This is one of those dishes which make you look really smart, but is actually really easy to make. Lemon, lime and coconut are good friends and this is an interesting way to present them. The dish is assembled at the last minute so that, when your guests jump in, it is still nice and crisp. The recipe calls for Lemon curd (see here) but don’t bother making it just for this recipe, you are welcome to use some from the shop (just make sure it’s decent).
1 quantity of Meringue, unbaked (see here)
150g plain flour
115g caster sugar
35g unsalted butter
30g desiccated coconut
65g coconut oil
12 tbsp lemon curd, preferably home-made (see here)
finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon or lime
Follow the recipe for the meringue, making sure that all your equipment is clean and that you add the sugar gradually. When it has become smooth and glossy, put it into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.
Take a piece of baking parchment and a cutter which is 8cm in diameter – or thereabouts – and, using the cutter as a template, draw six circles on the parchment with a pencil, making sure you leave a couple of centimetres between them. Now turn the paper over; you should be able to see the circles on the other side.
Using the circles as a guide, pipe peaks of meringue about 2cm high around the circles, making sure each peak touches the next. Continue like this in ever-decreasing concentric rings until the circle is full of peaks which are touching.
Place in the oven and cook as directed on here. When cooked and cooled, store the meringues in an airtight box until needed, for up to 1 day (pop them back in the oven for 10 minutes on a low heat if they go soft).
For the crumble, preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4. Put the flour, sugar, butter, coconut and coconut oil in a blender and pulse until it is well mixed but still crumbly. Place a piece of baking parchment on a baking tray and tip on the crumble mix. Push it together to make a mass, but don’t compact it too hard, as it needs to be crumbly. Place the 8cm cutter over the top to check it will be big enough for six circles.
Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and use the cutter to make preliminary circles (it is easier to get sharp circles when part-cooked than when fully cooked). Return to the oven and cook for another 20–25 minutes or until golden.
Remove the crumble from the oven and, using your cutter, just go over the circles again to make sure they will come apart later. Leave on the tray until completely cooled, then, using a palette knife, carefully remove the six circles and keep in an airtight box until you are ready, or for up to 3 days. You can eat the scraps – that’s a little treat.
Use a grater to finely grate the zest from the lime into a bowl, then slice the lime in half and squeeze the juice into the bowl. Mix in the lemon curd; this is now your lemon and lime curd.
To serve, take a small amount of lemon curd mixture, about the size of your fingernail, and place in the middle of a plate. Put a coconut crumble on top of this (the lemon curd is the glue sticking the crumble to the plate, you see). Do this for the rest of the crumbles; be careful, they are fragile.
Next divide the lemon and lime curd between the crumbles and smooth down with a knife, making sure you push right to the edge. Now top each with a meringue crown. You may notice that the crown is about the same size as the crumble base, so it looks nice and neat.
Sprinkle with the lemon or lime zest, allowing some to fall on to the plate, then serve. If you wish, add a spoon of whipped cream.