Coconut and berry fruit tarts – A perfect Summer dessert with a tropical twist.
Doesn’t fresh fruit and coconut just scream Summer to you? It does to me at least. These little coconut and berry fruit tarts are perfect for a Summer dessert, celebration, picnic, garden party or afternoon tea and you can vary the fruit you use to suit the occasion.
Fruit tarts are an absolute classic, but here I’ve given them a tropical twist with crisp coconut pastry and coconut milk pastry cream to make them even more delicious!
The fruit that you use to top them with is entirely up to your tastes; I went with a selection of fresh berries – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and cherries. They work really well with the creamy coconut (and look very pretty), but if you want to go all out tropical then chopped mango, pineapple, kiwi and passion fruit would be amazing!
The best thing about these tarts is that all the hard work (they aren’t difficult to make, don’t worry!) can be done a day or two in advance of serving them; this just involves baking the tart cases and making the pastry cream. When it comes to serving them all you need to do is fill each pastry case with the cream and top with fruit, easy! Once they have been filled they are best eaten on the same day though so do bear that in mind.
The recipe will make six small tarts but you could also bake one large one (about 10 inches) if you prefer. It will take a little longer to blind bake the pastry case and you may need to reduce the oven temperature a notch to prevent the edges from catching.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Makes six tarts.
- 1 + 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick cold butter, cubed
- 1 egg yolk
- about 1-2 tbsp cold water
Coconut Pastry Cream And To Decorate:
- 1 14 oz can full fat coconut milk
- 1 large egg
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- about 1 lb fresh fruit of your choice to top – I used a selection of berries
1.To make the pastry, place the flour, coconut, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the butter and blitz until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2.Add the egg yolk and blend again. Then, with the motor running, gradually add just enough cold water so that the pastry comes together.
3.Tip it out onto a work-surface and bring it together, don’t overwork it. Shape the pastry into a disc, wrap in clingfilm and place in the refrigerator for half an hour.
4.Divide the pastry into six equal pieces, shape each one into a ball. Roll each ball out on a lightly floured surface and press into a 3.25-3.5in tart tin, pressing it right into the corners and leaving the excess pastry overhanging. Repeat for the rest of the pastry.
5.Prick the base of each pastry case all over with a fork, place them on a baking sheet and pop it in the freezer (or fridge if it wont fit), for fifteen minutes (or thirty in the fridge) while you preheat the oven to 350°F.
6.Line each tart case with either a round of baking parchment or a double layer of good quality clingfilm then fill with either baking beans or dry rice. Bake the tarts for 15 minutes then remove the baking beans/rice and parchment/clingfilm.
7.Return the tarts to the oven for 10-15 minutes until the bases are a pale golden. You may need to cover the edges with strips tin foil if they start to get too dark before the middle is done.
8.Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle then use a very sharp serrated knife to trim off the excess pastry. Once cold store in an airtight container until needed (will keep for a couple of days unfilled).
9.To make the pastry cream, whisk together the egg, egg yolks, cornstarch, sugar and vanilla extract in a heatproof bowl until thick and pale.
10.Place the coconut milk in a pan and heat until just boiling. Gradually pour the hot coconut milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
11.Return the mixture to the pan and place over a medium heat. Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and comes up to the boil; continue to cook for a couple more minutes while whisking to cook out the flour then pour into a clean bowl, cover with clingfilm directly on the surface then refrigerate until cold (or overnight, or up to a couple of days).
12.To assemble the tarts, give the pastry cream a quick whisk with a balloon whisk until smooth (it will be very thick at first). Remove the pastry cases from the tins.
13.Spoon some of the pastry cream into each tart case and spread it level. Top with your selection of fresh fruits and serve. Keep refrigerated and the tarts are best served on the same day that they are assembled.