“PARADISE IS OPEN TO ALL KINDS OF HEARTS.” Pierre Jean de Béranger.
Two bites = two words. Tropical. Paradise.
A sweet tart crust….. filled with luscious coconut pastry cream….. sprinkled with chewy toasted coconut….. and topped with fresh, sweet, juicy pineapples.
Is your heart open?
This pineapple coconut tart is best made in stages because you will need to make your pastry cream first and let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.
YIELDS: 6 (3 inch tarts)
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Intermediate (Easy if you are already comfortable with working with tart crust and pastry cream.)
COCONUT PASTRY CREAM:
- 1 (13.5 ounce) can of unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 cup of flaked coconut
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoons of butter
- 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream
- 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar
Heat the milk, sugar, salt and vanilla in a large saucepan over medium heat. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cornstarch. Add 1/2 cup of the warm milk mixture to the egg yolks whisking constantly. Then put the egg mixture back into the milk mixture and continue to whisk until the mix becomes thick and bubbly. At this point continue to whisk for about another 3 minutes. Take the pan off of the heat and whisk in the butter. Strain through a mesh sieve into a bowl. Stir in the coconut and cover with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap touches the top of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate the mixture overnight. When you are ready to use the pastry cream, you will first make a whipped cream by whipping the 1/2 cup heavy cream with the 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar. Stir about a half of the whipped cream into the coconut cream to loosen. And then fold the rest of the whipped cream into the pastry cream until it is all incorporated. This will be spooned evenly into the 6 cooled tart crusts.
SWEET PASTRY CRUST:
- 1 cup of all purpose flour
- 1 cup of cake flour
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 7- 8 Tablespoons of heavy cream
- 1 1/2 sticks of cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
You will need to use an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, six 3 inch tart pans with releasable bottoms, a bench scraper, rolling pin, tin foil and pie weights.
This is a relatively easy recipe and can be tossed together in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. So first mix the flours, sugar, and salt on a slow speed for about 30 seconds. Add the cut butter cubes and continue to mix on low to medium speed for another minute more. Add the 7 Tablespoons of cream and continue to mix until the mix looks like gravel. This will take about a minute or two. If after 2 minutes, it still looks like the texture of parmesan cheese, pinch a piece between your fingers. If it falls apart, add another Tablespoon of cream. If it holds together in a clump, continue to mix on low to medium speed for another few minutes until it comes together in a cohesive mass. Remove the dough from the mixer and form it into a ball. Cut the ball in half with your bench scraper. And then divide each half into 3 equal portions. Roll out each portion to form a circle a little larger then each tart pan. Press the dough into each tart pan and use a knife to scrape the excess dough from the top edges of the pan. Fit a small piece of tin foil over each tart, leaving a bit of an overhang to make it easy to remove. Fill each foiled tart with pie weights or beans to the top of each tart. Place the tarts on a baking sheet. Bake in a 400° oven for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and beans. Return the tarts to the oven for another 8-10 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely before filling.
Toast about 1 cup coconut flakes in the oven until they are golden.
Peel and core 1 large, fresh pineapple. Cut large pieces of pineapple as shown in the pictures.
Spoon the pastry cream evenly between the tarts. Toss some toasted coconut on top of each and layer with 4 slices of pineapple, larger pieces on the bottom and tapering a bit smaller on the top. Garnish with a few leaves from the top of the pineapple.
Enjoy these luscious coconut tarts and feel free to experiment and top them with other fruits as well!
Recipe adapted from Celebrating Cobblers and Pies