Tuesday 8 October 2013

Ginger and Coconut Custard Tart Recipe

Today's recipe is for a classic custard tart, but with several twists. This is intended to be served as a chilled dessert and is presented on a crushed ginger biscuit (cookie) base. So, the overall effect is more that of a cheesecake than your classic custard tart.

Note that custard is one of the earliest kinds of desserts that we know about. The ancient Romans served baked custards and there are recipes for them in the cookery book of Apicius (De Re Coquinaria). If you don't believe me, see this recipe for Tiropatinam (Ancient Roman Boiled and Set Custard). So the antecedents of this recipe go back two and a half thousand years.

You could even prepare the ancient Roman custard given above to go over the crushed biscuit (cookie) crumb base in the recipe below. However, no matter how old the lineage of this dish is, what you get here is a delicious but easy to make dessert. You can even make a chocolate version by mixing 100g (3 1/2 oz) grated chocolate into the custard mix as it cooks.

Ginger and Coconut Custard Tart Recipe

Serves: 6
Custard tart on a crushed ginger biscuit base served dusted with toasted coconut and a dollop of sour cream


For the Crust:

75g (1 cup) corn flakes
100g (4 oz) ginger biscuits, crushed
125ml (1/2 cup) butter, melted and cooled
65g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the Topping:

1l (4 cups) milk
3 tbsp butter
75g custard powder
65g golden caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 tbsp desiccated coconut, toasted
(as an alternative to this topping, prepare 1l thick home-made vanilla custard)


Lightly crush the corn flakes and in a bowl mix together with the crushed ginger biscuits, cinnamon and melted butter. Press the mixture into the base of a 25cm (10 in) square dish.

In a pan, heat together 750ml (3 cups) of the milk with the butter. When at the scalding point mix in the custard powder, sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth then work in the remaining milk. Cook gently, stirring constantly, until the custard is thick then pour over the prepared base.

Set aside to cool completely then place in the refrigerator over night to allow the custard to thicken. Remove from the refrigerator and sprinkle over the toasted coconut before slicing into squares and serving.

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