Key Lime Curd with Coconut Meringues

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Bright and light, this recipe features a mildly tart yet sweet key lime curd and coconut meringues. The trick to these is to have all ingredients assembled and ready when you begin.

Serves: 4
Difficulty: moderate
Cook time: 1hr plus 30 minutes to cool
Special tools: parchment paper, blender


Key Lime Curd
½ c + 2 T key lime juice
3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
3/4 c sugar
pinch salt
1/2 c cold butter, cut into 8 pieces

Coconut Meringues
3 lg egg whites
1/4 t cream of tartar
1/2 c sugar
dash of salt
1/4 t vanilla extract
1/8 t coconut extract
1/2 c flaked sweetened coconut, lightly toasted


Key Lime Curd
Bring a small pot of water to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Place lime juice, eggs, egg yolk, sugar and salt in a small metal bowl that will fit snugly over pot without touching hot water. Gently and constantly whisk egg mixture until thick and reaches 180º, approx. 6-8 min. Do not stop stirring or mixture will curdle. Remove bowl from water/pot and let cool slightly. Use an immersion blender (or transfer mix to a blender or processor) and add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, incorporating completely before adding more. Transfer to serving dishes or an airtight container and chill completely until ready to serve with coconut meringues (recipe follows). Alternately, curd can be simply served in this state with whipped cream, shortbread, meringues, layered with berries, etc.

Coconut Meringues
Preheat oven to 250º. In a stand mixer bowl, add egg whites (no yolk or the meringue will not fluff) and cream of tartar. Beat on high until soft peaks form. Add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, whipping on high until stiff peaks form (do not overmix). Add dash of salt and extracts and whip until just combined. Meringue should be silky and shiny. Fold in half of toasted coconut. Pipe meringue onto two parchment-lined sheet pans in tablespoonful drops with a swirl on top (or make small nests if desired for key lime curd to rest in when finished). Sprinkle generously with toasted coconut and bake 1 hr, rotating pans halfway through. Remove from oven and cool 30 min. Place cooled meringues atop Key Lime Curd and garnish with whipped cream, as desired.