This fresh, bright creamy lime coconut curd is baked inside of a toasted coconut pastry shell to make for a bright tropical tart. This Coconut Lime Tart is perfect any time of year.
This tart is an absolute sweet burst of sunshine! It starts with a toasted coconut tart crust (toasting the coconut adds another level of flavor) that is crisp and crumbly. Then, a lime curd is cooked with a bit of reduced coconut milk (it's reduced to bump up the flavor) to make for a perfectly sweet, tangy, and creamy filling.
While the tart is certainly delicious enough to eat on its own, it's amazing topped off with some fresh fruit such as mango, raspberries, and blackberries.
How to Make the Toasted Coconut Tart Shell
This tart shell is a take on this Pâte Sablée pastry, but with toasted coconut added in.
It's made easily in the food processor. The pastry is quite soft after it is made, so it needs to chill for 30 minutes before you can easily roll it out.
Once it's chilled, it can be rolled out and blind baked. It needs to be blind-baked because the filling is mostly cooked on the stove, and just goes into the oven for a brief 15-minute bake to set up the coconut lime curd. Blind baking ensures a crisp crust.
How to Toast Coconut
There are a few ways to toast coconut. You can do it in a heavy-bottomed pan on the stove. You can bake it in the oven, or you can broil it.
The "safest" method is to bake it in the oven. But be careful, coconut can go from being toasted to burnt in a matter of seconds. So keep a close eye on it.
Directions for Toasting Coconut in the Oven:
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF and place a rack in the upper part of the oven.
- Place shredded coconut on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake in the upper rack of the oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring the coconut every 5 minutes, or until toasted.
- Set aside to cool.
I tested this recipe with a Graham Cracker Crumb Crust too, just to see how it turned out. It works fine if you want to skip the step of making the pastry shell.
Making the Coconut Lime Curd
The filling for this tart is a cross between curd and a custard. First, it starts off with coconut cream.
Coconut cream is the opaque milky thick part that rises to the top of a can of full-fat chilled coconut milk. It is comparable to the difference between dairy cream and milk. You can also buy it separately in a can labeled as coconut cream.
The recipe calls for 2-¼ cups coconut cream, and it will likely take you at least two (14 ounce) cans of full-fat coconut milk to get it. Make sure they are chilled when you open them so that the cream can separate from the clear liquid in the coconut milk can. If the can is warm, there won't be any separation and you won't be able to get just to coconut cream.
The coconut cream needs to be reduced on the stove for about five minutes. This deepens the coconut flavor of the pie without watering the filling down. After five minutes, it should reduce down to about 2 cups of coconut cream.
After it has been reduced, the warm coconut cream is used to temper the egg yolk and sugar mixture. And then, the whole mixture is combined and cooked on the stove until it is thick.
Once it's thickened, strain it through a strainer just in case you have any bits of cooked egg (though it's unlikely) and whisk in some butter and a lot of lime zest. The lime zest is really where a lot of the lime flavor is found.
Then, the filling is baked for about 10-15 minutes until the filling is completely set.
Decorating the Tart
While this tart is perfectly fine to be served without any adornment, adding on some fresh fruit is a fabulous addition. The fruit not only makes the tart quite beautiful, but it tastes amazing, too.
You can get as creative as you want. Fresh berries and mango are a great option, with some fresh mint leaves for a pop of color. I also recommend sprinkling on some untoasted shredded coconut. This gives another level of coconut flavor.
A second alternative for decorating the tart would be to pipe on some meringue! This is another ideal choice since you will already have leftover egg whites from this recipe. Check out this Swiss Meringue recipe that would be perfect on top of this.
How to Store It
This pie is best consumed within 1-2 days after being made. Do not add any berries until just before serving.
It should be stored in the in the refrigerator and served chilled.
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