This recipe for lemon macaroon tarts first appeared on my blogspot blog January 12, 2012.
Today is the 4th birthday of my dear little blog. Some bloggers call this a blogiversary, certainly one of the more unappealing words to come out of the internet revolution. It’s not an anniversary, it’s a birthday. I gave birth to it, I didn’t marry it.
I’ve never told the story of how A Cook and Her Books came to be, and it could be that it’s interesting only to me. It began because it snowed and my mother-in-law came to visit. I had been interested in writing a blog for awhile, but had been distracted by new motherhood. I remember reading a how-to article that said if you’re passionate about a subject, absolutely you should blog about it. This little thought percolated in my brain until one January afternoon in 2008, when I sat down at the computer in a quiet house and decided it was time to start a blog.
It was cold. It was January. And I was at home with a 2 year old and an octogenarian who took afternoon naps. Not being the napping kind, I took to the computer, I logged on to Blogger, chose a name and wrote a post. The name “A Cook and Her Books” came quickly – I knew it needed to start with an “A” because I figured any list of blogs would be alphabetical, kind of the triple A theory of Yellow Pages placement. As for the rest of the title, my house is filled with books and I cook, simple as that.
The first post was a little recipe that I’d made a couple times before, back in my bridal and baby shower-giving days, a lovely mini macaroon tart filled with lemon curd. I wrote a headnote and the recipe and hit “publish.” No pictures, no nothing. And so it went for the first couple of years. I occasionally added a picture, I didn’t always include a recipe, and sometimes I would get a comment from someone who wasn’t related to me.
Things have changed a little bit since then. For one, I include at least one picture with each post now. I also include recipes, rather than just rambling on and on about food. I talk about the blog on Twitter and Facebook and have a bit of a following. It’s still the Little Blog that Could, but I’m having more fun than ever with it – I have more stories than I’ll ever have time to write and more recipes than I’ll ever have time to cook.
The best part of all is that I’ve been able to share with writers and readers across the country who find a connection in what I write about. I’ve said it before, and I truly believe it: my world may be small, but my kitchen is big.
If you’re a regular reader or a first-timer, thank you for taking the time to read my words. It means more to me than you’ll ever know.
And give these little lemon macaroon tarts a whirl – they are keepers. I’ve updated them with Meyer lemons, which mellows out the tartness a bit, and gives a surprising hint of orange to the lemon curd filling. If you can’t find Meyer lemons, plain ol’ lemons will work just fine.
Meyer Lemon Macaroon Tarts Recipe
Yield: 36 miniature tarts
Coconut macaroon tart shells:
4 cups flaked sweetened coconut
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 egg whites
In a large mixing bowl, toss the coconut with the sugar and flour until well coated. Add the vanilla and the egg whites. Beat on medium high speed setting until well mixed. Press mixtures evenly on bottoms and up the sides of 36 miniature muffin cups (sprayed first with nonstick spray if not using a nonstick pan). The mixture will be sticky, but manageable. Dipping your fingertips in water makes the job easier. A tart tamper comes in handy here.
Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake tarts for about 15 minutes or until edges are nicely browned. Shells will not appear done in their centers. Remove pan from oven and cool shells in their tins 2 to 3 minutes, then immediately loosen from the pan with a sharp knife and remove to a rack to cool before filling.
Shells can be prepared and baked in advance and held in the fridge several days or frozen up to 1 month. Thaw or allow shells to come to room temp before filling.
Meyer lemon curd filling
2 1/4 cups sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 cup cold water
3/4 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (from 3 to 4 large lemons)
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Whipped cream, for serving, optional
Lemon zest strips, for serving, optional
Whisk the sugar with the cornstarch and lemon zest in a saucepan, until well mixed, then gradually whisk in the cold water and the lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat.
Lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl until smooth, then gradually whisk about 1/4 of the hot lemon mixture into the eggs. Whisk constantly to keep the mixture smooth. Add the warmed egg mixture slowly back to the saucepan with the remaining hot lemon mixture, still whisking constantly.
Cook mixture, whisking away, still over medium heat, until the curd is thick and glossy. Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the unsalted butter. Cool mixture, then cover and chill thoroughly. Mixture can be held in the fridge for up to a week.
To serve, fill macaroon tart shells with luscious lemon curd and garnish with whipped cream and lemon zest
Recipe is adapted from Homemade Good News, published a long time ago by Dixie Crystals Sugar.