billie 's Review

April 18, 2011
I made this for a gourmet dinner party and my friends said it was the BEST Coconut Cream Pie they had ever eaten. It was delicious! My only issue was pouring the sugar into the egg whites. I had globs of hardened sugar that didn't mix into the egg whites. I just picked them out and it still tasted great.