Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Cherry and Coconut Cream Tart

I finally, finally got around to making this tart last summer. I had been waiting because it called for cream to be whipped and folded into the pastry cream filling (so I needed lactose-free cream and couldn’t substitute coconut milk). And you know what? It turns out that the whipped cream ruined the consistency of the tart filling! It made the pastry cream way too runny. So next time I make this, I’m omitting it entirely. In that case, though, I should reduce the amount of sugar in the pastry cream, but I haven’t tested that yet (another option would be omitting the cherry preserves, but I really like their presence there so I wouldn’t leave them out). Keeping that in mind, this is a delicious tart and I’d love to have it again!

For the tart crust
1 cup (140 g.) flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup unsalted butter or margarine, cold, cut into 1” pieces
1 Tbsp. cold water
½ tsp. vanilla extract

For the coconut pastry cream filling
¾ cup + ¼ cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp. + 3 Tbsp. sugar (see note above)
3 large egg yolks
2 Tbsp. (14 g.) cornstarch
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the rest of the filling
½ cup cherry preserves (I used a bit more because they were hard to spread)
½ lb. cherries

For the crust
Put flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor; pulse to combine. Add in butter and pulse until butter is in pea-sized pieces.

Combine water and vanilla extract and drizzle over the mixture. Pulse to combine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs – it should not be fully combined into a ball.

Turn out mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a disk about 1 inch thick. If you have trouble making it stick together add a few more drops of water. Wrap dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 10 inch round (to fit a 9” round tart pan), or to fit a 4” x 13” rectangular tart pan. Ease dough into the pan and press into the sides to form.

Chill pan with dough in refrigerator while preheating the oven to 375 °F.

Line the dough with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake tart crust for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the foil and bake until golden, 12 to 15 minutes more. Remove from oven and let cool.

For the coconut pastry cream
Combine ¾ cup of the coconut milk with 2 Tbsp. of sugar in a small saucepan. Heat on the stove over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and bubbles appear on the edge of the pan.

Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and 3 Tbsp. sugar in a bowl.

Whisk the cornstarch and remaining ¼ cup coconut milk in a small bowl and then add to the egg yolk mixture, whisking to combine.

Pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from cooking. Return the entire mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. Stir in the vanilla.

Scrape the pastry cream into a bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap to the surface, and refrigerate until needed.

For finishing the tart
Spread the cherry preserves evenly over the bottom of the tart shell.

Spoon the pastry cream on top of the preserves and spread evenly. Fill the tart shell to just below the top; you may have some pastry cream left over.

Wash and pit the cherries, and slice in half. Arrange cherry halves on top of the pastry cream. Serve immediately.

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