I recently bought a copy of Southern Living Cakes & Pies Special Edition magazine.
As our readers know, I like to make pies and once in a while cakes. Southern cooks are among some of the best when it comes to desserts so I knew this would be worth buying. I wish you could see it with the stickers marking recipes I want to try.
One of the first I made was this recipe for Lemon Coconut Tarts. The recipe starts with Chess tarts and the Lemon and a chocolate variation. The coconut is just flavoring, not actual coconut. I used orange flavoring instead.
These are more of a Tassie than a tart, but the lemon makes a change. It is baked with the tart shell, not filled with a lemon curd afterwards. My daughter liked them so much she asked me to bake them for her to take to a potluck picnic for her class reunion.
They are not at all hard to make, they do take some time, however. I found that the shells puffed up, so be sure they are pressed in thinly. I also had filling left so I think I will make a few more this time and make the dough balls a little smaller.
You can do as I did and bake the extra filling in custard cups in a pan of hot water along with the tassies. The time worked out the same for both.
Lemon Coconut Tarts
1 8 ounce package cream cheese softened
1 cup butter, softened
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
Vegetable cooking spray
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
⅓ cup cup melted butter
1 tsp coconut extract (I used orange extract)
Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add flour to butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Shape mixture into 48 balls, and place on a baking sheet, cover and chill 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly spray 2 (24 cup) miniature muffin pans with cooking spray. Place 1 dough ball into each cup; shape into a pastry shell.
Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients. Pour into pastry shells.
Bake at 350 for 18 to 22 minutes or until filling is set. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely (about 20 minutes)
Makes 4 dozen.