Mr.CBB’s Toasted Coconut Custard Tarts

easy toasted coconut custard tarts-1


Since today is Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday as we call it in the UK I think this coconut custard tart would be a nice sweet treat to finish off any meal or brunch.

It’s a simple coconut custard tart to make and it looks very posh on any dessert table.

When I made the custard for this recipe I created it a bit different from the custard I used in my trifle which was a full-fat cream custard. It really does taste like a coconut cream pie tart which I really enjoyed.

Easy Custard Recipe

This custard is made with 2% evaporated milk and worked out better than I had expected. I’m not sure if it will work with the 1% or fat-free evaporated milk but you could always give it a try, right?

I might even try to make a coconut custard recipe with coconut milk to jazz up the flavour or use one can of evaporated milk and one can of coconut milk.

If at first you don’t succeed, try again, that’s what the kitchen is for, experimenting.

You will find this custard isn’t as rich as traditional English custard nor as thick but it works just as well and for a fraction of the cost. The texture to me was like a thicker coconut custard pudding.

Typically a can of evaporated milk will run about $1.99 and when on sale you can pick it up for $1.00 or $1.28 in Ontario. We had $1.00 off coupons so we picked up about 10 or so cans.

I thought why not if it’s almost free and I can use it in my tea and coffee as well. Whipping cream can cost a fortune unless you find it on sale. I noticed 1 litre of whipping cream for $6.99 at Metro last week.

Making Coconut Custard

It was my friend Beth that mentioned to me that I could try using the evaporated milk instead of using heavy whipping cream.

I did a straight substitute for heavy cream and evaporated milk. I toasted my coconut on a baking sheet at 250 degrees for about 5 minutes. You have to watch it with an eagle eye or you can burn your coconut very fast.

I let the coconut cool while I made the creamy custard and added just a bit of the toasted coconut into the custard for texture. You don’t have to do this if you don’t want.

You can easily stick with topping the custard tart with toasted coconut or even chocolate shavings if you are not a fan of coconut.

I used 250ml  of heavy whipping cream in my kitchen-aid stand mixer to whip up a homemade cream for the topping which I added in 1 tbsp of pure vanilla and 2 tbsps of sugar, not much at all for flavour.

If you want to keep your whipped topping sugar-free simply leave out the sugar.

Cooling Toasted Coconut Custard

Once the custard was done I placed it in a glass bowl and topped it with parchment paper so that it could cool down and not create a skin on top. I let the custard cool down for about one hour in the refrigerator.

Tart Shells

The tart shells for this particular recipe were made of 2 pie shells. With pie crusts you may find some combine more flour, water, sugar, vinegar, butter or lard than others which may make it flakey, buttery, richer in taste. I’ve tried others successfully but always go back to what I was taught.

Aunt B has a great alternative which is a coffee based crust which she used for her eggnog latte tartlettes which would also go well with this recipe.

I simply cut out circles with a tuna fish can that I opened up both sides with and placed them into a non-stick large muffin tin. The size of this tart is similar to a butter tart.

If you have a tartlette pan you can use that as well which would make them a bit smaller. I just used what I had on hand. If you have a round pastry cutter you can use that as well or simply free-style cut it as it doesn’t have to be perfect. These are a rustic custard tart.

I baked them off until they were golden brown, took them out and let sit until they were cool. They do puff up in the oven and they did shrink down a bit so next time I will over lap them higher if I can but they still turned out perfect.

How To Make Pie Crusts

Ingredients- Makes 2 pie crusts 

  • 2. 5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) of cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch bits
  • 1/3 cup ice-cold water (may need to adjust)

Pie Shell Preparation

  • In a food processor add your flour, sugar, salt and butter and pulse until it resembles little coarse bits the size of  kidney beans. If you don’t have a processor simply rub the butter with your fingers into the flour with clean hands or use 2 knives to cut in the butter or mix with a pastry cutter.
  • Add just a bit of water and pulse again quickly as you don’t want to over mix your dough in the processor or mix with your hands in the bowl until the flour all comes together and away from the bowl. If you find the dough too crumbly just add a tablespoon at a time of cold water until it comes together without over handling the dough. If you do this you will have a tough dough to work with.
  • Divide your dough into 2, flatten on worktop then wrap in plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes
  • Remove from plastic wrap and put onto a floured surface
  • Roll out the dough into about a 12 inch circle (this does not have to be perfect as you won’t be using it as a pie)
  • Using your tuna can or round pastry cutter cut out a round disk and sit it into your muffin or tart tin
  • Any leftover dough gently roll on floured surface and cut out more round. You can easily use a knife and cut the rounds as well.
  • I crimped my dough around the muffin tin to give it a bit more texture and thickness
  • Poke the bottom of the tart and around the sides with a fork a few times
  • Cover the tarts with a layer or tinfoil, just lay it on top and gently seal so it doesn’t fly off in the oven
  • Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 10- 15 minutes depending on your oven. (watch carefully so that they don’t burn)
  • Remove the foil and bake a further 3-5 minutes until golden brown, Keep an eye on them.
  • Depending on the size of your muffin tins and how much custard you made you may end up with extra shells or custard

How To Make Toasted Coconut Custard Tarts

Custard Ingredients

  • 2 cans of 2% evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1.5  tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 2 oz granulated sugar whirled in the food processor to make it super fine
  • For the preparation I simply used Delia Smith’s custard recipe from the English Custard Trifle I made BUT I used 2 cans of Evaporated Milk instead and added in a touch more cornstarch which is reflected in the ingredients for the custard above. Each can of evaporated milk has 370 ml. Once the custard thickened up I added in 3/4 cup of toasted coconut and mixed it together. If you want more coconut, add more! Remove from heat and pour into glass bowl and cover with parchment paper. (See picture above)

How To Make Toasted Coconut

In an oven at 250 degrees add 1 pkg or approximately 2 cups of sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut to a baking sheet.

Bake in the oven until golden brown, about 5 minutes. I mix it with a wooden spoon half way through toasting. It should take about 5 minutes to cook. Let cool.

Filling The Coconut Custard Tarts

  • Chill the tart shells then fill with the chilled coconut custard cream
  • Top with homemade vanilla whipped cream and sprinkle with more toasted coconut
  • Enjoy!!

I hope you enjoy these toasted coconut custard tarts and if you have any left you can store them in your freezer for up to 6 months if they last that long.



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  1. This looks good!!! I wonder what other flavours I could use besides coconut??? I’ll have to think about it!! I remember my FIL used to use evaporated milk in his coffee all the time….

    1. That’s why I picked it up for 0.28 so I could use it in my coffee and tea. Why not when it was that cheap. You can leave out the coconut, add chocolate if you like or just keep it as vanilla custard. Have a great day!

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