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Hi Bold Bakers!
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: Each bite of this scrumptious Creamy Coconut Custard Tart is creamy and fluffy, velvety and rich, crumbly yet tender and buttery. It’s served cold but the tropical and nutty aroma from coconut elevate it to the star of the dessert regardless of the season.
This Creamy Coconut Custard Tart With Pâte Sucrée has become hands-down one of my favorites because it has everything you would want from a big and bold dessert. Different textures, various depths of flavors and beautiful color contrast from the lightly-sweet Pâte Sucrée, the coconut-infused custard filling and freshly whipped cream.
What’s even better? This luscious Coconut Custard Tart takes only half an hour to put together for the oven. And if you have my Pâte Sucrée in the freezer, you can totally save yourself from the baking stress!
Table Of Contents
- What Is Coconut Custard Tart?
- What Is The Difference Between Coconut Custard Tart and Coconut Cream Pie?
- Tools You Need To Make Coconut Custard Tart
- Ingredients You Need To Make Coconut Custard Tart
- How To Make Coconut Custard Tart
- Can I Make Coconut Custard Tart In Advance?
- How To Store Coconut Custard Tart
- Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips
- More Fruit Tart Recipes
What Is Coconut Custard Tart?
Coconut Custard Tart is a type of sweet pastry consisting of a crumbly, sweet, and buttery tart crust (called Pâte Sucrée) filled with a delicate and creamy coconut egg-based custard filling. To be able to hold all of the custard fillings and ensure a non-soggy crust bottom, tart crusts are typically blind-baked or pre-baked before pouring in the filling.
The exact origin of Coconut Custard Tarts is unknown, but they are a very popular dessert in Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia. This treat is typically sold through street vendors and bakeries, topped with whipped cream, coconut flakes, or fruit.
What Is The Difference Between Coconut Custard Tart and Coconut Cream Pie?
Both Coconut Custard Tart and Coconut Cream Pie
- have sweet creamy egg-based fillings,
- use toasted coconut for a richer flavor and more distinctive color contrast,
They differ in nature, ingredients, tastes, textures and techniques:
- Coconut Custard Tart is a BAKED dessert.
- Coconut Cream Pie is a NO-BAKE dessert with its filling cooked on the stove top then setting in the fridge.
Ingredients, taste and texture:
- Coconut Custard Tart has a higher ratio of eggs to the total amount of milk and cream hence sets firmer and tastes richer. It’s also sweeter than Coconut cream pie from the extra amount of sugar.
- Coconut Cream Pie has more milk and cream than eggs hence sets softer and even velvetier and tastes lighter and less sweet.
- Coconut Custard Tart‘s filling contain higher percentage of eggs to thicken up during baking. No need to cook the custard on the stove beforehand.
- Coconut Cream Pie‘s filling has more liquid than eggs so needs to be cooked on the stove top to thicken up then set in the fridge without baking. Flour or cornstarch is used as a thickener.
- Crusts: though traditionally, a Coconut Custard Tart uses a shortcrust pastry while a Coconut Cream Pie uses a cookie crust. They’re interchangeable with different results.
Tools You Need To Make Coconut Custard Tart:
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Rolling pin
- 9 ½-inch (24 cm) tart pan
- Small knife
- Aluminum foil
- Pie weights (alternatively, dried beans or sugar)
- Parchment paper
- Baking sheets
- Silicone spatulas
- Medium-sized mixing bowl
Ingredients You Need To Make Coconut Custard Tart:
- Pate Sucree: Pate Sucree is a sweet shortcrust pastry for your tart. Make your own from scratch using my Pâte Sucrée Recipe, use a store-bought version, or substitute it with my Homemade Pâte Brisée !
- Coconut: You can’t have Coconut Custard Tart without coconut! For the best results, use sweetened shredded coconut flakes. Make sure to toast them to bring out the nutty flavor and crisp texture.
