Now that the 4th of July has past, we Americans are in the heart of the summer bbq season. And frankly, there are enough meat and side dish recipes on food blogs to drown a nursing home. But bbq desserts? We could ALWAYS use more desserts. One can only eat so many apple pies in one lifetime.
Meet my coconut cream pie tart, a nice, cool and refreshing treat that just so happens to be my favorite dessert of all time. Recipe and heaps of food porn after the jump.
Why coconut cream pie? I have always been a fan of coconut, and particularly in pie form. I remember being a young girl, walking with my father during a blackout to the local gas station to get a newspaper and a treat. Remember those Hostess apple pocket pies dipped in glaze? In the early Eighties, they had a coconut cream pie flavor, and I can still see the sky blue wrapper in my head. My father bought me one of those, and on the walk home, I proceeded to drain the pocket of pie dough of all that delicious coconut filling by scooping it up with my finger.
Flash forward a few years later to George’s, the town diner and a regular dinner spot for my family. I still remember that as soon as you walked in the door, you were greeted by a towering, rotating dessert display case filled with at least ten different kinds of pie and cake. My go-to choice? The coconut cream pie. There was something I loved about the contrast of textures that one slice of pie could provide, the smooth custard with the rough flakes of coconut, the crispy pie dough against the soft whipped cream, the crunchy toasted coconut. I couldn’t get enough of it.
So flash forward to today, and I’m still head over heals in love with pie, but I have a few more baking skills under my belt. This tart is my grown-up version of the pie, a play on an old Cook’s Illustrated recipe.
The shortcrust provides a nice, crisp base for the smooth custard studded with coconut flakes, the soft whipped cream and the crunchy toasted coconut. I love this tart. Hell, I ate 2/3rds of it by myself! Every night, my husband would come home and take count of how many slices had “disappeared’ that day.
That only made me want to eat more.
Recipe: Leena’s Coconut Cream Pie Tart
Summary: This is inspired by a Cook’s Illustrated recipe for the filling and a Jamie Oliver recipe for the crust.
- 3 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons good-quality cold butter, cut into small cubes
- The zest of 1 orange
- 2 large free-range or organic eggs, beaten Splash milk
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 3/8 teaspoon salt
- 5 Egg yolks
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into two pieces
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cold cream
- 2 Tablespoons powedered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 Tablespoon unsweeteded shredded coconut, toasted in small dry skillet until golden brown
- Sift flour and powdered sugar together.
- By hand: Work the cubes of butter and orange zest into the flour-sugar mixture by rubbing them between your fingers to create small crumbs.Add the eggs and milk, and combine gently by hand until a dough forms. Do not work pastry too much at this point, or it will turn chewy, not crisp. (This step can be done in a food processor)
- Pat the dough into a round, flat disk, dust with flour and wrap into plastic wrap. Place in fridge to rest for at least 30 minutes before rolling out the dough and lining your baking pan with it.
- I like to blind bake the 9 inch tart shell by lining the pan with the dough and a piece of wax paper on top, filled with dried beans or rice to weigh it down. I bake the tart for 20 minutes, then remove the wax paper and weights, brush the dough with a little egg mixed with water, and place it back into the oven until the pasty browns. Then I cool the baked pastry while I cook the custard.
- For the Custard:
- Using a heavy pot, take the coconut milk, whole milk, shredded coconut, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt to a simmer over medium high. Do not let this come to a boil!
- Whisk the egg yolks, remaining tablespoon of sugar and cornstarch in a bowl to combine.
- When the liquid has come to a simmer, place the egg bowl next to the stove with a towel underneath so it does not move when you stir it. Place a whisk in your writing hand and a ladle in the other. Slowly ladle one cup of the hot mixture into the eggs while whisking constantly with the other hand to combine. Repeat once, then add the egg mixture to the remaining liquid on the stove, whisking to combine. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil and thickens, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Once the mixture coats the back of a spoon, take off heat.
- Mix in butter and vanilla until fully blended. Pour the hot filling into the cooled tart shell, then cover with plastic wrap directly on the custard, so a skin does not form. Place in the fridge until firm, a few hours or overnight.
- For Garnish:
- Chill a large mixing bowl and a whisk in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Remove bowl and fill with heavy cream and sugar. Whisk to combine, then continue to whisk until the cream is whipped.
- The cream will first turn into a thick liquid, then lightly airy, then really airy. The trick is to stop before the whipped cream seizes and starts turning into butter. Your whipped cream is ready when it can hold a stiff peak in a bowl.
- Garnish cooled tart with whipped cream and toasted coconut. Store in fridge, covered, for up to one week. If it lasts that long.
Microformatting by hRecipe.
What sort of desserts do you like to serve at bbqs?