Father's Day

Four Generation Peach Pie with Coconut Meringue Crust

April 23, 2010
Photo by James Ransom
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

  • Serves 6 to 8
  • 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
In This Recipe
  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.

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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....