Lemon has always been my favorite flavor for birthday cakes and for Easter desserts, so when this month’s Gay Lea post theme was “Not Your Grammy’s Gay Lea”, meaning “find a classic recipe that you would serve for Easter but update it a little bit”, I knew I had to do something with lemon. Well, I guess it turns out that I have a new favorite dessert flavor now and it’s lemon coconut! This recipe theme was definitely a bit of a challenge for me because I usually stick to classic-ish types of recipes for desserts and I think I’m actually kind of a Grammy at heart anyway, but I decided to get a little crazy and try out this idea for combining flavors. This was definitely not a super simple recipe, more of a culinary adventure I’d say if you’re more used to doing quick and easy recipes, but it was really fun and the results were amazing.
So good. So. good.
It’s definitely worth it to try new things every once in awhile and I’m glad I got the push to create this recipe!
Here’s what you’ll need to make these Coconut Lemon Meringues with Coconut Whipped Cream!
6 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar and it was fine)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 1/4 cups of white sugar
1 cup of lemon pie filling
1 teaspoon of coconut extract
Start out by separating the egg whites from the yolks and letting the whites sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. You can set the yolks aside to use for something else.
Preheat your oven to 225 degrees and line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper. Tinfoil works too if you’ve been out of parchment for a month like I have. 🙂
Add the egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment along with the cream of tartar, salt, vinegar and vanilla and whisk everything at medium speed until it gets all bubbly. This takes about 2 minutes-ish.
At that point, crank it up to high speed and start adding in your sugar, about 1 heaping tablespoon at a time, letting the whisk go around a few rotations between scoops of sugar.
Watch the magic happen!
It’s so fun to watch the mixture getting bigger and bigger and fluffier and whiter, until finally it gets to the stage where soft peaks form and they have kind of a nice, fancy sheen to them. This actually happens pretty quickly. Maybe 5 minutes, tops.
Scoop out your fluffy meringue mixtures in big poofy dollops about 3 inches in diameter. I was able to fit about 6 on each baking sheet comfortably. I made 12 total but there was probably enough to make about 18, so make more if you’re up for it!
Use a teaspoon to create little indentations in the middle of each dollop so you’ll end up with little nest shapes that you can use for your filling later on.
Bake your meringues for about 45 minutes. When the 45 minutes are up, turn off your oven but leave the door closed for another hour. After that hour the meringues should be fully dried and set. Take them out of the oven and allow them to cool completely.
I took a shortcut for the filling, because of course I did, so I just mixed about a cup of lemon pie filling with a teaspoon of coconut extract until everything was smooth and well-combined. Honestly, I thought that the filling mixture could have handled even more coconut extract so if you really love your coconut, go for it. I decided to be more reserved just because I didn’t want anyone to try this recipe at home and realize afterward that it was too much coconut for them. So just know that the one teaspoon amount of extract is for a very delicate, refined palate. 🙂
Scoop a little of the filling into each meringue and then top it with the Gay Lea Real Coconut Whipped Cream just before serving.
OK, they look a little bit like eggs, but maybe that’s appropriate. Easter? Eggs? Easter eggs! 🙂 …Or you could just top them with a few berries and they won’t look like eggs anymore.
This whipped cream is such great stuff because not only does it have a really nice, fresh, coconutty flavor to it, it’s actually made from real coconut milk! It’s completely dairy free and such a great option for people who like to avoid dairy but still want all the indulgence of regular whipped cream in their life from time to time.
We do always keep the regular Gay Lea whipped cream in the house, but I think it’s worth it to keep the Real Coconut Whipped Cream in the fridge too just because it’s so darn good!
If you’re looking for a really show-stopping dessert to serve at Easter that’s actually a lot easier than it looks, I highly recommend these Coconut Lemon Meringues!
And speaking of modernizing things in the kitchen a bit, I have another great giveaway for you this month! Gay Lea is giving away an iPad Mini 2 for you to use in the kitchen so you can follow along with all the recipes from your favorite blogs! Just enter below!
I created this blog post as a paid ambassador with Gay Lea Foods and PTPA. All opinions and advice are my own as always!