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Coconut Cream Tarts with Macadamia Nut Crusts

Yield Makes 1 dozen
The crisp, sturdy crust perfectly complements the creamy custard in these stellar tarts.


  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flaked coconut, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cold butter or margarine, cut up
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

How to Make It

  1. Combine 1/3 cup all-purpose flour and3/4 cup sugar, stirring well; stir in eggs.

  2. Cook milk in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until hot. Gradually stir about one-fourth of hot milk into egg mixture; add to remaining hot milk, stirring constantly. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, 5 to 6 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and 1 cup coconut. Cover and chill 3 hours.

  3. Bake remaining 1/2 cup coconut in a shallow pan at 350°, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes or until toasted; set aside.

  4. Pulse 2 1/2 cups flour and butter in a food processor until crumbly. Add 2 tablespoons water, and pulse 30 seconds or until dough forms a ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface; knead in nuts.

  5. Divide dough into 12 equal portions; press each portion into a (3- to 4-inch) tart pan. Prick bottoms with a fork, and place on a 15- x 10-inch jellyroll pan. Cover and freeze 30 minutes.

  6. Bake on jellyroll pan at 375° for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden. Cool in tart pans 5 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on a wire rack.

  7. Spoon coconut mixture into tart shells.

  8. Beat whipping cream and 3 tablespoons sugar until soft peaks form; dollop or pipe onto tarts. Sprinkle with toasted coconut; chill.