A Peach & Coconut Cream Tart


The world is filled with simple pleasures, and last week I experienced a new one: karaoke. I've gone a few times, and though I've always secretly wanted to sing, I've never had the nerves to just get up and do it. I don't know why I care so much because, I mean, more times than not people are just out there to have fun no matter what they sound like. Well, expect for those few professional singers that nail every note like there's an agent in the crowd; they'll make anyone thankful they decided not to sing.

But with all that said, I finally did it. To think, just last week you could have found me belting out a song from Eve-6 with my sister in-law. We were a mess, but we had the best time.

Speaking of simple pleasures, how does a peach and coconut tart sound? I know the flavors in this tart are pretty simple, but that's how I like it. I've been on a peach kick lately and pairing them with a coconut pastry cream is now one of my favorite ways to enjoy them. What I especially love about this tart is that each ingredient stands out in each bite.

I added brown butter to my crust, but if you don't want to, just add melted butter instead. Although, I really recommend going with the brown butter since it adds just a little extra nuttiness that pairs so well with the coconut. 

I hope this tart gives you some inspiration on how to use all those beautiful peaches before their season runs out. Oh, and I will warn you now that this crust is a little delicate, so just keep that in mind when you serve; but I mean who really cares about a dessert that can get a little messy, right? 


Coconut Cream Filling

filling adapted from Joy of Baking

1 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk

3 large egg yolks

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch, non gmo if possible

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

3/4 teaspoon natural coconut extract or paste- I used this one

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

pinch kosher salt

zest of half a lemon

2-3 ripe yellow peaches

2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

FOR THE CRUST

1 1/3 cup crush nilla wafers

1 stick unsalted butter

1/4 coconut toasted flakes

pinch salt

Equipment: 2 Sauce pans, whisk, fine mesh sieve, food processor, skillet, 1, 9.5 x 1 inch tart pan, micro plan zester


Method

Place the coconut milk into the saucepan and set over medium high heat. While the coconut milk is heating up add the egg yolks to a medium heat proof bowl along with the sugar, whisking until smooth.

Sift the cornstarch and flour into the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Make sure not let this mixture sit to too long before the next step;  Joy say's if you do bits of egg will form.

Once the coconut milk begins to steam, pour it into the egg yolk mix in a steady and slow stream while whisking with the other hand. Once all of the coconut milk has been whisked in, pour the coconut milk into a medium saucepan and while whisking constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat. 

Once the mixture begins to boil, let it cook for an additional 30-60 seconds, or until thick. Immediately remove from the pan from the heat and pour into a clean bowl. Mix the tablespoon of butter, 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 3/4 teaspoon coconut extract, whisking until combined. 

Cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap, making sure to press the plastic against the coconut cream to prevent a skin from forming. Place the bowl in the refridersator until completely chilled.

While the filling is cooling start making the crust by pulsing the vanilla wafers in food processor until finely ground.  *Alternatively, you can smash the cookies in a plastic bag until they achieve a very fine texture. Add the crushed cookies to a large bowl.

Place the stick of butter in a skillet (lightly colored if possible- this will help you see the browning of the butter) and set over medium heat. While stirring occasionally, let the butter melt completely. The butter will begin to foam, and spatter a bit, just keep stirring every now and then until the foam subsides. 

Keep a close eye on the butter as it will turn a golden brown color pretty quickly. Once it does, remove from heat immediately and pour into a separate container.

Measure out 1/3 cup of the brown butter and mix it into the ground wafers, along with the toasted coconut flakes, and a pinch of kosher salt. If the mixture feels a bit dry, go ahead and add a little extra brown butter.

Add the crust mixture to the pan, pressing firmly at the bottom, and pressing the crumbs up the sides. Place in the refrigerator immediately and let chill for about 45 minutes before adding the filling.

Assembly

About 15 minutes before you are ready to fill the crust, slice all of the peaches and add them to a large bowl. Gently toss the peaches with about 1 tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of sugar and let sit for 10- 15 minutes.

Remove the pastry cream from the refrigerator and fold in the zest of half a lemon, then add to the crust. Arrange the peach slices over the top of the tart, serve and enjoy!