Macadamia Tartlets with Coconut Cookie Crust
This elegant dessert is a tropical mélange of crunchy macadamia nuts with flavorful turbinado-caramel cream nestled in a crisp coconut cookie crust.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened flake coconut (found at health food and international stores)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/4 cups turbinado (raw) sugar, divided use
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups unsalted macadamia nut pieces
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature
- In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process flour, coconut and salt until coconut is finely grated. Empty into small bowl. In food processor, pulse butter with 1/4 cup sugar about 15 times or until sugar disappears. Add flour mixture and pulse about 15 times or until butter is no larger than small peas. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the beaten egg to mixture and pulse just until incorporated, about 8 times. (Discard remaining egg or save for another use.) Dough will stil be in crumbly pieces.
- Empty dough into a plastic bag and press just until dough holds together. Remove dough and place on a very large piece of plastic wrap. Using plastic wrap, knead dough a few times until it becomes one smooth piece. Flatten dough, wrap well and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or freeze for 10 minutes until firm enough to handle.
- Divide dough into 8 pieces and press each piece evenly into a 4-inch tartlet pan (preferably nonstick). Cover tightly and freeze for at least 30 minutes, or refrigerate for several hours.
- Place oven rack at lowest level and place a baking stone or baking sheet on rack before preheating. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C) at least 20 minutes before baking.
- Bake tartlet shells on baking stone for 5 minutes. If centers puff during baking, press lightly with fingertips. Lower temperature to 350°F (175°C) and continue baking 1 to 5 minutes or until pale golden in color. Set aside to cool. (Leave oven on.)
- Place nuts on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Cool.
- In a medium saucepan, stir together remaining 1 cup sugar, corn syrup and water until sugar is moistened. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Stop stirring and cook until syrup is deep amber and registers at 360°F (180°C) on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat at once. Carefully pour in cream. When liquid stops fizzling, return pan to heat and simmer for about 2 minutes on low, stirring constantly to dissolve any hardened syrup. Stir in nuts and simmer without stirring for 3 minutes, swirling pan occasionally. Pour into a heat-proof bowl to stop the cooking process. Avoid stirring to prevent any graininess.
- Arrange baked shells, still in their pans, at least 1-inch apart on cookie sheet. Spoon nut mixture into them, filling not quite to the top to allow for bubbling. (Save any leftover mixture for another use, such as spooning over ice cream.) Bake tartlets 10 minutes or until surface of filling is covered with bubbles. Remove tartlets from oven, place on rack and allow to cool completely before unmolding. (If tarts stick, use a wire cake tester or a toothpick to release any areas that might be sticking.)
Makes 8 tartlets.
Recipe courtesy of Sugar In The Raw.