Author Notes: Late winter brings to mind dreary rain, dirty snow, and a feeling of malaise. What could be better than being magically transported to a tropical oasis to get away from it all? This tart combines dates, shredded coconut, and orange zest in a coconut milk custard. (Ingredients I would find in my fantasy oasis!) I've used an almond crust, but if you have nut allergies I think a graham cracker crumb crust or a blind baked butter pastry crust would work almost as well.
Makes 11-inch tart
- 2 cups almonds
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375º F with rack in center position. Place almonds in work bowl of food processor. Pulse until almonds are in coarse crumbs, with no large pieces remaining. Add butter, sugar, and salt then pulse to combine. Mixture should start to clump together.
- Dump mixture into 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press into an even layer with your hands. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until just starting to brown. Remove from oven leaving tart pan on baking sheet.
Tropical Oasis Shoo-Fly Tart Filling
- 10 large Medjool dates, divided
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- zest from a medium orange
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into 4 pieces
- 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- Remove pits from dates. Slice 3 of the dates lengthwise into quarters, and set aside. Coarsely chop remaining dates and place in bowl of food processor.
- Add coconut, flour, orange zest, and salt to dates in food processor. Pulse several times to combine. Add butter. Pulse until fully incorporated and mixture is forming large clumps. Set aside.
- In medium bowl whisk sugar, coconut milk, egg, yolk, and vanilla until well combined and sugar has dissolved. Dissolve baking soda in boiling water, then slowly add to coconut milk mixture while whisking. Add about half of the coconut/date crumbles. Mix thoroughly to break up the clumps. Pour mixture into prepared tart shell.
- Scatter remaining coconut/date crumbles evenly onto tart filling. Use your fingers to break up any large clumps before adding to tart.
- Place in oven and reduce heat to 350º F. Bake for 15 minutes, then quickly arrange reserved date pieces around outer edge and rotate tart 180º. Bake an additional 8 to 10 minutes, until the tart filling has set. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- Remove ring from tart pan, using a thin knife blade to loosen any areas that are stuck. Slice into pieces, and serve as is or accompanied by a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream. Dream of a tropical oasis.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Late Winter Tart (Sweet or Savory)