from one generation to the next
Gluten free pastry is blah in comparison to beautiful buttery shortcrust. I’ve tried really hard to prove myself wrong but testing a multitude of recipes and experimenting with different flours has simply reinforced that there is no substitute.
I had a light bulb moment as I was cooking with my grand daughters last summer. It came to me as the kids were squeezing coconut macaroons mixture into crazy shapes that miraculously baked into whacky macaroons with a crispy shell and chewy middle. I had visions of sweet tartlets, with citrus curd in a crunchy coconut shell.
Blood oranges season became the reason the try out my coconut macaroon tartlet theory. I made a batch of curd with the deep ruby red juice for starters then made the coconut mixture. It was fiddly moulding the sticky coconut into the tartlet tins, but it became easier as I went along.
After a short stint in the oven out came robust golden brown tart shells. The coconut and curd were seriously good together, a delicious way of enjoying a citrus curd tart for the gluten intolerant.
Coconut Macaroon Tartlets
4 cups dessicated coconut (unsweetened)
1/2 cup castor sugar
4 large egg whites
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Lightly oil 2 trays of tartlet moulds and place a small square of baking paper into the base of each.
Measure the coconut and sugar into a large bowl and mix to combine.
Use a spatula to stir through the egg white. When almost combined use your fingers to ensure that the egg white is thoroughlt distributed.
Squeeze heaped dessertspoons of the mix into balls then squash and mould each ball into a tartlet mould so that it’s tightly packed.
Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Allow the shells to cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack.
When cold, generously fill with curd and garnish with toasted flaked coconut.
Makes 2 dozen
*The tartlet cases will keep unfilled for a week in an airtight container.
** To shape the mix for regular macaroons, simply roll the mix into balls and bake 180C until golden, about 20 minutes,