When I think of Easter, I think of my childhood. My mom, always the best gift-giver, would wake my sister and me up and we’d run into the living room to see our Easter baskets. Hidden within the vibrantly-colored cellophane grass were chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, and, our favorite, Cadbury Cream Eggs.
I remember every year getting all dressed up in a fluffy dress and my shiny white Mary Jane shoes. After emptying out our baskets we’d meet up with our extended family at church and then go Easter Egg Hunting.
Before the day ended with a giant supper, my dad or grandmother would take what felt like 1,000 pictures of my sister and me in our dresses in the grass. I remember that- always in the grass, or next to a tree, or sitting in some patch of flowers.
Now that I’m older and live far from my family, Easter is a little more mellow around these parts. But that doesn’t mean we don’t still celebrate with food.
This year I decided on a vibrant and springy dessert for the holiday: Coconut Lemon Tart.
The crust is partially made from pulverized coconut, which imparts both flavor and added moisture (seriously I kept eating the crust on its own). I’m definitely making variations of this crust again. I just loved it!
The middle is a lovely variation of lemon curd. I wanted it to be fully cooked so that it didn’t all spill out when you cut into it, and I wanted a recipe that didn’t involve tempering eggs. So to make the lemon filling you just whisk everything together and bake! So, so easy.
Then there are the toppings: whipped vanilla bean crème fraîche and candied lemons. I know it sounds like a lot, but both are incredibly easy and make such a difference on top of this tart. I mean, just look at it!
Finished with a sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes, this tart is the essence of spring.
Happy almost Easter, everyone!
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 large lemons, skin still on, sliced thin
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted (I use Challenge dairy!)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 1¼ cups sugar
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup flour
- 8 oz vanilla bean crème fraîche (I used Vermont Creamery)
- ¼ cup toasted coconut (optional)
- In a small saucepan over low heat, mix the sugar and water until no sugar crystals remain. Add in lemons and simmer for 1 hour, swirling occasionally. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and allow to cool completely on parchment paper.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a circular tart pan with butter and set aside.
- In a food processor, pulse the flour, shredded coconut, and granulated sugar until they reach a powdered consistency. Pulse in salt, melted butter, and vanilla extract until everything comes together.
- Remove from food processor and knead into a ball of dough. Press dough firmly onto the bottom and sides of the prepared tart pan, spreading evenly to the edges.
- Prepare the crust to be blind baked. Using a fork, poke 8-10 holes into the dough, then carefully line the dough with parchment paper and fill with dried beans or rice. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and turn heat down to 350°F.
- While the crust is blind baking, make your filling. In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients except for the flour. Once mixed, whisk in flour, making sure to whisk away any lumps.
- Pour mixture into partially baked crust, then bake for an additional 20 minutes to set the filling.
- Remove from oven and cool for at least 2 hours in fridge.
- Whisk the crème fraîche by hand until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Spoon over tart, then top with toasted coconut and candied lemons!