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White Christmas Pie

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…and this White Christmas Pie is very dreamy and delicious!

We found this recipe in a vintage 50th anniversary cookbook compiled by the booster club of Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury, Connecticut – the high school one of my mother’s close friends attended as a teen.

White Christmas Pie

Filled with recipes submitted by parents and alumni who attended the school between 1922 and 1972, that cookbook is a very interesting snapshot of mid-century cooking history told through recipes that people loved enough to want to share.

Among all of the recipes in the cookbook, this White Christmas Pie (submitted by Josephine Colasanto) really stood out as one recipe that Jack and I both wanted to try.  It’s a baked pie crust filled with a creamy and sweet coconut filling flavored with both almond and vanilla extract.


White Christmas Pie

Although not part of the original recipe, we decided to top our White Christmas Pie with unsweetened whipped cream. The filling of the pie is fairly sweet as written in the original recipe, but by adding whipped cream on top, it really helped to cut down the sweetness. (Plus – it looks so pretty and it creates an even creamier bite!)

White Christmas Pie

The original White Christmas Pie recipe also recommended serving this with either crushed raspberries or strawberries.  We decided to go the strawberry route – dicing fresh berries and tossing them with a little bit of confectioners’ sugar to create a simple sauce.

The flavors of the strawberries together with the creamy coconut pie is a winning flavor combination – and the acidity of the berries really balances out the richness of the pie.


White Christmas Pie

I wouldn’t serve this White Christmas Pie any other way – plus the gorgeous red berries against the white creamy pie gives it an especially festive look too. Enjoy!

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White Christmas Pie

White Christmas Pie

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: no-bake
  • Cuisine: American


To Make a 10” Pie Crust

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar

2 ½ tablespoons cold vegetable shortening

¼ cup ice cold water, plus more as needed


1 envelope unflavored gelatin

¼ cup water

2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided

¼ cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups whole milk

¼ teaspoon almond extract

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup heavy cream

3 egg whites

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

¾ cup shredded coconut plus more for sprinkling over top

2 cups heavy cream as topping

2 cups fresh diced strawberries, for topping

½ cup confectioners’ sugar to mix with strawberries


To make the crust, cut the butter into pats and place flat on a plate. Place the plate in the freezer while you work on the remaining ingredients.

In the bowl of a food processor, place flour, salt and sugar and pulse to combine. Add cold shortening and pulse a few times. Add frozen butter and pulse until the butter is pea size.

Pulse while adding cold water, stop and check by pinching some dough and if it is crumbly, add a tablespoon of water at a time until the dough comes together.

Pour out onto a floured counter and press together into a disc. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Remove dough and on a floured surface, roll dough so that it is two inches larger than your standard 10” pie plate. A 9” pie plate can be used however the filling will be right up to the top. Place the dough over the pie plate and gently press in and up and over the edges. With a knife or scissors, cut extra. Pinch the overhanging dough into a high ridge all around and then go back over and a make decorative edge, again, keeping it high. (I use thumb and index finger on one side and the knuckle of my index finger on the opposite side and pressed together to make a scalloped edge) Place the completed pie dough in the freezer for 30 minutes to set up so that the sides don’t collapse while baking.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and once the pie plate with the dough sits in the freezer for 30 minutes, remove, add parchment and either pie weights or dry beans. (To make the parchment fit, cut parchment into a circle larger than the pie plate and make four slits a few inches long around the edge half way to center so when you place it in the shell, the slits overlap and fit up the sides.) Place in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove pie weights or beans, and with a fork, puncture the bottom in a few places to release steam and place back in the oven without the weights and parchment and bake for 15 more minutes. Cool to room temperature. The shell is now ready to be filled.

While crust is baking, make the filling by first blooming the gelatin. Place gelatin in the water in a small bowl to dissolve and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan, mix 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar, flour and salt. Add milk and whisk to combine. Over medium heat, bring to a boil and cook one minute.

Add gelatin mixture and whisk to combine over medium heat then remove from heat. Whisk in the two extracts then place sauce pan in a bowl with ice to quickly cool.

Beat the ½ cup of heavy cream to soft peaks and set aside.

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar and the remaining 1/3 cup of granulated sugar to stiff peaks and set aside.

Place the filling into the mixer and whip just to make the mixture creamy.

In a large bowl, place cooled whipped filling and gently fold in whipped cream, beaten egg whites and shredded coconut. With a rubber spatula, scrape mixture evenly into baked and cooked pie shell.

Whip the two cups of heavy cream to stiff peaks and using a large pastry bag with a large star tip, make a decorative top over the filling and then sprinkle some coconut over the top.

