Tart.  I love that word.  Just say it out loud.  Tart.  Tart. I just hear the word and I need one.  Stat.  And that’s likely the reason I don’t make them very often, because if I do, I have to eat one.  I mean you can’t just let a tart sit there looking all tarty.  And if there’s a coconut cream tart…oh man…I don’t stand a chance against a coconut cream tart.

This recipe makes 6 – 3 inch tarts, or 1 -10 inch tart.

The Shortbread Crust:
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (cut into chunks)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 6 inch mini 3 tart pans (or 1 large tart pan)
  • The Coconut Cream:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup cream of coconut
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 vanilla bean (split)
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 pinch of salt
The Topping:
  • whipping cream

The Crust:
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a food processor, process the flour, sugar and salt for about 10 seconds.
  • Then add the chunks of butter and process until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
  • Add the egg yolk and process again until the egg is thoroughly combined.
  • If you are making mini tarts (tartlets), separate the mixture into 6 – 3 inch tart pans, and press the dough into the molds, making the sides slightly higher than the centre. Bake for 12-15 minutes, making sure to prick them with a fork several times, as the dough tends to puff up. Watch them carefully, as they go from not done to overcooked very quickly!
  • If you are making one large tart, press the mixture into a 10 inch tart pan (making the sides slightly higher than the centre) and bake for about 15-18 minutes. Again make sure to prick the tart with a fork several times while baking, and watch it carefully.
  • The Coconut Cream:
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk, cream of coconut, coconut, and the vanilla bean to a simmer.
  • Remove from heat, an let sit for 1 hour.
  • In a mixer, beat together the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  • Beat together until thick and pale yellow.
  • After the milk mixture has sat for the 1 hour, reheat it until it is hot again.
  • Once the milk mixture is hot, slowly pour it into the mixer, while the mixer is going at medium speed.
  • Once the cream is mixed thoroughly, transfer it to a saucepan and cook it over medium heat, whisking constantly, until boiling, and the mixture thickens.
  • You can strain the cream through a sieve to remove the shredded coconut, but I like to leave it in the cream. It’s delicious!
  • Let the coconut cream cool completely before adding it to your tarts.
  • Make sure to stir the cream well before using.
  • Putting the Tarts Together:
  • Once the tarts and coconut cream have cooled completely, fill the centre of the tarts with a scoop of the cream.
  • Top with whipping cream.

If you want your tarts to look extra special, you can sprinkle on some toasted coconut after you have assembled them. To do that, spread about 1/4 cup of sweet shredded coconut onto a baking sheet, and put it in a 350 degree oven for about 2-3 minutes. Just watch the coconut closely, as it turns brown very quickly. (Note: do not put your tarts in the oven, you are just toasting the coconut to put on top.)