Calling all coconut lovers! This almond joy tart is the creamy coconut dessert of your dreams!
Almond joy tart. . .Because sometimes you feel like a nut!
And sometimes you feel like consuming almond and coconut and chocolate in a fancier form than a candy bar.
OK I know you’re here for the recipe but I have to tell you about the best thing to happen to me all week.
I was at the store buying scotch yesterday morning, because Cheerios just aren’t the same if they aren’t floating in a sea of booze.
(I’m joking. The scotch was for a recipe not for my breakfast.)
And the checker asked for my ID! You guys, I got carded! It’s been, ahem, a few years since I turned 21 so I was so happy I thanked her profusely and practically floated out of the store, alcohol in hand, with the biggest, goofiest smile on my face. It was a wonderful day :).
But back to the tart. I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about candy—I lie in bed at night ranking my favorites; thinking of ways candy companies can improve the candy-eating experience; wondering if I should just return to my college diet of candy and Arizona iced tea for breakfast, despite the fact that I don’t have that 21-year-old’s metabolism these days.
So I thought I’d create an homage to one of my favorite candy bars—it’s probably number 5 on my list—the Almond Joy.
This almond joy tart starts with a pastry crust, made in the food processor because I detest cutting butter into pastry by hand. (Is this lazy or just efficient? Please say efficient.)
Then you brush melted milk chocolate over the baked crust before you fill it with a super creamy coconut pastry cream. (Not eating alllllll of the pastry cream with a spoon was a serious challenge and I’m very proud that I resisted. For the most part.)
Then you top the whole thing with whipped cream, more melted chocolate, toasted coconut, and almonds. The crunch of the almonds and flakiness of the crust are so perfect matched with the creamy pastry cream. It’s just everything for a texture lover like me.
While nothing could ever take candy’s place in my heart, this almond joy tart comes pretty close. If you’re looking for a grown-up way to get your candy fix, look no further. You’ve met your dream dessert!
As always, have a great week, everybody!
PS, did you know today is National Piña Colada Day? If you’re looking for a way to celebrate, check out my Piña Colada Cheesecake Cake!
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 1/4 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes*
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 cups whole milk, divided
- half of a vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
- small pinch coarse salt
- 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup heavy cream, well chilled
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup raw sliced almonds
- 4 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
- Whisk the egg yolks and cream together in a small bowl and set aside. Place the flour, butter, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture forms a coarse meal. With machine running, gradually add the cream-egg yolk mixture and process just until combined. (Over-processing will result in a tough crust and nobody wants that!)
- Turn dough out onto the counter and knead just to incorporate any small crumbs, so you have one cohesive mass. Pat dough out into a 1-inch-thick round and tightly wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Whisk together the egg yolks, 1/4 cup of the sugar, the cornstarch, and 1/2 cup of the milk. Set aside.
- Combine the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, the vanilla bean and seeds, and the salt in a medium saucepan. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Gradually add the hot milk mixture to the egg yolk mixture, whisking egg yolk mixture constantly. Set a fine mesh strainer over the saucepan and strain the mixture back into the saucepan. Discard the solids.
- Whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Make sure the custard boils for 10 seconds in the center of the pan—not just around the edges.
- Transfer the pastry cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat mixture on medium speed for 3 minutes to cool slightly. With mixer set to low, gradually add the butter, then add the coconut. Turn mixer back to medium and beat for 5 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the surface of the pastry cream. Refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours.
- Remove crust dough from the fridge and let sit at room temp for a few minutes, then roll out on a lightly floured work surface. You want the pastry to be about 12 inches in diameter and 1/8 of an inch thick. Carefully transfer the dough to a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. (I like to drape the dough over my rolling pin to do this without mangling it.)
- Press the dough into the edges of the pan and trim the dough so it comes a little above the edges of the pan. Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork. Refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the chilled tart shell with parchment paper, allowing the parchment to hang over the edges. Fill with pie weights and bake until the crust just starts to turn golden brown, 10 to 20 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and weights. Return the tart shell to the oven and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until the crust is golden all over. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- While shell is cooling, place the 1/2 cup of coconut on one large rimmed baking sheet and the sliced almonds on another. Spread both the coconut and almonds out into single layers. Toast in the oven until golden, about 5 minutes. (The coconut may take a few minutes more—watch it carefully because it burns fast. If it needs to stay in the oven more than 5 minutes, stir it with a spatula every minute or so.)
- Set coconut and almonds aside to cool.
- Once tart shell and pastry cream have both cooled completely, place the chopped milk chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Brush half of the melted chocolate all over the bottom of the tart shell. Refrigerate shell for 15 minutes to set the chocolate. Set remaining melted chocolate aside.
- Spread the pastry cream into an even layer in the tart shell. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- When ready to serve the tart, make the topping. Place the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until it forms soft peaks. Spread the whipped cream over the pastry cream.
- Re-melt the chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Drizzle the chocolate over the whipped cream using a fork or a squeeze bottle. Sprinkle the almonds around the edge of the tart and the toasted coconut on top. Serve.
*I like to take my butter out of the fridge, cut it into 1/2-inch cubes, then pop it in the freezer while I prep the rest of my ingredients.
**To break the work up over a couple of days, you can make the tart dough and pastry cream the day before. Bake the tart shell off the next morning, then assemble the tart once the shell is cool.
Tart adapted from The Sono Baking Company Cookbook
Crust adapted from Bon Appetit