Dice strawberries and mix in a bowl with the confectioners’ sugar. The strawberries will eventually give up enough liquid to mix with the confectioners’ sugar to create a sauce.

Cut and serve pieces of the pie with strawberry sauce spooned over the top.

Keywords: White Christmas Pie

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  • Debbie Altscheffel wrote:

    Have you ever seen a recipe for a white chocolate pecan pie. It looks a lot like this white Christmas pie. There’s a little restaurant in Michigan that makes it. Thank you Debbie

    • Martha wrote:

      No – sorry Debbie! (Sounds interesting though!)

  • RDS wrote:

    This is very interesting… my grandmother , has had this recipe except better, modified I should say. From her grandmother to one before. Handwritten. Maybe think about deleting this as this is a culinary piece that was crafted into something beautiful. Might want to look into that “cookbook”. Also intellectual Property.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi RDS – The cookbook where we found the recipe was a compilation of students’ family recipes gathered by a high school and printed in a booklet. It’s entirely possible that someone’s grandmother passed it along, and along, and along as often happens with family recipes.

      In terms of Intellectual Property, US Copyright laws only partially cover recipes – a list of ingredients and the general steps/process to complete a recipe are not covered under copyright laws. However, if someone reprinted our recipe instructions word-for-word exactly as we wrote it here when we made it, and also reprinted our photos – that would fall under US Copyright Law violations. I’m not sure why you feel we should delete this – we took our own photos, wrote the recipe as we made it and attributed the original source.

  • Carrie Evans wrote:

    could this be done with white chocolate shavings instead of coconut? we have coconut allergies in our family.

    • Martha wrote:

      Sure Carrie – you could try that. The coconut in the filling adds a little bit of body to the filling, but without it, it will just be more of a soft cream pie.

  • Jeannine Bianchi wrote:

    I would like to tell you your Italian Sesame Seed Cookies are the “bomb”! I have made them three times already and two batches are for Christmas cookie plates. My mother-in-law loves them although I have to make them smaller and burn them for her….lol. I have to order a one ounce scoop as my two are either too small or too big. I do, also, roll them into logs before dipping and rolling in the seeds; easier and less messy for me. Thanks again and Happy Holidays to you and yours’.

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Jeannine – so glad the cookies are a hit! Happy Holidays!

  • ronnee wrote:

    hi again,
    what I want to do is make this pie the day before Christmas and take it with me Christmas day to my family’s house for Christmas dessert. Can I make it on the 24th and leave it in my fridge and take it with me Christmas morning and leave it in my nephew’s fridge until supper. will it be okay>
    Thank you for your help.

    • Martha wrote:

      Yes – You’ll be fine to do that. Enjoy!

  • RONNEE wrote:

    can you make this pie the day before and keep it in the fridge? Can it be frozen?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Ronnee – Whipped cream softens and weeps a bit as it sits so for best results, I’d suggest making the custard the day before and then adding the whipped cream topping the day you serve the pie.

      We haven’t tried freezing this pie ourselves. It’s basically a custard pie underneath the whipped cream – I’m not sure how that will hold up after being frozen and thawed. If you try it, please let us know how it works out!

  • Jonetta wrote:

    Raw eggs?

  • Susan Jarrell wrote:

    Can this pie be frozen?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Susan – We haven’t tried freezing this ourselves. It’s basically a custard pie underneath the wiped cream – I’m not sure how that will hold up after being frozen and thawed. If you try it, please let us know how it works out!

  • Luquita Kroll wrote:

    Where do I find fresh strawberries in December? I’m in Ga. and our fresh berry season starts in Mar/Apr. Can I use frozen berries that were fresh when I froze them? Looks delicious!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Luquita – We can find fresh strawberries at the supermarket all year round (we live in Massachusetts) – but you can definitely use frozen strawberries instead.

  • Stephanie Gibbs wrote:

    Where it says beat 1/2 cup heavy cream and set aside. What consistency should it be beaten to? I can’t wait to try this pie so I want to make sure I’ve gotten the details correct.

    • Martha wrote:

      Great question Stephanie – I’ll clarify that to say soft peaks. (It’s a fairly small quantity of whipped cream and it is mixed with other ingredients, so soft peaks will mix in the best.) Thank you for your question!

  • Loraine wrote:

    I had been dreaming of, not only a White Christmas, but also a White Christmas Pie. I’m still dreaming about the pie because I never got around to making it, which I will be making sometime in the next two days. I wanted to know if using 1% instead of whole milk will effect on the texture of the pie?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Loraine – The 1% has less fat content so it might taste a little less creamy, but I think you should still be OK using that for this pie. Hope you love the recipe!

