Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Search For The Perfect Lemon Tart. My Personal Moby Dick!

   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. Usually not for good, but there is always that one thing, that once it's missing is hard to lay hands on again. 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. This was pre-internet times so things weren't as easy to hang on to back then. The recipe had to be written down and saved, or clipped and stuck someplace, all of which I did, leaving me losing the recipe sometime around 1996 or so. 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.
   As I said 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.

Lemon Coconut Macaroon Tarts


Here's What You Need:


Tart Shells:

  cups dried shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg whites

Lemon Curd Filling:

3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs plus 2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 egg

Here's What To Do:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Mix the shredded coconut...




 ...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...


...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 1/4 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 add a few fresh raspberries, or strawberries as a topper.

Then serve them up!

    There they are simple, fast, and since I used the Meyer lemons off of our tree, full of lemony goodness. Eating one of these was a bite of nostalgia. They were as good, and simple as I remembered them. They were in short, worth the wait. Of course now I want to fill them with mango curd, and all sorts of other things now that the recipe is in my clutches once again.
  Meanwhile, I'm going to be done with chemo in 2 weeks, that shows how fast time flies! There will be celebrating a plenty, and lots of Indian food on hand. Coming up next a simple trick with onions. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori

1 comment :

  1. Oh wow, my personal Moby Dick involves lemons, for sure! These look so good, I love coconut and lemon together :)



Blog Widget by LinkWithin