Coconut is one of those ingredients that has inherited the health- food label and is now rarely used in any other way, which I ﬁnd sad as it can be put to good use in so many delicious bakes. It’s an unusual ingredient, as it’s difficult to classify as either a fruit or a nut, but I ﬁnd it has a unique fresh-tasting, mellow nuttiness.
Martha Collison's Coconut custard tart with caramelised pineapple
- Preparation time: 45 minutes, plus chilling
- Cooking time: 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hours
225g plain ﬂour, plus extra for dusting
25g icing sugar
125g cold butter, cubed 1 egg, separated
1 tbsp milk
125g caster sugar 300ml double cream 300ml coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
200g fresh pineapple, peeled and cored
1 tbsp caster sugar 1 tsp butter
Flaked coconut, to decorate
You will also need a 23cm loose-bottomed sandwich n.
1. Start with the pastry. Place the ﬂour and icing sugar in a large bowl and mix together until well combined. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and rub the cubes into the ﬂour with your ﬁngertips until the mixture resembles ﬁne breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk (save the white for glazing) and milk, and stir them into the ﬂour with a round-ended knife until the mixture clumps together. Squeeze the pastry together to form a ball. Knead it brieﬂy in the bowl, then wrap it in cling ﬁlm and place in the fridge for 20 minutes so the butter in the pastry can solidify.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 and place the tart tin on a baking tray. Lightly dust a worktop with ﬂour and roll out the chilled pastry into a circle about 5cm wider than your tart tin (you could also do this between 2 pieces of cling ﬁlm). Press the pastry into the tin, leaving the excess draped over the sides. Chill the tart for 15 minutes so it keeps its shape.
3. Prick the chilled pastry with a fork and line it with a scrunched piece of baking parchment and ﬁll with baking beans, rice or pulses. Bake for 20 minutes, then take the tart from the oven and remove the paper and beans. Glaze the inside of the tart with the reserved egg white and bake for a further 10 minutes so the base of the pastry is crisp.
4. Remove the tart case from the oven and trim off the overhanging edges with a sharp serrated knife. Turn the temperature down to 150°C/130°C fan/gas 2.
5. To make the custard, whisk together the eggs and caster sugar in a large heatproof jug or bowl with a lip until slightly paler in colour. Heat the cream, coconut milk and vanilla together in a small saucepan until just steaming, then slowly pour into the egg mixture, whisking all the time. You should have a very smooth mixture (pass it through a sieve if there are any lumps).
6. Place the baking tray with the blind-baked tart case on it into the centre of the oven and carefully pour in the custard, ﬁlling the tart right to the top. You may not need all the ﬁlling.
7. Bake the tart for 1–1¼ hours or until it is set around the edges with just a slight wobble in the centre. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the tin, then chill the tart until you are ready to serve.
8. Just before serving, slice the pineapple into thin pieces and sprinkle both sides of each piece with the caster sugar. Heat the butter in a small frying pan until foaming, then add the pineapple slices and cook for 1–2 minutes on each side or until nicely browned.
9. Remove the tart from the tin and decorate with the caramelised pineapple slices. Sprinkle some ﬂaked coconut over the top before slicing and serving.