During the holidays, from Thanksgiving to Twelfth Night, our table is filled with friends and good food. It’s a resolute celebration of love and good will. There’s mulled wine and wassail, but we want for something decidedly special for dessert, and these little Coconut and Roasted Pear Tartlets are just that. Better yet? They’re dairy-free and egg-free so those with sensitive tummies can still indulge.
The assertive spice of cinnamon and nutmeg marry well with the soft, round sweetness of coconut in these tartlets, as they do in coquito - a traditional Puerto Rican holiday drink that blends coconut cream, condensed milk, sweet spices and rum.
How to Make Coconut and Roasted Pear Tartlets
These tarts rely on four separate components including a hazelnut and ginger crust, a coconut custard, roasted pears and other toppings like candied ginger, hazelnuts and sugared cranberries. While each component is uncomplicated and easy to make, you must assemble them together, so plan for a little extra time in the kitchen. The crust is made with nuts, whole grains, coconut oil and a touch of sea salt and maple syrup. And, unlike a regular pie crust that is rolled out, you’ll want to press this into your tart pans. It’s this variety of nuts and whole grains that gives the tart crust a marvelous rich and crunchy texture, with flavors that blend beautiful with the coconut custard.
We make the coconut custard with So Delicious Coconutmilk Nog - which offers a beautiful balance of sweetness, coconut and spice. Irish moss, a mineral-rich mild-flavored sea vegetable sets the custard into a beautiful soft gel.
Lastly, you finish the tartlets with candied ginger, chopped hazelnuts or sugared cranberries as you like.
Where to Find Coconutmilk Holiday Nog
Reminiscent of classic holiday egg nog or coquito, So Delicious’ Coconutmilk Nog blends coconut cream with nutmeg and the lightest hint of sweetness - making a really lovely custard that doesn’t need any additional sugar. You can find it in the dairy case of many natural foods markets.
Coconut and Roasted Pear Tartlets
For the Crust
For the Custard
For the Pears
- 3 pears peeled, cored and cut into ¼-inch slices
- 2 tablespoons dark maple syrup
- !To Top the Tarts
- Sugared Cranberries
- Candied Ginger
- Chopped Hazelnuts
- 4 5-inch Tartlet Pans
- Heat the oven to 350 F. Add 1 ¼ cups hazelnuts and the oats to a food processor, and process until they forms a coarse meal. Add the remaining ingredients for the crust to the food processor, and process until the dough begins to clump - about 30 seconds. Press the dough into four 5-inch tart pans. Prick the crust with the tines of a fork, and bake for twenty minutes or until and set. Transfer the tarts to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely before filling.
- Pour all the ingredients for the custard into a saucepan set over medium heat, and then whisk them vigorously together until the Irish moss fully dissolves. Pour the custard into the tart crusts, and transfer them to the fridge to allow them to set at least four hours and up to one day.
- Once the custard has set, heat the oven to 400F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Arrange the pears on the baking sheet, and drizzle them with two tablespoons maple syrup. Bake them for twenty-five minutes, until tender and fragrant. Allow them to cool to room temperature.
- Assemble the tarts by arranging the pears on top of the custard, and decorate them with candied ginger, sugared cranberries and chopped hazelnuts as you like it. Serve the tartlets within a day.
What is Irish moss and why does it work so well in custard?
Irish moss is a seaweed, and a traditional food in Ireland where it was used in desserts like puddings and custards. It has a remarkable ability to help foods gel. Unlike gelatin which gives food a hard and bouncy set, Irish moss has a softer gel and a more gentle set, making it particularly good for custard.
While Irish moss smells of the sea, owing to its rich array of minerals, its taste is mild and not noticeable when paired with other more assertive flavors like maple, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Like other seaweeds, Irish moss is rich in minerals, particularly iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and, of course, iodine. Iodine is critical for thyroid health, as well as metabolic, bone and nervous system health. It is also a good source of both folate and the B vitamin riboflavin.
Our Other Favorite Coconut Milk Recipes
Coconut milk and coconut cream make for marvelous desserts. Their creaminess and natural, subtle sweetness pairs well with robust flavors like sweet spices, citrus and tropical fruits.
Chai Coconut Ice Cream offers a beautiful blend of spices .
Honey Coconut and Blood Orange Panna Cottas blend bright notes of citrus with creamy coconut.
Coconut Mango Popsicles are easy to make and a fun treat for kids.