Sometimes, it’s all about the tart base.
This coconut base doesn’t need patience, or delicate, cool fingers, and can be whipped up in half an hour. It happens to be gluten free. When paired with lemon curd, it is sometimes better than pastry.
Where have you been all my baking life?
Made of coconut, egg white and sugar, the macaroon-like crust is crunchy just out of the oven. Once filled with lemon curd, it will soften slightly, but still retain enough crunch and crumble to set off the velvety curd.
This time, a layer of dark chocolate sneaked under the lemon curd. When you bite into the tart, at first it’s all about the waltz between buttery lemon and crisp-chewy macaroon. Then, your tongue discovers another darker sweetness lurking, just within reach – chocolate has joined the dance.
A great thing about this ‘pastry’ is its flexibility. I’ve seen a recipe that adds shredded kaffir lime leaves to the mixture for a south east Asian riff. Different types of sugar will really in a heavier/darker or lighter crust to suit the filling. Other ideas include adding a punch of finely pulverised ginger, a teaspoon of lychee syrup per cup of coconut, or just good old chocolate.
Baking notes: when mixing the ingredients, I like to start with one and a half cups of coconuts, then add more until I get a stiff, crumbly mixture that is easy to press into pans. I have cut down the amount of sugar in the recipe, and rely on the lemon curd for sweetnesses.
This time, I used silicon bakeware because it’s non-stick, but the sides don’t brown as quickly. If using a metal pan, butter the insides of the pan well.
Coconut and lemon curd mini tarts
(Adapted from many sources, kaffir lime coconut crust is from Australian Gourmet Traveller)
Makes 8-10 mini tarts in a cupcake pan
Two egg whites from large eggs
Two cups of desiccated coconut (shredded coconut)
4-5 tbsp castor (granulated) sugar, to taste
Half cup of grated dark chocolate [Lindt hot chocolate flakes also worked well]
About 1.5 cup lemon curd [recipes here]
Pre-heat the oven to 170°C / 375°F.
Stir egg whites to break them up slightly. Stir through desiccated coconut. Add sugar to taste and mix well.Divide mixture evenly between cupcake pans. Press into pans to form a thin crust.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the edges start to brown and the crust holds its shape. Turn the oven off.
Divide grated chocolate among the tarts. Put them back in the still-warm oven for 2-3 minutes, or until the chocolate has softened. Remove tarts from the oven. Spread the softened chocolate to form an even-ish layer. Leave aside to cool.
Add a dollop of lemon curd to each tart and serve.