- Use large, room-temperature eggs for this tart.
- Eggs provide emulsifier from egg yolks for binding your filling ingredients together while egg whites also making your tart extra smooth and creamy.
- Granulated sugar: Also known as white sugar, granulated sugar is the perfect ingredient for sweetening your tart.
- Whole milk: I like to use full-fat milk in my recipes for its extra-rich flavor and creamy consistency. It will make your tart filling rich and smooth.
- Heavy cream:
- Heavy cream, or heavy whipping cream, will boost the creamy textures of your filling, stabilize your filling from curdling, and add richness to your tart.
- Be sure that your heavy cream is no less than 30% fat.
- Vanilla extract: Vanilla extract elevates flavor and sweetness in your desserts. Make Homemade Vanilla Extract from scratch!
- Salt: A pinch of salt will enhance your tart’s flavor by balancing out the sweetness.
- Nutmeg: Nutmeg is a warm, nutty spice perfect for making your Coconut Custard Tart more aromatic and complementing the toasted coconut flavor!
How To Make Coconut Custard Tart
Pre-bake the Pate Sucree:
- Preheat the oven.
- To transfer a floured rolled-out Pâte Sucrée without any breakage, roll it onto your rolling pin. Then carry your rolling pin over the lightly buttered panned lay the curst into the pan. Trim away any excess.
- DO NOT put pie weights directly onto your crust! Lightly butter a piece of aluminum foil large enough to cover the bottom and sides of the crust and place the foil, buttered side down, onto the crust.
- Bake with pie weights for about 30 minutes or until the dough looks matte instead of wet. Continue baking without the foil and pie weights for another 5-10 minutes or until the bottom of the crust looks dry. Set aside.
Make the Custard Filling:
- Toasting coconut will enhance the nutty flavor, add texture and color contrast. Toast coconut at a lower temperature than baking the crust, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until the flakes are light golden brown.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until blended. Then, stir in the milk, cream, vanilla extract, salt, and nutmeg. Finally, fold in the toasted coconut flakes into this custard mixture.
- Check for cracks before adding the filling to the Pate Sucree, If there are any, smear a bit of the reserved crust scraps into the cracks to seal them.
Bake the Tart:
- Bake the assembled tart in the pan on a tray until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cover the pastry with foil if it starts to get too brown.
- Make sure the tart cools to room temperature before chilling in the refrigerator to set.
Serve with a big dollop of whipped cream.
Can I Make Coconut Custard Tart Ahead Of Time?
Yes! You can make both the Pate sucree and custard filling in advance:
- Pate sucree: You can blind-bake your crust up to 3 days in advance. Let your crust cool completely before wrapping it in plastic wrap or a Ziplock bag and storing it at room temperature.
- Custard Filling: Feel free to make your filling up to 24 hours in advance. Cover it in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
How To Store Coconut Custard Tart
- Room temperature: If you have leftover Coconut Custard Tart, it can be left at room temperature for a few hours, but it should ideally be refrigerated.
- Refrigerator & Freezer: Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days and in the freezer for up to 3 months. To defrost, let your tart thaw in the refrigerator overnight or for up to 24 hours.
Are tarts and pie the same thing?
Tarts and pies are similar because they both have a pastry crust and filling, but some differences set them apart:
- Crust: Tarts typically use a sweet crumbly shortcrust pastry and have straight sides, whereas pies have a thicker, flakier crust and slope over the sides of the pie pan.
- Filling: Tart fillings are more delicate, smooth, creamy, and light. Examples include custards and creams. Pie fillings tend to be heartier and thick, incorporating fruit, custard, meats, and vegetables. Cream pies can be an exception.
- Serving sizes: Tarts are more known for being single-serve tartlets, but they can also be in bigger portions to slice such as in tart pies. Pies are generally known for being bigger and sliceable, although there are mini pies.
Can I use pie crust instead of Pate sucree?
