Friday, January 30, 2009

Vanilla Custard Tart with Coconut Macaroon Crust

I've been thinking up this creation for a quite awhile. A couple years ago I made a mango tart with a coconut crust and the crust was so different and delicious, I always remembered it. Then I made a silky vanilla custard for a banana cream pie and the vanilla custard was so good on it's own, you could just eat it with a spoon. So, I wanted to combined all these amazing flavors and create a delicious custard tart.

The crust uses soft coconut macaroon cookies, pecans and butter. I chose to make my own coconut macaroons (recipe below). On top of the crust, I layered rich vanilla custard and fresh, slightly sweetened whipped cream. And to crown off the delicious filling, fresh slices of fruit!

Homemade Macaroons
The recipe below makes around 20 cookies, so you'll have plenty for the crust and some to snack on. All the cookies I had were gobbled up fast. This is a great recipe if you ever want to make plain macaroons. Yum!

Once the macaroons are baked and cooled they get shredded and mixed with chopped toasted pecans and some butter.

The crust going into the oven. I broke up the pecan pieces with my fingers, so I had big chunks in my crust. I was just too lazy to pull out the food processor.

Mmmm. The golden crust, baked and filled.

A mix of fresh cut fruit, strawberries, kiwi's, pears, nectarines, raspberries, boysenberries etc., are all tasty additions. Sliced banana's turns this into a yummy banana cream tart.

This tart is tasty unadorned too with just the simple custard and whipped cream.

Vanilla Custard Tart with Coconut Macaroon Crust

Coconut Macaroon Crust
9 soft macaroon cookies, crumbled (2 cups)
1 cup ground pecans
3 T butter, softened

Mix all ingredients together. Press mixture into a 10 to 11-in fluted tart pan.
Bake at 350 until golden brown 15 to 18 minutes. Cool on wire rack

Coconut Macaroon Cookies
14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using either a 1 3/4-inch diameter ice cream scoop, or 2 teaspoons. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and serve

* Make sure you use a removable bottom tart pan. This crust can be sticky. Try lining the pan with buttered parchment paper and don;t pat it down too firmly.

Vanilla Custard
5 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch (4 or 5 T)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Prepare an ice-water bath; set aside. Make the custard: In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt. In a medium saucepan, bring milk just to a boil. Remove from heat, and whisk about 1/2 cup of hot milk into yolk mixture. Whisk yolk mixture into saucepan of hot milk. Place over medium-high heat, and bring to a gentle boil, whisking constantly. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter, one piece at a time, until melted. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, and whisk until smooth. Immediately strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Place bowl of custard in ice bath to cool, stirring occasionally.

Whipped cream topping
1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbs. powdered sugar, sifted

Whip cream until soft peaks form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until combine. Chill until ready to use.

Assemble Tart
Pour chilled vanilla custard into cooled coconut crust. Carefully spread whipped cream over custard. Chill until ready to serve. Top with favorite fruit, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, pear, mango, kiwi, just before serving. Sprinkle with powdered, if desired.


Jacinda said...

This sounds SO GOOD.

Bake-A-Holic said...

It was really good! The coconut crust just makes it so yummy. And vanilla custard and whipped cream? Mmmm.

I served it to my family and took it to a super bowl party. Everyone loved it.

jojo said...

Yum. The crust sounds so good! These would be good as little tarts too - more crust-to-filling ratio!!!

shauna said...

The crust is to die for.

cookwithgladys said...

This looks so good! I am going home and trying it tonight!


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