Sunday, May 1, 2011

Coconut Custard Tart

 When I asked my Dad what his favorite dessert was for his birthday dinner his response was coconut cream pie and my reaction was to quickly bite my nails and head to the Internet. I had never in my life even thought of making any type of cream pie. For some reason in my head I thought that cream pies were very very hard to make. Boy oh boy was I wrong. This could not have been easier. Thank you Dori Greenspan, Google and Shared Sugar. I was able to make an easy coconut cream tart that just as good to eat as it was to make.
I made the custard the night before using eggs, milk, dark rum and of course lightly toasted coconut.
 You can leave the rum out if needed, but the combination with the coconut is a happy little marriage in creamy heaven.
 The shortbread crust was simple to make in the food processor and easy to mold in the tart pan.
 Vanilla, powder sugar and cream... mix and you get the best whipped cream ever. If you really want to booze up your tart you can add a splash more rum to the cream.... alas, I felt that the rum flavor was just enough in the custard and left it out.
Assemble together and add some toasted coconut on top. This tart was simple, perfect and traveled well. It also made my Dad smile... best part of the day!

Coconut Custard Tart
Adapted from Dori Greenspan: Baking from My Home To Yours


For the Crust
1 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut in small pieces
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Custard
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
6 large eggs yolks
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
2 tablespoons dark rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 & 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut, lightly toasted

For the Whipped Topping
1 cup very cold heavy cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
shredded sweetened coconut, lightly toasted to sprinkle on top

To make the crust
Butter and flour the bottom and sides of a 9 inch tart pan. Then line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Butter and flour the parchment paper. ( I thought this was over kill, but the tart did not stick and cut into pieces beautifully.)

Add the flour, powdered sugar and salt in a large bowl mix to combine. Add the flour mixture to the bowl of a food processor. Use a dough blade if you have one. Add the pieces of butter and pulse until the ingredients combine and the butter begins forming into small balls. Add the beaten egg yolk in small increments, mixing in pulses. Keep pulsing for about 10 to 15 seconds until all the ingredients begin to mix together and form into a ball of dough. Don't over mix. 

Using a lightly floured surface kneed the dough just enough to get all the extra dry ingredients combined. 
Press evenly into the sides and bottom of the tart pan. Freeze the crust for about 30 minutes. 
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Butter the shiny side of aluminum foil and press the buttered side down against the crust. Bake the crust on a baking sheet for about 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an extra 8 minutes more until the crust is lightly brown. Let cool. 

To make the Custard: Can be made a day ahead of time. Bring the milk to slow boil. In a large saucepan whisk together the sugar, egg, yolks, cornstarch and salt until well combined. While whisking, pour 1/3 of the milk into the egg mixture. Continuing to whisk, slowly pour the remaining milk into the eggs. While still whisking, heat the mixture over medium heat until it begins to boil. Let the mixture boil for up to 2 minutes, until it thickens. Mix in the rum and vanilla. Let the custard stand for 5 minutes. Then add the bits of butter. This will make the custard very smooth. Stir in the toasted coconut. Cover with plastic wrap pressed against the custard and cool for at least 20 minutes. 

To make the topping: With a stand mixture using the whisk attachment, whip the cream until it holds medium peaks. Add the powdered sugar and mix until firm peaks are formed, but be careful not to over mix. 

To put it all together, lightly whisk the cooled custard and pour it into the cooled crust. Spoon the whipped cream all over the tart and spread evenly to the edges. Sprinkle toasted coconut on top of the whipped cream. Refrigerated until ready to serve. Enjoy!


  1. What an absolutely beautiful tart. You're serious that this is the first time you've made a cream pie? It's perfect. Bravo to you (and what a lucky father).

  2. i have a tart shell already made and waiting for me in the freezer. thank you for this! yum.

  3. Looks wonderful! I've never made one either, but you make it look and sound a lot less intimidating. I've no doubt it made your Dad smile! I'll bet he was grinnin' from ear to ear! :)