Blueberry and coconut tart

A Tribute to Babbo's Kitchen


Picture a vivid color palette, plump purple-blue berries against a backdrop of snowy coconut. Tired and frustrated with the usual ways of imparting coconut with pineapple (aka the pina colada treatment), I seeked inspiration from Babbo's Kitchen. The simplistic yet extravagent picture of a honey and pine nut on the front cover of Dolce Italiano providing readers with an lip-smacking preview to the treasures lying beneath its covers. Truth is, if you were to close your eyes and have someone read the description of the array of desserts to you, it would almost be like a breath of fresh warm summer air blowing from the Italian coasts.

I tried my hands on the Blueberry and Coconut Tart (crostata di mirtillo e cocco) after being inspired by the wild clash of colors painted across the photo. Rewards were great as the dessert was served up after the Chinese New Year spread. Praises and exclaimations greeted me, alongside huge lopsided grins bearing the juicy spills of blueberry ink. It wasn't until I sank my teeth into a small portion of the dessert that I understood. The blueberry was slightly sour against the sweet coconut streusel, slightly browned and crumbled on top of fluted tart. Each and every component looking the part of a seperate entity in the artistic composition yet its contributed flavors blending into something so wildly exotic, it was almost incomprehendible. That was Italian desserts for you... somehow, I grew wildly interested in trying the rest of the recipes in the book. hmph..

so for you guys who still have your slight doubts about the combination of blueberries and coconut (even after my ardous amount of convincing), do take a chance with the recipe below!

halfscreen tart

Blueberry and Coconut Tart
crostata di mirtillo e cocco

Makes one 10-inch tart, 10 servings

Sweet Tart Crust (i used Dorie Greenspan's, and prebaked it for 25 mins at 180 degrees celcius)

For the topping
1/2 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the filling

1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 large eggs yolks
freshly grated zest of 1 lemon
pinch of kosher salt
3/4 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut

For the assembly

about 3 cups fresh bluberries
2 tblspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)

To make topping: Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat and let it cool. Place the flour, sugar, salt and coconut in a large bowl and whisk together till combine well. Add the vanilla extract to the melted butter, then add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring with a fork to combine well. Spread the topping in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper and chill for 30mins, or until firm.

Remove the topping from the refrigerator and place in a bowl of a food processor. Pulse the mixture several times to make small crumbs. Set aside.

To make filling:Place the butter and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and using a paddle attachment on medium speed, beat together until smooth and creamy, about 2 mins. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the sides. Beat in the lemon zest and salt, followed by coconut.

To assemble the tart: Place the blueberries in a large bowl. Add the lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch and stir together to combine, thoroughly coating the berries.

Using a spatula, evenly spread the filling into the tart shell. Top with blueberries, drizzling any liquid from the bottom of the bowl on top. Evenly cover the surface with the topping crumbs. Bake until topping is lightly golden and the blueberries are bubbling, 45-50 mins at 180 degrees celcius.

Serve the tart while still slightly warm, or cool and serve at room temperature.


Gigi said...

the tart looks delicious!

EteL said...

wow to be honest, ur description already made me drool la! no need to even see the pic! ^^

SiHaN said...

Gigi: thanks!

Etel: haha. Its a good description ain't it. Wait till you've tried the real deal. even better than tt. haah.