Monday, March 1, 2010
Tuesdays with Dorie - Toasted Coconut-Custard Tart
Beryl of Cinemon Girl chose this weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. It's a Toasted Coconut-Custard Tart, if you didn't already know. If I knew where she was, I would go kiss her! Coconut is one of those things that I love, but seldom get to have because the hubby isn't crazy about it. He will usually eat a small slice of his Mom's coconut cream pie at Thanksgiving, but other than that, it's not one of those things he asks me to make. And, I really don't need to make something I will have to eat by myself. I keep losing weight, but darned if it doesn't keep finding me!
So, when I saw this weeks choice I almost passed. But, I reasoned, a tart is much smaller than a pie (yeah, right!) and I could share some with my mother-in-law and father-in-law, since they both like coconut. My mother-in-law is recovering from hip surgery so I thought making it and taking some to them would cheer them both up, and keep me from eating the whole tart by myself. With all that in mind, I forged ahead.
I preheated my oven and read over the recipe. Decided to toast the coconut while I worked on the tart crust. I sprinkled coconut over a sheet of parchment paper I put on a baking sheet. I placed it in the oven, telling myself not to forget it was in there and burn it. Then I started mixing up the dough for the tart. After several minutes (or 5 or more, I don't know) I smelled something cooking and realized it was my coconut! Yanked open the oven door and there was my baking sheet, full of what had been beautiful coconut, now full of almost burnt coconut! I think the only thing that kept the whole cup and a half from going straight into the trash was that it had gone into the oven frozen. The outer edges of the coconut was too dark to use, but all the coconut in the center was almost perfectly toasted. Whew! Lucked out on that one. I do stuff like that all the time. Put something in the oven and say "Now don't forget this", and then forget it! :}
After that little mishap, everything went as smooth as glass. The tart dough came together perfectly. Baked it and set it on the counter to cool. Made the custard. The only deviation from the recipe I made was to add about 1/4 teaspoon of coconut extract, to kick up the coconut flavor. It seemed a bit thick at first, but I added a little milk to it when I took it off the stove until it was the consistency I thought it should be, then finished it with the butter and coconut. Set that in the fridge to cool.
After the crust was cool enough I spooned the custard into it. Smoothed it out and then I whipped up the whipping cream and piped it on top of the custard filled crust. I sprinkled some toasted coconut on top and stood back to admire my work.
Perfection! I cut a couple of slices to take to the in-laws and then cut a sliver to taste. Oh. My. Goodness! It was divine. The custard was creamy, rich, full of bits of toasted coconut with just a hint of the dark rum coming through. The crust was tender, but crumbly, "sandy" is the description in the book, and it fits. The whipped cream on top, with a tiny bit of rum, light and airy, is the perfect compliment to the rest of the tart. I can't wait till after dinner when I can have another slice, a bigger one this time!
If you would like to see what all the other bakers thought of this fabulous dessert, head over to TWD and check them out. Excuse me while I head to the kitchen. I think I am going to have that slice before dinner...life's uncertain you know. :)