This is the story of the Tart that was almost not meant to be. It certainly cost me a few more gray hairs, that's for sure. I wanted to make this Coconut Custard Tart for our 18th wedding anniversary since my husband loves desserts with coconut (hence the Perfect Party Cake he chose for his birthday). I picked this dessert out of Dorie Greenspan's book; Baking: From My Home to Yours since none of her recipes have disappointed me so far. Plus, when I saw sweet tart crust filled with a smooth coconut studded pastry cream and topped with a rum infused whipped cream I was pretty much in love.
The day started out well and I was cruising along with my sweet tart dough. It's practically flour, powdered sugar, butter and one egg yolk, pulsed in a food processor until it all comes together. The dough is then pressed into a tart pan with a removable bottom, which is then put in the freezer for a bit before baking. Once my dough went into the freezer I started on the custard. It is pretty much a standard custard with milk, egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch with the only exception being a pinch of coriander. The mix gets cooked until thick, then you add butter, dark rum and vanilla. Toasted coconut gets folded in and the custard gets chilled until ready for filling.
This is when my perfect baking process started to go awry. I put the pastry lined tart pan in the oven and set my timer for 25 minutes. I guess I had forgotten to press start after I had set my timer and didn't realize my mistake until I smelled something burning. Yes, you guessed it, the sweet tart dough was a loss.
Since I was determined to make my husband this dessert I set out to re-make my tart crust. Everything came together perfect, just like the first time. This time though I didn't mess up my timer and the crust was baked to perfection. I took it out and set it on a rack to cool. After about half an hour when I returned to un-mold the crust, the sides came out off the tart pan great but when I tried to slide it off the removable bottom tray the whole crust crumbled apart on me. There was no saving this one. At this point I was ready to just call it a day and admit defeat when my middle child told me that I could get it done and "3rd times a charm".
So for the third time in one day I made the sweet tart dough. From now on I can most certainly bake this tart dough in my sleep. Finally I had reached success. Everything came together at last. The crust was beautiful, the filling delicious and the topping of whipped cream along with a little more rum, vanilla and powdered sugar plus more toasted coconut turned this into anything but your grandma's coconut cream pie. Success after all and at least my husband is certainly worth the effort after 18 years. Happy Anniversary Honey!!!