Monday, April 5, 2010

Portuguese Coconut Tarts

When I was a little girl, my Portuguese grandma (who came to the US from the Azore Islands when she was young) would always bring two traditional foods to our Easter celebration: Portuguese sweet bread and little coconut tarts. I adored both of them. Portuguese sweet bread is easily found, but I haven't been able to find those tarts until I did an internet search for the recipe, determined to replicate them at home this year. (My grandma bought them at a Portuguese bakery.)
I did indeed find a recipe and made them yesterday, and my family all agreed they were just like the ones my grandma used to bring. They aren't hard to make since there is no crust to mess with, and if you like coconut, you will love these! The top is like a coconut macaroon; underneath, you will find coconut bathed a smooth, rich custard.

Pasteis de Coco
(Portuguese Coconut Tarts)

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Adjust the rack to middle position. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with 10 paper cupcake liners.

2. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup of the milk. Set aside.

3. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade shred the coconut flakes for 30 seconds.

4. In a large mixing bowl, stir the eggs and sugar together with a wooden spoon. One by one, add the cornstarch mixture, remaining milk, coconut, melted butter and lemon extract, stirring well after each addition.

5. Ladle the custard into the paper cups, filling to 1/4 inch from the top. (Note: Make sure to stir frequently to keep the coconut well distributed.)

6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the coconut is nicely toasted. Cool completely in the tin before serving. Very nice served chilled.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely have to make these. My husband loves coconut so so much. They look heavenly!


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