Coconut & Raspberry Tarts

Coconut & Raspberry Tarts B

I love putting different flavours in my pastry cream. I mean I was so confident I thought I could straight swap out cow’s milk for coconut milk, bad idea! It tasted great looked far from fantastic so it was back to the drawing board for me. And here’s the version that works: silky smooth as any good ‘crem-pat’ should be and delightfully flavoured with coconut. The raspberry conserve adds a fresh contrast to the coconut and a burst of colour to boot. I hope you enjoy eating these as much as I do!

Coconut & Raspberry Tarts

Makes 6

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Ingredients

for the coconut pastry cream                               

  • 450ml whole milk
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • 2 medium egg whites
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 20g plain flour
  • 20g cornflour

for the pastry cases

  • 150g plain flour, sifted
  • 75g butter, chilled and cubed, plus extra for greasing
  • 30g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 medium egg yolk beaten with 2 teaspoons cold water

for the filling and topping

  • 25g desiccated coconut
  • 5 tablespoons raspberry conserve

Method

Make the coconut pastry cream: reserve two tablespoons of milk and put the rest in a saucepan with the desiccated coconut and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover with the lid and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Meanwhile mix the reserved milk with the egg whites, sugar and flours in a heatproof bowl until smooth. Strain the infused milk through a sieve to remove the coconut, pressing the coconut against the sieve to squeeze out as much milk as possible. Pour the infused milk into the egg mixture, stirring continuously with a whisk to prevent the eggs scrambling.

Clean the saucepan then pour in the milk mixture and bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring continuously with a whisk. Boil for two minutes until the mixture has thickened considerably, whilst stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan so the mixture doesn’t catch. Transfer to a wide, shallow dish and cover with cling film, sticking it right to the surface of the cream to prevent a skin forming. Leave to cool to room temperature (or over ice) then chill in the fridge whilst making the pastry cases.

Make the pastry cases: in a bowl, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs (or do this in a food processor) then stir in the sugar. Use a palette knife to cut in the beaten egg then press together to form a ball. Flatten the pastry into a disc, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, until firm but not hard.

Grease six 10cm round loose-bottomed fluted tart tins. Roll one-sixth of the chilled pastry between a sheet of non-stick baking paper and cling film to a 2mm thick circle. Line one of the tins with the pastry, pressing carefully into the grooves but do not trim. Repeat with the remaining pastry and tins then place the tins on a baking tray and place in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C (170°C fan)/350°F/gas mark 4.

Trim the edges of the pastry cases with a sharp knife then bake blind (line each with non-stick baking paper and an even layer of baking beans) in the oven for 15 minutes before removing the beans and paper then bake for a further 5 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Allow the pastry cases to cool completely before removing from the tins as they will be less fragile.

Make the toppings: spread the coconut over the base a frying pan and toast over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring often until it starts to brown then transfer to a plate and set aside. Pass one tablespoon of the raspberry conserve through a sieve (scraping every drop from the under-side of the sieve) and spoon into a small piping bag, set aside.

Assemble the tarts: beat the remaining conserve in a bowl until smooth then spread two teaspoons evenly over the base of each pastry case. Beat the chilled pastry cream in a bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth then transfer to a large piping bag. Pipe the pastry cream over the conserve then decorate each tart with the toasted coconut and sieved conserve.

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