This coming Friday is piÃ±a colada day (!!!), and I couldn’t resist getting at least one celebratory recipe in before the end of the week.
Naturally, it involves some kind of dessert… coconut meringue crisps with a pineapple curd filling. They taste just like a piÃ±a colada, in case you’re wondering. Sans the alcohol. So, I’m dubbing these an appropriate way to celebrate the day…
Ingredients for Coconut Meringue Crisps
– 4 egg whites (save the yolks for our pineapple curd recipe)
– 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
– 3/4 cup confectioners sugar
– 1 tsp corn starch
– 1/8 tsp salt
– 1/2 cup finely shredded coconut (optional)
electric stand or hand mixer // 2 baking sheets // large bowl // parchment // sifter or fine-meshed sieve // rubber spatula // pastry bag, fitted with a large round piping tip (optional)
Set two of your oven racks to the high-middle and low-middle positions. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare the piping bag with the piping tip and prepare the baking sheets with parchment. Set both of these aside. Doing these beforehand will let you move quickly through the last couple steps of the recipe.
Sift together the confectioners sugar, corn starch, and salt. Set aside.
Separately, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar in the mixing bowl on medium speed. After about one minute, the mixture will become frothy. Whip the mixture for one more minute. Then start adding the sugar mixture to the egg mixture, while still mixing, one spoonful at a time.
Keep whipping until the egg whites reach a firm peak. Be careful at this step because overbeaten egg whites can turn lumpy and grainy (sad face). A firm peak is reached when the whites are billowy, fluffy, and glossy. When you turn the beaters upside down, your peaks will stand up and the tips will bend over.
Once the whites are ready, gently fold in the shredded coconut with a rubber spatula. Work quickly but gently so that the whites don’t deflate.
Immediately scoop the whites into your prepared pastry bag and pipe little kiss shapes (about 1″ in diameter) onto your prepared baking sheets. Go ahead and pipe them right next to each other – they won’t spread. Piping these little guys is totally optional. You can always just scoop them with two teaspoons or a tiny ice cream scoop.
Pop your meringues into the oven for an hour, rotating the trays after the first thirty minutes.
Turn off the oven, crack the door, and leave the meringues in the oven to cool for another hour. When they’re cool, they’re ready to enjoy on their own or with some creamy pineapple curd. These meringues can be stored for two weeks in an airtight container.
And for part two of this little piÃ±a colada sandwich…. To make the pineapple curd, you’ll need the following…
Ingredients for Pineapple Curd
– 4 egg yolks (saved from our meringue recipe)
– 1 egg
– 1/2 cup pineapple juice
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 1/8 tsp salt
– 3 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
2 quart sauce pan // whisk // large bowl // rubber spatula // instant-read thermometer
In the large bowl, mix the egg yolks and egg to combine. Set these aside for now.
In the sauce pan, heat the pineapple juice, sugar, and salt over medium heat for about 5 minutes. At this step, dissolve the sugar in the juice and bring it to almost a simmer. We want “almost a simmer” because the juice will be added to the eggs for tempering. If the juice is too hot, the eggs will scramble.
While whisking the eggs in the bowl, slowly pour the hot juice into the bowl. Thoroughly combine the mixture and return it to the sauce pan.
Heat the mixture, while whisking constantly, over low heat until it reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Curd thickens at about 170 degrees, but will become gritty if it is overheated. If that happens, you can let the curd cool and blend it with an immersion blender to bring back the smooth texture.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter pieces until thoroughly combined.
Let your curd cool and add in between two coconut meringue crisps. Store leftover curd in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Recipe by Linda Jednaszewski
Photography and styling by Brittni Mehlhoff
Think you’ll give this recipe a try? FYI: The coconut meringue crisps are totally addictive on their own and the pineapple curd tastes good on cookies and toast too.