Chocolate coconut meringue pie


  • Serves 8 - 10 people

We loved coconut roughs as kids, and the combination of milk chocolate and toasted coconut is still a winner. This is a more indulgent tart version, topped off with snowy clouds of espresso-flavoured Italian meringue. Feel free to brown the meringue with a blowtorch if you wish, or savour its pale beauty just the way it is.

  • 120 gm coconut flakes
  • 200 gm each milk chocolate and dark chocolate (55% cocoa solids), finely chopped
  • 300 ml pouring cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • To serve: pure icing sugar and shaved coconut (optional)
  • Sweet pastry
  • 250 gm (1 cups) plain flour
  • 60 gm pure icing sugar
  • 160 gm chilled butter, diced
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten, for eggwash
  • Italian meringue
  • 240 gm caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp espresso-strength coffee
  • 4 eggwhites
01   For sweet pastry, process flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter, process until mixture is sandy, then add yolks and process until mixture just comes together. Turn out onto a work surface, bring together with the heel of your hand, form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to rest.
02   Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface to 2mm thick, line base and sides of a 4cm-deep, 25cm-diameter tart tin, trim edges and refrigerate for 1 hour. Blind-bake until edges are golden (6-8 minutes), then remove baking paper and weights and bake until base is golden (6-8 minutes). Brush lightly with eggwash, bake again until dark golden (4-5 minutes), then set aside to cool.
03   Preheat oven to 180C. Spread coconut on an oven tray and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden (5-6 minutes). Set aside. Place chocolate in a bowl and set aside. Bring cream to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, pour onto chocolate, leave for 5 minutes, then stir until melted and smooth. Whisk eggs and 1 tbsp warm water in a heatproof bowl over simmering water until pale and thick (5-6 minutes). Transfer to an electric mixer, add chocolate mixture and whisk until thick and cooled to room temperature (6-8 minutes). Fold in toasted coconut, spoon into tart case, smooth top and refrigerate until firm (2-3 hours).
04   For Italian meringue, stir sugar, coffee and 80ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook, brushing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to remove sugar crystals, until syrup reaches 115C on a sugar thermometer (6-8 minutes). Whisk eggwhite and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Continue cooking syrup to 121C (2-3 minutes), then slowly pour onto eggwhite and whisk until thick, glossy and cooled to room temperature (4-5 minutes). Spoon onto tart, dust with icing sugar and serve with shaved coconut.
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