Portuguese Coconut Custard TartsPhoto Credit : Photo by Adam Detour | Styling by Catrine Kelty | Pottery Courtesy of Portugalia Marketplace
By David Leite
My Aunt Exaltina has been making these Portuguese coconut custard tarts for as long as I can remember. But I’ve always wondered, are these delicacies creamy custards or eggy macaroons or a bit of both? For 35 years, no one’s been able to decide. Grab a spoon and judge for yourself.
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ cup plus ¾ cup milk
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¼ teaspoon lemon extract
Raspberry or cherry preserves, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375°. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with 11 paper cupcake liners.
In a small bowl, whisk the cornstarch into 1/4 cup milk. In a food processor, pulse the coconut flakes for 30 seconds. In a large bowl, stir the eggs and sugar together with a wooden spoon. One by one, add the cornstarch mixture, the remaining milk, the coconut, melted butter, and lemon extract, stirring well after each addition.
Ladle the custard into the paper cups, filling each 1/4 inch from the top. Make sure to stir the custard frequently to keep the coconut evenly distributed. You’ll be able to fill 10 to 11 liners. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the coconut is nicely toasted. Cool completely in the muffin tin before serving. Top with a spoonful of raspberry or cherry preserves.