Three layers of lovely in this pie, with a buttery pastry base, butterscotch filling and fluffy meringue. 






Skill level

Average: 5 (6 votes)

This recipe, contributed by a member of the Wagga Wagga branch, appeared in a popular recipe calendar published by the Country Women's Association of NSW in the early 1930s. 



  • 150 g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 1¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

  • ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • 75 g chilled unsalted butter, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chilled milk, as required


  • 150 g (⅔ cup) caster sugar
  • 375 ml (1½ cup) boiling water

  • 185 g (1 cup) brown sugar, lightly packed

  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 60 g (1⁄4 cup) butter
  • 2 eggs, separated

  • 90 g (1 cup) desiccated coconut

  • 1 tsp vanilla essence 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time: 30 minutes

Preheat oven to 180°C.

For the pastry, combine the flour, bicarb soda, cream of tartar and a large pinch of salt in a bowl. Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the milk until a course coarse dough forms, adding extra if required.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly – take care not to overwork or pastry will be tough. Form into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll dough out to line the base and side of a 24 cm tart tin, trimming the overhang. Line the tart shell with baking paper and fill with baking beads or dried beans. Bake for 20 minutes.

For the filling, place 2 tablespoons of the caster sugar in a small saucepan with 1 tablespoon water. Cook over medium heat for 6–7 minutes, or until a dark caramel forms. Remove from the heat and quickly add the boiling water and brown sugar, taking care as mixture will bubble and spit. Return to the heat and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Combine the cornflour with 1 tablespoon water in a bowl to make a smooth paste. Add to the mixture in the pan and cook until it boils and thickens. Remove from the heat, then stir in the butter. Allow mixture to cool slightly, then stir in the egg yolks, coconut and vanilla. Pour filling into the tart shell and bake for 20–30 minutes.

Using an electric beater, whisk the eggwhites in a bowl until firm peaks form. Gradually add remaining caster sugar and whisk until it is dissolved and mixture is thick and glossy. Spoon mixture over the baked tart. Bake for a further 10–15 minutes, or until meringue is light golden.


Recipe from 365 Country Women’s Association Favourites: Inspirational recipes for every day of the year (Murdoch Books, hb, $29.99). This recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the original.


Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Nick Banbury. Creative concept by Belinda So.