An easy dessert with a coconut macaroon shell just waiting to be filled with lemon curd.
By Kathy Gori
I hate it when I lose things. Who doesn’t? One thing I especially hate to lose is a favorite recipe. Now, I have a million recipes blowing through my head at any given time, some things, depending on how often I make them, are permanently stuck in my brain. Others require a walk through the Memory Palace to revive them. As a backup there are also files, and notebooks, various sources and places where I stash stuff I like. However, every once in a while something slips through. A recipe evades me, I lose a piece of paper, or a clipping and bang, something’s gone. That is the story of the Lemon Coconut Macaroon Tart.
Lemon Coconut tarts are easy to make, a fast, simple, dessert recipe that was a staple on party buffets and all sorts of gatherings at our house back in the day. I stumbled upon the recipe back in 1992, in a magazine called Cooking Light. Every now and then I’d think about the tarts, what I used to do when I made them, but I could never remember the recipe exactly. Occasionally, I’d sweep the internet looking for the recipe, also with no results. The thing had disappeared back into the mists of the early 90’s along with the last of the big hair and shoulder pads.
Then, last week I started thinking about those lemon tarts again. “What’s the harm?” I thought. “It’s been years, why not take another look online and see if you can find it.” So I did, and no one was more shocked than I was when the recipe popped up. I found it on a blog called ItsyBitsy Foodies, a post that had been put up 5 years ago. There it was, my great white whale, I had my lemon tart recipe! There was nothing to do now but take a stroll down memory lane and actually bake the suckers, and so, I did.
These are easy to make, take next to no time, and are great little bite-sized treats if you make them in a mini muffin pan. Use a regular sized muffin pan for an individual sized dessert. They can also be made gluten free by substituting regular flour for any gluten free flour.
- 2 cups dried shredded unsweetened coconut
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup plus 2 Tbs flour
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 egg whites
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 Tbs plus 2 tsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp grated lemon rind
- ⅓ cup water
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 egg
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix the shredded coconut, sugar, vanilla, flour, and egg whites into a bowl.
- Mix everything together well.
- Lightly grease whatever muffin tin you are going to be using, then press the tart dough into the muffin cups.
- Press the dough down and up the sides.
- Pop the tart shells into the oven and bake them for about 15 minutes.
- You'll know they're done when the edges are lightly toasted.
- Cool them for a couple of minutes on a wire rack.
- Then set them aside in an airtight container until you're ready to fill them.
- For the lemon curd, mix the sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest, in a saucepan.
- Gradually add in the water and the lemon juice.
- Beat the egg in a separate bowl and set it aside.
- Gradually bring the mixture in the saucepan to a boil. Once it boils let it cook for about 1 minute stirring constantly.
- Slowly pour ¼ of the hot lemon mixture in the sauce pan into the bowl holding the beaten egg.
- As you do this, do not stop stirring, as we want lemon curd not scrambled lemon eggs.
- Once the egg and lemon mixture is smoothly blended together, pour it all back into the saucepan.
- Cook it over a medium heat until the lemon curd mixture thickens. This doesn't take too long, just keep stirring.
- When the lemon mixture is thick, pour it into a bowl to cool.
- When it's cooled, cover the bowl with a bit of plastic wrap and pop it into the fridge to chill.
- When you're ready to serve the tarts, fill them with lemon curd.
- You can dab a bit of homemade whipped cream on top and fresh fruit or herbs.