This tart was last week’s Tuesdays with Dorie pick, but since my mother was coming to visit for her birthday, I wanted to wait and make it then. And let me tell you, this tart is worth the wait! I don’t even like coconut cream pie, but this….oh, this is something so delicious and special. I absolutely loved it. We all did. Something about the combination of that salty/sweet/buttery crust with the thick, rum-infused pastry cream and the whipped cream on top is just pure heaven! My mom (the honored guest) said it was better than any coconut cream pie she’d ever had. That’s all the acclaim I needed! This one will definitely be re-visited again and again! This was chosen by Beryl of Cinemon Girl – I owe you one, Beryl! Thanks for one heck of a pick!! (I’m posting the recipe here since I’m posting so late- just thought I’d save time!)

Toasted Coconut Custard Tart
-Dorie Greenspan

For the Custard:
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
6 large egg yolks
1/3 cup cornstarch
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut, toasted

1 9-inch sweet tart shell, baked and cooled (recipe below)

For the topping:
1 cup cold heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon dark rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bring milk to a boil. In a large saucepan, whisk together sugar, yolks, cornstarch and salt until well blended. Whisk in 1/4 cup of hot milk to temper the yolks, then whisk in the rest of the milk. Continue whisking over medium heat and bring to a boil. Whisk an additional 1 or 2 minutes then remove from heat. Whisk in rum and vanilla and let sit for 5 minutes. Then whisk in the butter, stirring until custard is smooth. Stir in the toasted coconut. Transfer to a container, cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.
To make the topping, use a stand mixture with whisk attachment or a hand mixer to whip the cream to medium peaks. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat to firm peaks. Whip in rum and vanilla.
To assemble the tart, whisk the custard vigorously to loosen it then scrape into the crust. Spoon the whipped cream over the tart and spread evenly to the edge of the custard. Sprinkle with additional toasted coconut.

Sweet Tart Dough
(makes one 9-inch crust)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk

To make the dough:  Put the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt in the workbowl of a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine.  Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely – you’ll have pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pea-size pieces and that’s just fine.  Stir the egg, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition.  When the egg is in, process in long pulses – about 10 seconds each – until the dough, which will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds.  Just before your reaches this clumpy stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change – heads up.  Turn the dough out onto a work surface.

Very lightly and sparingly – make that very, very lightly and sparingly – knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

To make a press-in crust:  Butter the tart pan and press the dough evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the pan.  Don’t be stingy – you want a crust with a little heft because you want to be able to both taste and feel it.  Also, don’t be too heavy-handed – you want to press the crust in so that the pieces cling to one another and knit together when baked, but you don’t want to press so hard that the crust loses its crumbly shortbreadish texture.  Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.

To partially bake the crust:  Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminum foil and fit the foil tightly against the crust.  Bake the crust 25 minutes, then carefully remove the foil.  If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon.  Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack; keep it in its pan.

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4 Comments »

  1. Your tart looks incredible Amy. I want a big ol’slice right off the screen right now.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Eliana — March 8, 2010 @ 2:34 PM

  2. I always thought I made a mean Coconut Cream Pie, but it doesn’t compare to this! Thank you so much for my Birthday Pastry! Yummm.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Mother — March 8, 2010 @ 9:59 PM

  3. Where do you buy a tart pan? i haven’t been able to find one at target or walmart..

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jenn — March 11, 2010 @ 4:18 PM

  4. Jenn: I actually did get mine at Target. Did you look in the right section? They should be with the cake pans. If you can’t find it there, you can always get them at places like Williams-Sonoma or Crate & Barrel. Hope you’re able to find one! :-)

    -Amy

    [Reply]

    Comment by amy — March 11, 2010 @ 4:24 PM

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