This is peak season for coconuts, and the fresh, creamy meat is well worth the effort in this pie. To crack a coconut, pierce its eyes with a screwdriver and drain liquid. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and bake coconut until it cracks, 15 to 30 minutes. Remove coconut, wrap in a dish towel, and tap with a hammer to separate the meat from the shell. Remove the skin with a vegetable peeler, and grate meat on a box grater.
This is the standard pie recipe of John Bunker, pomologist of Super Chilly Farms, in Palermo, Maine. During summer, when they're in season, he likes Gravenstein apples. The more widely available Galas and Golden Delicious also make excellent pies when combined.
It's hard to imagine a piecrust that scales
back on butter and shortening, but our retooled version does just that, using more modest amounts (tablespoons instead of sticks or cups)
each ingredient. Picking up the slack is nonfat buttermilk, whose acidity helps make the dough tender. A little toasted
wheat germ adds texture and a slight nuttiness to the crust. But the highlight is the ethereal filling, which bursts with lemon juice
and ginger and is topped by a swirly cloud of meringue. So help yourself to a slice of heaven -- or even a generous wedge.