With all of the beautiful fresh berries around this time of year, it is hard to imagine not taking advantage of them when baking (like with Mixed-Berry Crumb Bars or Sconset Blueberry Muffins). Still summer is also about lemonade stands and margaritas by the beach, which makes me think of lemon and lime as flavors of summer as well. To that end, last summer I had made Bake or Break‘s fabulous Lemon Chess Tartlets for a family gathering in Maine. They were a huge hit, even with my brother who doesn’t usually like lemon desserts. The recipe suggests garnishing the tarts with almonds or coconut. On the drive home I started imagining other ways to accent the tarts. I had tried a test tartlet with a blueberry and it was delicious. It seemed like raspberry might be a good option as well. Then it hit me, what about lime and coconut?
When I had been in Key West a few years ago, I tried key lime pie at just about every restaurant where I ate. They were all very yummy, but one of my favorites had a bit of coconut in the graham cracker crust. It was just a little different from the rest, but it was such a nice touch that I have found myself trying to find ways to put coconut and lime together. When my office full of foodies got talking about key lime pie and other lime desserts recently, I remembered the idea for these tartlets and knew I had my perfect test audience. Well, these tartlets were a huge hit. The crust is tender and has just enough flavor to set off the lime and coconut nicely without competing for attention. The curd is rich, but not too sweet. The coconut adds another layer of flavor and texture. I think these are an instant summer classic.
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- zest of one lime
- Using a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Reduce mixer speed and add flour mixture slowly, stopping to scrape sides at least once. Mix until just combined.
- Shape dough into 48 balls (about one tablespoon of dough in size).
- Place dough balls in a glass 9 x 13 baking pan or on a baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease and flour (or use baking spray) 48 mini muffin cups.
- Place a ball of dough into each cup. Using your thumb and index finger line the cup with dough, creating a shell, by pressing dough into the bottom and along the sides of each cup.
- Sprinkle a bit of coconut in the bottom of each cup.
- In a large bowl (preferably with a pour spout) whisk together butter, sugar, eggs, lime juice, and lime zest.
- Fill each cup with mixture.
- Bake 18-22 minutes, or until filling is set.
- Cool tartlets in the pans on cooling racks for 10 minutes.
- Gently remove tartlets from their cups and allow to cool completely on racks. You might need to run a small knife around the edge of each muffin cup.
This recipe was adapted from Bake or Break http://www.bakeorbreak.com/2013/06/lemon-chess-tartlets/
with additional inspiration from: http://www.recipe.com/lime-coconut-chess-pie/