Friday, April 20, 2012

Lemon Tarts with Coconut Shells

I'm so excited to share today these incredible tangy tasting Lemon Tarts with Coconut Shells.  Beth Butterfield and her sister Diane were kind enough to allow me to share on the blog their Grandmother's special recipe.  These bite size nests are the perfect little dessert for any spring party or gathering and they're even gluten free!  The filling is not too sweet due to the right amount of refreshing lemon flavoring and the shells have the perfect crunch from the baked coconut flakes.  To die for!

What you'll need:  makes 24

Lemon Curd:
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (6 lemons)
Grated zest of 2 lemons
2 large eggs
7 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp butter, softened
Coconut Shells:
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup egg whites (about 3 eggs)
2 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut (not shredded)

For the curd: In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and zest.  Set aside.  In a medium nonreactive bowl (glass), whisk eggs and sugar until combined.  Add lemon juice mixture and whisk until just combined.  Set bowl over a pan of simmering water (double boiler method).  Don't let the bowl touch the water.  Cook stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until mixture has thickened to a pudding-like consistency, about 6 mins.  Remove the bowl from the pan and whisk in the butter.  Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl.  Press a piece of plastic directly onto the surface of curd to prevent skin.  Refrigerate until it's time to assemble and serve.

For the Shells: Mix the sugar, egg whites and coconut together.  Put a spoonful in each cup of a 24 mini muffin pan.  Press the dough into the molds to make little nests with sides.  Bake until golden brown in a 325 degrees oven for about 30 mins.  Let cool completely in the pan and remove gently.  

Fill each cup/nest with curd and top with whipped cream.