While I suggest using Pate sucree, as it is a sweet shortcrust pastry traditionally used in tarts, feel free to use pie crust instead.
I recommend making my homemade Pate brisee for the most flaky and tender pie crust or store-bought if you’re in a pinch. Make sure the crust is good quality.
Can I use unsweetened shredded coconut? How do I sweeten unsweetened coconut?
This recipe calls for sweetened shredded coconut because it adds more sweetness and flavor to your filling. However, if you only have unsweetened shredded coconut on hand, no worries!
Simply place your coconut flakes, about a pound or so, in a Ziplock bag with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar. Shake the bag, making sure to coat all the flakes, and it’s ready to use in your filling!
Can I replace the whole milk?
Whole milk is important for adding richness and creaminess to your Coconut Custard Tart. However, if you would like to substitute it, feel free to use coconut milk, almond milk, or soy milk.
How do I know if my tart is done?
After baking for 40 to 50 minutes, your tart should be done. However, if you want to double-check, try the following:
- Knife: Insert a knife into the center. If it comes out clean, it’s done!
- Shake test: If you don’t want to puncture a hole in your filling, you can also test if your tart is done by shaking the tart pan gently. If there’s a slight jiggle, then it’s done.
How do I prevent the filling from overflowing?
There’s nothing worse than an overflowing tart. To prevent any filling mishaps, try these tips:
- Leave some space: Leave a bit of space at the top of the filling to allow your tart to expand.
- Cover with foil: Covering your tart is a great way to prevent further browning of your crust as well as keep all of your filling inside the tart.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips:
- This recipe calls for blind baking your tart crust. It’s easy and very simple! Check out my guide of How To Blind Bake A Pie Crust for more information.
- Toasting the coconut enhances the flavor and gives a little more texture to your tart.
- If the crust starts to get too dark during baking, cover the edges with foil.
- The custard filling can be made up to 24 hours in advance and kept in the fridge.
- Pate brisse is a lovely pastry that is perfect for this type of delicate tart. Make Homemade Pate Brisse!
- Serve this tart with my Homemade Whipped Cream, toasted coconut flakes, or fresh fruit.
Looking For More Tart Recipes? Check Out:
- Elegant Pear & Frangipane Tart
- Gemma’s “The Whole Lemon” Tart Recipe
- Chocolate and Raspberry Panna Cotta Tart
- Quick & Simple Summer Fruit Tart
- Gluten-Free Cherry and Almond Tart
And don’t miss more everyday baking recipes in my NEW Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook!
Coconut Custard Tart
Pre-bake the Crust
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- On a floured surface, roll out the Pate sucreé in a circle ¼-inch (6mm) thick and line a 9 ½-inch (24 cm) fluted tart pan with a removable bottom with it. Trim away any excess and set the scraps aside.
- Lightly butter a piece of aluminum foil large enough to cover the bottom and sides of the crust and place the foil, buttered side down, onto the crust.
- Fill with pie weights (or dried beans or sugar) and bake for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights and continue baking until the bottom of the crust looks dry (5-10 more minutes). Set aside.
Make the Filling
- Lower the oven to 325°F (165°C) and place the shredded coconut on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake, stirring frequently to prevent burning, for 5-10 minutes, until the flakes are light golden brown. Set aside and raise the oven temperature back to 350°F (180°C).
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until blended. Then stir in the milk, cream, vanilla extract, salt and nutmeg. Finally fold in the toasted coconut flakes.
- Before adding the filling to the crust, check for cracks. If there are any, smear a bit of the reserved crust scraps into the cracks to seal them.
- Pour the filling into the crust, place on a baking sheet and bake for 40-50 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cover the pastry with foil if it starts to get too brown.
- Let cool at room temperature for 1 hour, then transfer to the refrigerator to let set and fully chill, about 4 hours, before serving.
- Serve with a big dollop of whipped cream! Cover and store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.