Father's Day

Four Generation Peach Pie with Coconut Meringue Crust

April 23, 2010
1 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

All of the women before me were great cooks and elegant entertainers; it is in my blood. Growing up, my mom’s grandmother lived two houses down from her. When her mom would entertain, which was often, Grandma Denessen would make the desserts, and most often it was this peach pie that she carried across the lawn. It was everybody’s favorite. When my mother began entertaining, she did not have her mother as a neighbor and had to make the sweet endings herself, and thus the cycle continues. My great-grandmother made it with canned peaches, as did my grandmother and mother. When I lived in northern California, I began stewing fresh ripe peaches for the filling. When they are in season, this is the way to go. However, I have never let the seasons get in the way of me and this pie! - wanderash —wanderash

Test Kitchen Notes

This dessert is a joy to prepare, bake, eat and love! The beautiful fluffy batter transforms in the oven to a billowy cloud of crust that puffed over the pie plate edges after about twenty minutes! Worried that I did something wrong, I gently coaxed the sides back in, which settled the crust back to the bottom of the plate. My crust was done in 25 minutes. wanderash calls for 5 extra-large egg whites, so to compensate for the large size ones I had on hand, I used 6 whites (maybe that explains the billowing). Nevertheless, it came out beautifully. I used sliced peaches from my own trees (last year) and the filling was delicious. I made a syrup first, reduced it, then added the sliced peaches so they wouldn't disintegrate. Instead of flavoring the whipped cream with vanilla, I used a touch of pure almond extract to accentuate the almond flavor in the meringue. An absolute standout editor's pick! - Amber Olson —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Stewed Peaches
  • 5 ripe peaches
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, cut in half lenghtwise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • The Pie
  • 5 extra-large egg whites
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 5 ripe peaches (or 1 can 28 oz. can peaches)
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Stewed Peaches
  2. Bring the water to a boil in a pot.
  3. With a sharp knife make an “X” on the bottom of each peach. Place them in the boiling water. After about 2 minutes, or until the skin of the peach begins to curl up where the “X” is, remove them from the pot. Turn the burner off.
  4. Starting where the “X” is, peel the skins off of the peaches. Cut in half and remove the pit and the stem.
  5. Bring the water to a boil again and add the sugar, vanilla bean, lemon and any of the peach juices. When the sugar has dissolved, add the peaches and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until they are tender. Can be stored for five days in the fridge.
  1. The Pie
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. Slice the peaches medium-thin and place them in a colander to drain. They should be very well drained before filling the crust.
  4. Beat the egg whites and salt on high until foamy; gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.
  5. Carefully fold in 1 cup of the toasted coconut and all of the almonds.
  6. With a spatula and a light hand, spread the meringue into a well buttered 10-inch pie plate. Build the sides up, high above the edge of pie plate.
  7. Bake the crust for 30 minutes or until lightly browned and dry along the edge. Let cool on counter top.
  8. Whip the cream and vanilla.
  9. One or two hours before serving, fill pie crust with peaches and top with whipped cream leaving a rim of peaches exposed around crust. Sprinkle remaining toasted coconut over whipped cream. Refrigerate until time to serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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    Gerri Sing
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  • Valerie Stivers
    Valerie Stivers
  • FlyingChef
My love for all things delicious lead me to the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and three years of working in restaurants and wineries in Napa Valley. My love of travel has propelled me all over the world. After living in Honduras and Mexico for the past 5 yrs., my two children, super-hero husband, and I have just moved to the Midwest....... A new chapter is unfolding....

