When Mr CC and I have a quiet Sunday at home it will usually begin with the Channel 4 show ‘Sunday Brunch’. Most of this time is spent asking each other if we have heard of the ‘celebrity’ guests and complaining about the awful music they choose to showcase either side of the ad breaks. I think we’re getting old! It is, primarily, a cooking show, yet I rarely want to replicate the dishes that are made….until last weekend’s show when this recipe for coconut cream tart cropped up. They followed the US convention of calling it coconut cream pie but, to me, if there’s no pastry lid in sight….it ain’t a pie!
I have long wanted to make a coconut cream tart but, when I looked up US recipes, they often seem to include ingredients such as ‘pudding mix’ and I don’t know what that is. This recipe uses custard powder, so I wonder if that’s what pudding mix effectively is – just a cornflower based thickening agent?
This is not a dessert for the diet conscious. It is rich, creamy, and huge…all things that make it pretty ace! The creamy mascarpone topping is so much nicer that plain whipped cream as it has a custard-like flavour; indeed, I have used it in the past as both a shortcut for crème patisserie, and custard in a trifle. It is hard not to eat it all straight from the bowl. I added a little sugar to the topping (as well as increasing the quantity of topping) as the whole tart is not overly sweet. When a US guest on Sunday Brunch tried it she commented that it was not as sweet as American versions. If you want a sweeter tart maybe add more sugar to the custard layer.
There is coconut in the biscuit base and the custard is bulked out with a lot of desiccated coconut. It means the custard layer is not smooth but the benefit is that it really boosts the coconut flavour. If, like me, you can never have anything too coconutty then this is heaven!
I suppose you could serve it with some berries in an attempt to make it look a bit healthier but I didn’t bother. I decided to embrace its creamy, custardy goodness in all its white/yellow/beige splendour!
225g digestive biscuits
90g unsalted butter, at room temperature
15g desiccated coconut
3 egg yolks
80g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
225g coconut cream
60g custard powder
30g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g desiccated coconut
300ml double cream
1 tablespoon icing sugar
Handful of toasted coconut flakes – I couldn’t find toasted flakes anywhere so toasted some coconut in a dry frying pan; keep it moving and don’t let it burn!
Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.