This creamy pie with a coconut meringue topping is a tradition in my family. My grandmother started making this pie one Christmas and it was a standby from that point on. This recipe contains raw eggs. We recommend that pregnant women, young children, the elderly and the infirm do not consume raw eggs.
Pour cold water into a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin on top of water and allow it to soften for 5 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, mix together 1/2 cup sugar, flour, and milk. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 5 minutes. Cool slightly. Stir in gelatin mixture and allow to cool completely.
In a large glass or metal bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar. Continue to beat while gradually adding 1/2 cup sugar, until stiff peaks form. Fold in whipped topping, coconut, and almond extract.
Pour cooled milk mixture into pastry shell. Top with meringue mixture. Refrigerate pie for at least 2 hours before serving.