This Creamy Lemon Coconut Slice recipe is a beautiful combination of coconut custard and zesty lemon slice. A rich and creamy lemon coconut custard on top of a crunchy coconut shortbread.
So what do you do when someone gives you a huge bag of lemons? You make Creamy Lemon Coconut Slice, that’s what.
Lemon desserts are among my favourites and this sublime little zesty treat is a layer of coconut shortbread topped with a creamy lemon coconut custard and that coconut custard, is totally easy to make.
When life gives you lemons …
My sister in law has a lemon tree that is currently laden with huge, perfectly yellow lemons. She was super kind to give me a whole bag and nearly instantly I wanted to make something using lemons and coconut. It was a super sunny day from memory, so this little lemon coconut slice recipe came into my mind and here we are today.
The crunchy coconut shortbread is an adaptation on my Chocolate Caramel Coconut Bars. It’s got a good crunch to it but is easy to bite into. It’s the perfect texture to go with the creamy lemon coconut custard. The topping is just simple sweetened shredded coconut that’s toasted in a dry frying pan which takes all of one minute.
Do you love lemon desserts?
Me and lemon desserts go way back, so if you’re like me check out these other yummy lemon treats while you’re here. How about these Thyme and Lemon Melting Moments Biscuits or some Lemon Almond Biscotti. Or maybe you’d prefer cake? Fluffy Lemon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Buttercream or this divinely dense Flourless Lemon Cake which always gets rave reviews.
Tips and tricks
- Make sure to beat the butter and sugar for the coconut shortbread until it’s light and fluffy before incorporating the rest of the ingredients. You’ll then bake this on it’s own.
- You’ll temper the eggs when you make the custard. This isn’t at all tricky. It just means to slowly drizzle the hot milk into the eggs while still beating. If you do it too quickly, the eggs will scramble
- Don’t stop stirring, this is to make sure the heat is dispersed evenly and you don’t get any burnt or lumpy bits..
- If you’re worried the coconut custard may have lumps, just strain it as you pour it over the base.
Once all that is done, this Creamy Lemon Coconut Slice just sits in the fridge and sets ready to devour at will with a nice cuppa.
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Creamy Lemon Coconut Slice
For the coconut shortbread
- 130 g (1 cup / 4.5oz) plain (AP) flour
- 35 g (1/4 cup / 1.2oz) cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup fine desiccated coconut
- 140 g (1+1/4 sticks / 5oz) unsalted butter
- 100 g (1/2 cup / 3.5oz) sugar
For the lemon coconut custard
- 1 cup (250ml) whole milk
- 1/2 cup (125ml) coconut milk
- 30 g (1oz) butter
- 1/3 cup (67g / 2.3oz) caster sugar
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut notes
For the coconut shortbread
- Preheat oven to 160C / 325F / 140C fan forced. Grease and line a square slice tin (approx 22cm / 8in) with baking paper.
- Sift together the flour, cornflour, salt and coconut and mix to disperse everything.
- Beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the flour mixture in 3 lots until fully incorporated, you may need to use your hands towards the end.
- Tip the crumbly dough into the prepared tin and press down all over. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the edges are golden and the top is just starting to turn golden.
For the lemon coconut custard
- Pour the milk and coconut milk into a heavy based saucepan, then add the butter, sugar, zest and vanilla. Heat on very low heat until steaming, stirring regularly.
- While the milk mixture is heating, mix together the lemon juice and cornflour until smooth. Pour it into a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) and add the egg yolks, then beat on high until pale yellow and a little frothy.
- Once the milk mixture is steaming, remove from heat. Turn the stand mixer down to low- medium and pour the milk mix in a slow steady stream into the egg mix. Don’t pour it too quickly or the heat will scramble the eggs.
- Once all the milk is added to the eggs, return the entire mix to the saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring with a balloon whisk constantly, until it gets very thick. This will happen quite suddenly after about 5 minutes or so, so it’s important to keep gently whisking increasing intensity as it gets very thick. You will end up with lumpy custard if you don’t.
- The custard is ready when you lift the whisk and the custard drops back in small blobs and holds its shape for at least 5 seconds. At this point, remove it from the heat and pour it over the cooled shortbread base.
- Over low heat, toast the shredded coconut, shaking the pan regularly until toasted. Sprinkle it over the custard then place the tin in the fridge to set.
- If you can’t find sweetened shredded coconut you can use unsweetened or just add a teaspoon of icing (confectioners) sugar while it’s toasting
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
- For best results you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).