  • Larry Kraubetz wrote:

    Looks delicious

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Larry!

  • David Jacobus wrote:

    Would you ever make the White Christmas Pie without the coconut?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi David – I suppose you could! It would just be a plain custard.

  • Jeaniecox wrote:

    Looks great

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Jeanie!

  • Mabel Regimbal wrote:

    I think this would be wonderful in a graham crust and topped with pineapple as well.

    • Martha wrote:

      That DOES sound delicious Mabel! Thanks for the suggestion!

  • Lea wrote:

    Can this be made the day before?

    • Martha wrote:

      Yes you can. Whipped cream can sometimes weep a little as it sits so ideally, you’d bake the pie and add the whipped topping the day of serving. Enjoy!

  • Kirsten wrote:

    Our family has made this pie for years. The recipe is actually from an old Betty Crocker cookbook. This one for Christmas then the eggnog pie for new year’s. The eggnog pie uses up the egg yolks leftover from the Christmas pie. Both are yummy made without the crusts in fancy cups
    So delicious , have me thinking about the holidays already.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Kristen! I have an old Betty Crocker cookbook from my mom – I wonder if her verision has both recipes! Thank you for the additional information! (I’m excited for the holidays too!)

  • Woozie23 wrote:

    It is. Try it. Of course, coconuts are or were free and abundant in Barbados at the time whereas you had to pay for dried.

  • Woozie23 wrote:

    I learned to make this custard pie in Barbados maybe 40 years ago where we used fresh coconut and a wee bit of rum to flavour it. Try grating your own coconut and you will never want to use a dried product for it again.

    • Martha wrote:

      Fresh coconut and rum must wonderful in this pie! Thanks for sharing!

  • Linda Stinnette wrote:

    Pie looks awesome! i was a bit concerned when I read that egg whites are whipped but are raw. Would this present any health issues?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Linda – There are pasteurized eggs and egg white products available that you can use if you are worried about the raw egg whites. Hope that helps!

  • Anissa Olmstead wrote:

    My great aunt who passed away last summer one month shy of her 99th birthday used to bring this pie to our family Christmas. Fond memories!

    • Martha wrote:

      What a wonderful memory Anissa! I hope our version is just as good as your great aunt’s. Thanks for taking the time to write to us today!

  • Tina C wrote:

    Could you use something else other then the coconut? My daughter is allergic and that’s been the one thing holding me back from making this! Maybe shredded white choc?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Tina! I suppose you could just leave the coconut out – as written, this is sort of like a coconut custard pie so without adding the coconut, it would just be a creamy custard pie. (You could certainly add shredded white chocolate if you’d like too.) Hope that helps!

  • Tiffany wrote:

    Amazing pie! Made this pie Christmas Eve. I chose not to add the almond extract. Pie is great with or without the strawberries.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Tiffany! So glad you enjoyed the pie!

  • Mary and Tom Levar wrote:

    I am sitting with my husband in Duluth MN. We were talking about my great aunt’s list white Christmas pie recipe. If not identical, it certainly looks close. We are excited to trial test this recipe this weekend! Thank you…

    • Martha wrote:

      You are very welcome Mary! We hope our recipe is just as good as the one you remember. (FYI – our original recipe did not have whipped cream on top – we added that just because!)

  • Melissa Hutsell wrote:

    For the coconut, should it be sweetened or unsweetened? Thanks!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Melissa – The original recipe didn’t specify but we used sweetened coconut. The pie – before we put the whipped cream on top – was fairly sweet so if you like a less sweet dessert, you could probably use the unsweetened.

  • Kim Mastropietro wrote:

    I’m anxious to try this recipe because my husband went to Sacred Heart and I’m pretty sure his mom contributed to the cookbook!!!
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Martha wrote:

      Such a small world Kim! We hope you love the recipe!

  • Geri wrote:

    Hi Martha, I too am a Waterbury girl, living in the home I grew up in with my husband. I’m minutes away from Wolcott Street, that’s so ironic! Yay for Waterbury, we get such a bad rap:(

  • Geri wrote:

    I haven’t made the pie, although it looks absolutely wonderful, but what caught my eye was the cookbook the recipe came from. I’m from Waterbury CT and The Colasanto name is a very common name around here in Waterbury. That’s a nice story, very nostalgic!

    • Martha wrote:

      Merry Christmas to you too Geri! My mother grew up in Waterbury and I still have an aunt who lives there on Wolcott Street – such a small world! Thanks for taking the time to write to us!

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