Pink Lemonade Tart for Two

A vibrant twist on a tangy classic from Savannah chef Annie Coleman

Photo: Eastwood's Media

Although chef Annie Coleman was first drawn to the methodical aspect of pastry-making, she’ll never pass up a chance to get creative and whip together her love of art, food, and science. After dreaming up tiny lemon tarts last year for Valentine’s Day, Coleman realized the treats could use a colorful update. “I totally missed an opportunity to make them pink,” she says. But she got her do-over: As the chef de cuisine for FARM Hospitality Group, the Beaufort native found herself revisiting tart recipes for the group’s latest project, the plant-forward Wildflower Café, set to open this spring at the Jepson Center, a Telfair Museum, in Savannah. And this time around, an unexpected, abundant winter ingredient offered the perfect pink inspiration. “Typically I’d use hibiscus flowers for color, but we had a lot of beets on hand,” she says. “They really added this earthiness that played well with the citrus.” 

Coleman’s recipe is also a vegan take on the traditional lemon bar, opting for creamy coconut milk instead of butter and eggs. “I like this recipe this time of year because local citrus is wrapping up its season, so I get one last taste,” she says. Just make sure to keep an eye on the stove when making the filling: “Don’t step away or it may scorch the bottom. You will lose the bright pink color!”


  • Pink Lemonade Tart (Serves two)

  • For the crust

    • ½ cup crumbled graham cracker

    • ½ cup raw shredded coconut

    • 2 tbsp. and 2 tsp. coconut oil

    • Pinch of kosher salt

    • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract

    • 1 tsp. sugar

  • For the filling

    • 2 tsp. sugar

    • 1 tbsp. and 2 tsp. cornstarch

    • Pinch of salt

    • ½ cup full-fat coconut milk

    • ½ cup sweetened condensed coconut milk

    • ¼ cup lemon or lime juice (about 1 lemon or 2 limes), plus citrus zest

    • 1 small red beet, sliced into a few chunks

  • For the garnishes

    • Whipped coconut cream (recipe follows)

    • Toasted coconut

    • Raspberry jam

    • Citrus zest

  • For the whipped coconut cream

    • 1 can coconut cream, chilled

    • 1 tbsp. powdered sugar

    • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a small ramekin or baking dish (around 5×5 inches) with parchment paper, allowing some paper to hang over the side.

  2. Make the crust: Combine the crust ingredients by hand or in a food processor. Press firmly into the ramekin or baking dish. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. 

  3. If you’re topping your tart with toasted coconut, spread the shredded coconut on a tray and bake in the oven for a few minutes. Stir it around and bake until golden, or around 5 minutes.

  4. Make the filling: Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

  5. In a small saucepan, combine the coconut milk and sweetened condensed coconut milk, citrus juice, and beet chunks. 

  6. Bring the mixture to a low boil, stirring often to distribute the color. Once the liquid has reached your preferred level of pink, remove the beet pieces, being careful not to remove too much liquid with them.

  7. Add a few tablespoons of the liquid to the bowl with the cornstarch mixture and whisk until smooth. Add the slurry into the saucepan and whisk on medium-low heat until thickened. Add the citrus zest and remove from heat, but continue whisking. Pour directly into the baking dish, smooth the top, and chill for at least 2 hours or until set.

  8. Make the coconut cream: Refrigerate the can of coconut cream until settled and cold. Remove the fatty cream from the top, and combine the cream with powdered sugar and vanilla, taking care to avoid over-whipping.

  9. Serve: Carefully remove the tart from the baking dish by pulling up on the overhanging parchment paper. If you’re having trouble getting it free, warm the bottom slightly and try again. 

  10. Slice and top with whipped coconut cream, toasted coconut, raspberry jam, and citrus zest.