Pre-heat your oven to 140° Celsius and thoroughly grease a fluted 24cm (base measurement) pie tin that has a removable base. You’ll want to make sure you get into each and every crenelation so that your crust will come out easily.
In a large bowl mix the desiccated coconut, egg whites and sugar together until thoroughly worked through and it becomes a sticky, white mess.
Tip into your greased pie tin and start working it around the base and all the way up the sides, being sure to push it down well. A butter knife can be handy to help give a flat edge to the top of the pie edge.
Place straight into your warm oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until turning golden brown around the edges and base. Remove from the oven and place aside to cool.
In a medium sized saucepan, place your 1 cup of sugar, cornflour, water, lemon and lime juice and zest, and using a whisk give it a good stir.
Place over a low-medium heat and stir constantly in a smooth rhythm for a few minutes. The mixture will start to thicken slowly and you’ll see little clear globules start to form. Once you see these, your filling will start to thicken very quickly, keep stiring and don’t take your eyes off of it!
Once your mixture has thickened and turned a pale/translucent colour you will need to let it simmer for 2 minutes. Now give it a good stir and remove from the heat.
In a small bowl, have your egg yolks beaten and ready to go. Take a small spoonful of your hot filling and add it to your egg yolks, stirring slowly and gently. If you add too much too quickly you will scramble your eggs and we definitely don’t want that.
Once incorporated you should be able to pop your pinky finger into the mix and feel that it’s just warmed through. If it isn’t, add another dollop of hot mixture and repeat. Once warm, tip the entire egg yolk mix into your saucepan and stir well, putting it back over a medium heat.
Cook this off for another 2 minutes before removing from the heat again and adding in your butter. Whisk thoroughly and your mixture will now start to resemble a gloriously hued, gelatinous curd. Pop this to the side whilst you whip up your meringue.
Whilst your crust and filling are cooling you can start work on your meringue. Turn your oven up to 220° Celsius and be sure that your fan is NOT turned on. If you have no other choice than to use a fan forced setting, then drop the temperature to 200°. You don’t want to destroy your meringue!
In a large, clean bowl, place your 6 egg whites. Beat with a hand mixer (or kitchen aid) until stiff peaks form.
Add in your caster sugar, one tablespoon at a time, thoroughly beating after each addition, until all of the sugar is fully dissolved into your whites.
This should leave you with a gloriously thick and glossy concoction. Not sure if your sugar is beaten through enough? Rub a small dob between your fore finger and thumb, if you can feel sugar granules then it’s not ready! Keep beating until you can no longer feel them.
Time to assemble! Spoon your lemony filling into your coconut crust and smooth out. It won’t reach all the way to the top but that’s what your meringue is for. Follow with the meringue and smooth it all the way out to the outer edge. Ensure you pile it up in the middle a little to give it that classic look, then run a spoon or spatula through it to create soft clouds.
Pop into your oven for 10 minutes or until the tips of the meringue start to turn a crispy brown. Remove and let it cool in it’s tin for 2 hours. Slice and enjoy!
Meringue is not designed as a make ahead dessert. It is best served within a few hours of cooking. If you really do need to make it earlier than that, cover loosely with aluminium foil (never glad wrap as it will create condensation!!) and place into the fridge. It will still weep a little, just be sure not to leave it on the bench over night (I did once!! and my coconut base became a soggy mess thanks to all the weeping!)
If your egg whites aren’t coming together there’s a couple of things you can do: ensure your eggs are at room temperature prior to whipping, and also ensure your bowl is 100% clean and dry. If you have even the tiniest bit of water, fat or egg yolk in there it will stop it from peaking.
Always use Caster Sugar and not standard sugar for meringues!! Caster sugar will dissolve better and give you a stronger meringue that is less likely to weep! This applies to pavlova too!
For easy to find Gluten Free Cornflour check out White Wings range. It is 100% made from corn.