These coconut tartlets are the cutest things on the Christmas sweets platters. Made with shortcrust pastry as a base and sweet coconut filling these are easy and fun to make.
We East-Indians love our coconut tartlets and those that take the trouble to make them flaunt them very proudly on the Christmas platter.
The recipe does have a few extra steps but it’s well worth the effort when you give someone a cousvar with colorful tartlets. As kids, this was one sweet I’d pick out first. Ain’t nothing like sweet-flavored coconut. A must-try recipe for Christmas
Ingredients and substitutes
- Flour – all-purpose flour, plain flour, or maida is all you need to make these tartlets. You don’t need any leavening because we do not want these tartlets puffing up.
- Butter – use plain unsalted butter. The trick is to make sure the butter is well chilled at all times. When making the dough as well as when rolling and baking.
- Coconut – use freshly grated coconut. Try using only the white part of the coconut and save the bottom brown part for other curries etc.
- Sugar – use fine=grain sugar so it dissolves in the coconut easily. I like white sugar so it enhances the shade of the color used. But brown sugar adds a nice caramel-like flavor to it too. Alternatively, you can use jaggery but it gives a deep brown color to the coconut and makes it quite soggy.
Other filling options
These tartlet shells can be filled with almost anything from sweet to savory filings.
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- Mixing bowl
- Rolling Pin
- Baking tray
Shortcrust pastry shells
- 128 grams (1 cups) All-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 60 grams (4 tbsp) Unsalted butter chilled, cubed
- 2 tbsp Sugar fine-grain
- 4 tbsp Water cold
- 250 grams (3 cups) Coconut grated
- 4 tbsp Cashew nuts chopped finely (optional)
- 4 tbsp Sugar
- 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
- Combine – In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the chilled cubed butter and cut it into the flour mixture with a fork or with your fingertips until it reaches fine breadcrumb consistency.128 grams All-purpose flour, 1/4 tsp Kosher salt, 60 grams Unsalted butter, 2 tbsp Sugar
- Dough – Add just enough chilled water and bring it all together to form a dough. Do not over-knead it. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for 30 to 60 minutes. Pro tip – The dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. Thaw on the counter for 15 minutes before rolling.4 tbsp Water
- Heat – In a saucepan over medium heat, add the grated coconut and combine it with the sugar. Cook until the sugar has dissolved and all the moisture is evaporated. Add the rose extract and vanilla extract and nuts. Set aside to cool completely. Pro tip – Taste and adjust sweetness. If necessary add more sugar250 grams Coconut, 4 tbsp Sugar
- Color – Divide the coconut into bowls between the number of colors. you want and add a few drops of food colors to each bowl. Combine well until you have the desired shade. Pro tip – You can also flavor the coconut for example strawberry for pink, lemon for yellow, apple for green…etc4 tbsp Cashew nuts, 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
- Cut – Roll the dough to about 1/8 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Use a cookie cutter an inch larger than the size of your tartlet.
- Line pans – Working on a few pieces at a time, line each mini tart mold with the pastry. Cut the excess off and neaten the edges. Pro tip – make sure to keep the dough chilled at all times otherwise the soft butter will ruin the pastry.
- Chill – Place the lined tarts on a baking tray and keep them in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. Pro tip – keeping the lined tartlets chilled in the fridge will prevent them from shrinking)
- Bake – While the lined tarts are being chilled preheat the oven to 375°F /190°C / Gas Mark 5. Bake the tartlets for about 6 to 8 minutes until lightly golden brown.
- Cool – Remove the tartlets on a cooling rack for 5 minutes then unmold them and cool them completely. Pro tip – the baked tarts are very delicate so handle them carefully. Once cooled these will keep well in an airtight container for a few days.
- Fill – Fill each basket with three or more different colored coconut fillings. Sprinkle with toasted nuts or caster sugar for decorations.
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