It was summer when I bookmarked the recipe that inspired my Orange Coconut Tart. I figured I would try it when the oranges came in this winter.
My version is simpler to make than the original and uses a coconut “custard” instead of vanilla. Paired with sliced oranges, the coconut had a tropical feeling that almost transported us away from winter! (See recipe notes for a vanilla “custard” substitution)
This tart comes together in three simple steps (some of which can be done ahead) so is easy enough to do before a busy brunch!
I started with a store bought refrigerated crust, which I pre-baked in a tart pan. For a vegan version, you could substitute your favorite vegan crust, since there are no animal products in the rest of the dessert.
Next I cooked up the coconut cream bottom layer which has only three ingredients–a can of coconut milk, some cornstarch and a mere 1/3 cup of sugar! (Misc food fact–did you know that the ratios of cornstarch as a thickener are 1 T cornstarch/1c liquid for a thinner sauce, 2T/1 c for a thicker gravy, 3T/1 c for a thick pudding-like end product?). After cooling the crust and custard, I spooned the custard into the crust.
Finally I prepared the oranges. Instead of peeling, I used a knife to cut off the outer layer to avoid any bitter pith. I sliced them and placed them over the “custard” and topped with warm diluted jelly. The original called for apple jelly but I didn’t want to run to the store, so used the violet jelly I canned last May. Yes, purple jelly on an orange tart and it looks fine–life is a wonder!
The only complaint I have is that an uncooked orange isn’t “fork tender” so this needs to be served with a fork and butter knife. But once in your mouth each bite dissolves into a flavorful burst of summer. Perfect for a seriously wintery winter!
- 1 pie crust
- 1 can coconut milk (14.5 oz)
- 1/3 c sugar
- 5 T cornstarch
- 4 oranges
- 4 T jelly
- 2-3 t Cointreau or water to dilute
- garnish of your choice, optional (I used about 1 T flaked sweetened coconut and a few baby mint leaves)
- Buy or prepare pie dough of your choice. Roll out to about 13 inches, then transfer to 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Gently press dough onto bottom and side of pan and trim up sides as needed. With fork, pierce dough all over. Line tart shell with foil and fill with pie weights or dry beans. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Remove foil and weights. Bake crust another 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Cover rim with foil if browning too quickly. Cool in pan on wire rack.
- While crust cools, whisk cornstarch into 1/2 cup of the coconut milk. Add to remaining milk and sugar and bring to a simmer on medium. Cook mixture on medium 5-10 minutes until very thick, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Transfer mixture to small bowl. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cool, about 45 minutes. (Can be refrigerated up to 1 day; remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before using.)
- With sharp paring knife, cut peel and white pith from oranges. Thinly slice crosswise. Spread pastry cream evenly in cooled tart shell. Arrange orange slices in one layer on pastry cream, overlapping slightly. Can be refrigerated, covered, up to 2 hours.
- To serve, in 1-quart saucepan, combine jelly and Cointreau or water. Heat on medium until melted, whisking. Brush fruit with jelly.
- Garnish as desired.
- If you don't like coconut, you can substitute dairy, almond or soy milk with a teaspoon of vanilla.
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