Mini coconut tartlets with lemon curd
Behold – here is one of my rare non-chocolate dessert creations! When I choose to make a non chocolate dessert, it’s typically because I am serving other intensely chocolate desserts at the same time (in this case, the dark chocolate pear pistachio cake and the chocolate salted caramel crepe cake) and I know they need to be balanced out. This dessert has two main components which make it a bit trickier than your average bar or cookie, but the elegance factor is sky high. Who wouldn’t love mini tartlets with fresh raspberries on top.
I loved the use of coconut in these but it’s really the lemon curd that takes it over the edge. I’ve actually wanted to make lemon curd for ages and this recipe gave me the final push I needed to do it because it looked quite easy. Although I accidentally mixed everything together all at once instead of heating it in stages, turns out lemon curd is hard to mess up and I must say this turned out spectacularly. I could have just eaten it with a spoon without the tartlets at all. Speaking of which, I actually think the tartlet to lemon curd ratio was a bit off. (Or maybe I was just heavy handed with the lemon curd.) I did make 24 tartlets with the recipe but I think I could have made the crusts a bit thinner and made more of them so they’d be a bit crunchier. When spreading it into the molds, make sure it’s a thin layer so it all bakes evenly and isn’t too chewy. Then you’ll get more of them in which case you may just have to make more lemon curd, which would certainly not be a bad thing…
Mini coconut tartlets with lemon curd (adapted from Hidden Ponies)
- 3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
- 3 large egg whites
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup minus 2 Tbsp almond flour (or very finely ground almonds)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Juice of 2 lemons, strained through a fine sieve
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 whole large egg
- Zest of 2 lemons
Then for the garnish you will need ~24 fresh raspberries. Blackberries or blueberries could definitely also work.
Spray a 24-cup mini muffin tin thoroughly with baking spray, or just use a non-stick silicon mold pan. I just have one that is 12 cups so had to use it twice. Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F. In a large bowl, stir together coconut, egg whites, sugar, almond flour, and vanilla (it should stick together when pressed/squeezed).
Divide the mixture evenly in the mini muffin cups, pressing mixture into bottom and up sides of muffins cups to form the crust. If the mixture is too sticky, moisten your fingers slightly with water to make forming them easier. Bake for 10-13 minutes, until top edges are deep golden brown and bottoms are just starting to brown. (If the crusts lose their shape too much while baking, use the back of a small spoon to quickly press the middles down slightly while they are hot to make a hole to put the lemon curd in). Cool the crusts before popping them out.
While they are baking / cooling, make the lemon curd. This is actually easier than one might think. Zest the lemons and set the zest aside. Place all the lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Heat on low, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.
Lightly whisk the egg yolks and whole egg in a medium bowl. Take the lemon syrup and pour it slowly into beaten eggs while constantly whisking the mixture. Continue to whisk by hand for one minute. Then return the whole mixture to the saucepan, add the lemon zest, and heat it on low until it thickens, whisking frequently the whole time. This should take about 10 minutes.
I should add that I was in a huge hurry while making these and dumped all the ingredients in the pot at once and then was like OH NO. However, if you too are impatient and do this, rest assured that it will turn out completely fine. Just make sure to stir everything constantly.
Once the lemon curd is thickened, remove from the heat and transfer to a container. Cover it with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap sits right against the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least an hour and until the coconut crusts are completely cooled. Then spoon the lemon curd into the little holes in the center of each mini tart mold. Top with a fresh raspberry or other berry right before serving.
It’s worth nothing all parts of this recipe could be made ahead. The crusts could be made ahead and either stored in the fridge or freezer, and the lemon curd could be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in the fridge. Assemble them the day you plan to serve them.