Lemon curd. Toasted meringue. Coconut macaroon. What’s not to love?
(I told you there’d still be plenty of butter and sugar in these parts… no flour in this one though!)
In the course of making these little tarts, the only thing I didn’t really love was that for some reason, my meringue topping just would not whip up to stiff peaks. I started it off by hand with a whisk, because I thought how hard can it be to whip one egg white into a stiff meringue? Apparently it’s pretty hard (and I think I know the reason I’ve ended up with tennis elbow, or more accurately, baker’s elbow!), so I transferred it to the KitchenAid mixer, ending up with sticky meringue on half the utensils in my kitchen, and still only achieved floppy peaks. Nonetheless, the meringue toasted nicely under the broiler, which worked out much better than my failed blow-torch attempt.
I used my wacky creaming method for the lemon curd, and this I did manage to make successfully by hand. And then I made the coconut macaroon tart shells by hand, too. 😉
Biting into one of these is messy and delicious, combining the best parts of both a coconut macaroon and lemon meringue pie: chewy coconut macaroon, tangy silky lemon curd, and crunchy toasted marshmallow meringue. Once they set up in the fridge, they become a little less messy, but no less delicious. These were a perfect ending to our Easter dinner, and I’ve already got a list of ideas for what else to put in these coconut tart shells.
Lemon Meringue Coconut Macaroon Tarts
When you separate the eggs for the lemon curd, save each white individually to use in the coconut macaroon tart shells and meringue, which each require one egg white. Makes 6 small tarts.
Adapted from Martha Stewart
In a medium bowl, cream together well:
4 tbsp unsalted butter, soft
6 tbsp granulated white sugar
Stir in one at a time:
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks (save each white individually for the other components)
Once the eggs are fully combined, stir in:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
The mixture will curdle when you add the lemon juice, but that’s OK.
Pour the mixture into a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the better melts and the mixture is smooth. Increase the heat to medium and cook, still stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Remove from the heat and stir in the zest of half a lemon. Pour the curd into a bowl and press plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the fridge until completely cooled.
Coconut Macaroon Tart Shells
Adapted from Chef Michael Smith
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Place one of the reserved egg whites in a medium sized bowl and beat with a fork until frothy. Add 1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut and stir until evenly moistened.
Spray 6 muffin cups with baking spray. Divide the coconut mixture evenly between the 6 cups and press it firmly onto the bottom and up the sides.
Spray lightly with more baking spray and bake in the 350˚F oven for 12 – 15 minutes, until the edges are browned. Carefully remove the shells from the muffin cups and place on a rack to cool.
Once the shells are cool, fill them almost to the top with the chilled lemon curd. Place them back in the fridge to set while you prepare the meringue.
Adapted from The Food Network
Place the remaining reserved egg white in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Add:
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water à la bain marie and stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves completely and it is hot to the touch (about 160˚F on a thermometer).
Place the bowl on the base of the stand mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on medium speed until frothy, then increase the speed to medium-high until stiff peaks form (or not… 🙁 ).
Using a small spoon, dollop the meringue on top of each chilled tart, spreading it out all swirly to cover most of the lemon curd.
Place a rack in the top position of the oven and preheat the top broiler element to high. Put the tarts on a baking sheet and place them under the hot element to broil until the meringue is toasty brown. (Or, if you are one of those lucky people who possesses a kitchen blow torch, you can just torch the meringue and dispense with the whole broiler set-up.)
Return the tarts to the fridge to chill again before serving.