Coconut Custard Tart
(makes 1, 9-11 inch tart)
For the Tart Shell:
1 1/2 stick unsalted margarine, room temperature (I use Fleischmann's or Earth Balance Vegetable Shortening, the green box)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste OR good vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease the tart pan with non-stick spray. Cream margarine and sugar in a bowl with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla to margarine mixture, mix until well combined. Add flour slowly to mix, and mix just until combined. Use hands to form dough into a ball. Use fingers to press dough into the greased tart pan making sure to have the dough along the sides of the pan as well. Use a fork to poke holes into the dough and bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, until light golden brown around the edges. Let tart shell cool completely. Put aside.
For the Pastry Cream:
4 Large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar, divided
2 cups vanilla soymilk or milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted margarine/butter or vegetable shortening (Earth Balance)
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of sugar, all of the cornstarch, and the milk. In a saucepan, combine the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, the vanilla, and the salt. Bring to a simmer. Whisking constantly, pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, gradually at first to temper it, and then more quickly. Set a strainer over the saucepan. Strain the custard mixture back into the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium meat, whisking constantly. Boil for 10 seconds, whisking. (Make sure the custard boils for 10 seconds in the center of the pan, not just around the sides.) The mixture should thicken to a pudding-like consistency.
Transfer the pastry cream to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, to cool slightly. With the mixer running, beat in the butter a little at a time, until incorporated. Beat in the coconut. Transfer to a bowl, press plastic wrap directly over the cream to prevent a crust from forming, and chill until firm, about 1 to 2 hours. Once the pastry cream is chilled pour into cooled tart shell and prepare the coconut whipped cream, recipe follows.For the whipped cream topping:
8 oz. of non-dairy whipping cream, very cold
1 teaspoon of coconut extract
2 tablespoons of confectioner's sugar
In a large bowl whip the cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Add sugar and coconut extract and whip until stiff peaks form. Do not over-beat. Pour whipped cream over the custard and spread around the tart. You can also pipe the whipped cream if you'd like. Sprinkle the tart with toasted or untoasted coconut and chill until ready to serve.
To toast the coconut: Place shredded coconut in a dry pan and place over medium heat. The coconut will turn light brown when it is done. Keep a very close eye on the pan or the coconut may burn.