I am such a temptress. I plead with Mr. Spinach TIger not to eat sugar and to watch his weight. He is not a fat guy, but he has a goal to break a certain weight, and he’s even been going to extremes to get there. He is the only guy in my Sunday zumba class. If you’ve never done zumba, it’s a lot of sexy shaking in hip hop and latin style, and since we go to the more urban flavored class, it’s shaking that leaves nothing to the imagination. And, while he dances like a white guy from Nashville with country roots, because he is a white guy from Nashville with country roots. I have to give him props for following the dance steps. And, what do I do to reward his efforts? I tempt him with a dessert that I baked for his mother. But I tell you this is so good that even Rachel Zoe would put her coffee cup down and take a real woman bite and then another. And, if you are in a biggest loser contest, leave one of these at the door of your competition. No one can resist the buttery coconut shortbread crust, the creamy center and toasted almond coconut topping.
I was inspired by the legendary almond tart from Chez Panisse. I’ve made it countless times, (I know the recipe by heart), yet I always thought there was more I could do with it. Coconut goes so well with almonds and the texture was improved by also adding coconut to the pastry. And, to take the “easter egg” theme even further, one could incorporate chocolate as I did in the egg shaped tart.
It’s clear to me and now to you, I am in love with coconut desserts. Even our wedding cake was coconut. We use coconut for all holiday occasions, so please be sure to check out some of my favorite coconut recipes below. And, by the way, they all winners. Not just nice desserts, but extraordinarily good.
Coconut Almond Tart
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter chilled and cut into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon almond extract or 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon cold water you might not need
Tart Filling Ingredients
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon orange liquor
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup loosely packed coconut
Shortbread Crust Instructions
- Mix flour, sugar, salt in food processor. Add butter. Mix until pastry dough is formed.
- Chill for a 30 minutes. Press into tart pan. Pierce with fork in several places.
- Bake at 425 for 8 minutes. Bake at 400 for 4 more minutes.
- Heat cream and sugar on medium heat until sugar dissolves and milk is transparent
- Add almond extract, orange liquor, almonds and coconut. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Pour into pie shell. Bake for 25 minutes.
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