24 Reviews

Elizabeth July 27, 2019
I was skeptical but we are trying to be gluten free and sugar free. I thickened the juice with a bit of cornstarch and used it, and that was lovely in the pie. Loved the crust, used Swerve and a bit of coconut sugar, also added blueberries since I didn't have enough peaches. Making again with the last local fruit.
Susan T. July 27, 2018
my sister-in-law uses a meringue crust for lemon pie....very good
aimi September 12, 2017
the recipe seems to indicate disposing of the juice from the stewed peaches-- what a shame!! the peach juice was perhaps the best part!
we added it to milk for a to-die-for vanilla-y peachy drink! want to make more stewed fruits just for the drink!
Gerri S. August 22, 2017
I don't bake but this recipe looks great and i'd love to try it, i'm not a fan of really sweet desserts. Is 1 cup of sugar to 5 x-large egg whites going to create a cloyingly sweet meringue? Can i cut it back to 1/2 cup or less and get good results?
Arlene August 18, 2017
Sweetened or inseeetened coconut?
Plum P. August 9, 2017
Just to clarify, if I have fresh peaches, do I just drain them and put them on top of the crust? Or is the choice drained fresh stewed peaches, or drained canned peaches?
I'm guessing the body of the recipe should call for 'stewed peaches, above, drained, or 28 oz canned peaches, drained' but wanted to clarify before I start.
The pie looks delicious and so unique! Thanks for sharing.
Donna H. August 8, 2017
I don't think I would use the water from "peach peeling" personally. Unless your peaches are scrubbed clean, you're basically using peach bath water. Not very appealing. No indication of what style of coconut to use either. The recipe could have been better organized for beginner cooks in my opinion.
[email protected] July 30, 2017
Still not clear about the peaches - it asks for five peaches in stewed recipe section then under pie asks for another five peaches (or canned) that are not stewed.
cosmiccook July 3, 2022
In the question tab, it clarifies either five (5) FRESH peaches stewed, or canned peaches. So ONLY 5 --it stumped me too. I wish they'd fix the recipe.
Anita H. July 30, 2017
vanilla extract for the bean?
Christopher R. July 27, 2017
Just slightly confused. The recipe isn't clear: are you combining the stewed peaches at the top of the recipe with the fresh ones in the second half and putting it all into the crust?
eastover90 July 26, 2017
More details about coconut,please. Shredded or flaked? Sweetened or unsweetened?
Valerie S. August 26, 2013
Can i sub vanilla extract for the bean?
FlyingChef September 1, 2012
I have never stewed fruits before. Will the syrup from the peaches be thick? If so can we
repurpose this into iced tea drinks? This sounds like a wonderful recipe for GF families.
KLL5 September 10, 2011
About the coconut... unsweet or sweet?
[email protected] August 11, 2010
I'm confused. Are the stewed peaches at the beginning of the recipe the ones that you put in the colander to drain? OR are the peaches in the pie recipe FRESH peaches that need to be drained? And if yes, then is the stewed peaches recipe just a little addition? I really want to make this. It sound heavenly!
wanderash September 7, 2010
Sorry to be confusing! If you have fresh peaches and are inclined, stew them and use them to fill the pie. If you do not have succulent fresh peaches you can used canned. Either way, be sure to drain the peaches well before adding them to the pie crust. Hmmmm... I think I might make this again soon :)
cosmiccook July 3, 2022
How about the coconut? Sweetened or not? I would think 1 cup sugar or sub AND sweetened coconut would be a bit much but please elaborate--can't WAIT to make this.
sygyzy July 13, 2010
I am confused. Is the crust of this pie really a baked meringue?
wanderash July 16, 2010
Yes it is- egg whites and sugar- and it is delicious!
monkeymom April 24, 2010
I love peach pie and can't wait to get peaches good enough to make this. The meringue crust looks amazing.
wanderash April 24, 2010
Peach really is the best and the women before me only made it with canned peaches..Here in Mexico, we get delicious guavas all year round. I poach them in simple syrup with some cinnamon and cardamom and use that as filling for this crust. Any fruit will do!
AntoniaJames April 23, 2010
This is beautiful, and looks so, so tasty. What is the substitution if using canned peaches? Can you use frozen peaches? We won't get good local peaches for several months, at least. Thank you. ;o)
wanderash April 23, 2010
Thanks AntoniaJames! You will not be disappointed! If using canned peaches, use a 28 oz. can and drain well. I have not used frozen peaches before. I am sure they would be good, but I would still poach them, so they have a nice syrupy coating to them.