SHF #9 – Tart Tarts
Baking is a great stress reliever for me. Lately I haven’t been doing a lot of it because I’m making every effort to be more considered about my eating. Let’s just say it involves points but I’m trying not to be manic about it all. With me if there’s sugar around it’s not around for too long. Last night after spending 2 1/2 hours in a rainy commute I decided it was time for some immediate kitchen therapy.
I’ve been reading a lot of Caribbean and Nuevo Latino cookbooks lately so the idea of a lime or lemon tart sound luscious and tropical. The idea was to make a coconut macaroon tartlet with a lemon filling. And never one to stop at one idea I thought that a lime tart would also be good. Well, suffice it to say that in a short time the kitchen looked like a tropical storm passed through it.
The lime filing recipe that I was loosely basing my idea on called for egg whites whipped to soft peaks. I couldn’t find one of the beaters so I thought, oh why not one. After 30 minutes of spattered egg whites I had to admit defeat and begin again. Very defeating–it’s never happened to me before. I’m here to tell you one will not do it. So after the egg and ego collapse I picked myself up and shortly I had one successful (lemon) and the other (lime) overdone but holding great future promise.
As you can see in this picture I accidentally cooked a tart at 425 degrees. Yikes, mama, that’s not a gentle temperature for an egg-white based filling! It killed any height but the flavor was still very present.
The lemon filling provided nice but overly tart taste and was a good contrast with the coconut.
Lemon Macaroon Tartlets
Cooking Light, January 1996
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
1/2 cup frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed
Prepare Macaroon Tart Shells. Set aside.
Combine sugar, cornstarch, and lemon rind in a saucepan, and stir well. Gradually add water and lemon juice; stir with a wire whisk until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually stir one-fourth of hot lemon mixture into egg; add to remaining lemon mixture, stirring constantly. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until thickened. Pour mixture into a bowl; stir in food coloring, if desired. Place plastic wrap on surface, and chill. Spoon 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon mixture into each prepared shell. Top evenly with whipped topping and coconut.
Macaroon Tart Shells
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg whites
Vegetable cooking spray
Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl; stir well. Spoon mixture evenly into 12 muffin cupscoated with cooking spray, pressing mixture into bottom and up sides of muffin cups. Bake at 400° for 13 minutes or until edges are browned. (Do not overbake.) Cool 2 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.
**I love recipe comments such as "Do not overbake."**