July 4th in her city – there’s nothing safe nor sane about it. It starts early in the morning with fire crackers, cherry bombs and M80s and increases throughout the day to a crescendo of sky rockets and mortars with skyward explosions akin to a war zone, putting Disneyland’s nightly display to shame. By 10 p.m., a sulfuric haze has blanketed the city and she’s thankful her roof hasn’t caught fire.
Her dog-owning neighbors hate this time of year. She, on the other hand, delights in it, lucky to be owned by two unruffled felines. This one night, her city is alive and decidedly lawless. She celebrates with a backyard party each year – more anarchistic that patriotic, except for her choice of dessert.
Triple Coconut Tart with Berries
Coconut in the crust, and coconut milk and shredded coconut in the pastry cream ensures coconut lovers won’t be disappointed.
- Coconut Pastry Crème
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 Tablespoons corn starch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Graham Cracker Crust
- 7.5 oz. Graham crackers (2 cups crumbs)
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted Topping
- Assorted fresh berries
- ¼ cup apricot jam
- Sweetened whipped cream
- Toasted coconut
- Make coconut pastry crème: In a medium sauce pan, whisk together flour, corn starch, salt, and sugar. Whisk in eggs, then milk, coconut milk, and shredded coconut. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until custard is very thick, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter and vanilla extract. Scrape into bowl, press plastic wrap against the surface of the custard, and chill in refrigerator for several hours until cool.
- Make graham cracker crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers, coconut and salt until ground into crumbs. Add butter and pulse until combined and beginning to clump together. Press in the bottom and up sides of a 9” tart pan. Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned. Cool.
- To assemble: Pour pastry crème into crust and smooth. Cover with fresh berries. Heat apricot jam for 1 minute in microwave and strain. Brush berries with jam, decorate with whipped cream and toasted coconut. Refrigerate until ready to serve.