Disclosure: Melissa’s Produce provided me with a box of produce as part of the San Diego Food Blogger Challenge but was not compensated for my review. As always, all opinions are mine.
I really thought I’d have more free time this year. Then we got into a pretty major remodel (we’re adding a second story master bedroom and bath, which required half of our existing first floor to get rebuilt/reinforced), my job sucked up a lot of time, and I think I just lost all motivation and energy for anything. Then I changed jobs (or, rather, companies since I’m still doing roughly the same thing) and almost immediately felt happier. Not lying, that one change improved my attitude immensely. But we were still dragging through the remodel, crammed into the front room of our house with 3 dogs and 2 cats.
This weekend, we hit a major milestone with the remodel – the first floor of the house was finished to a point where we could start moving furniture out of the front room and into the rest of the house. In just a single day, we expanded our living space 4-fold and got settled into our new family room (pictures to come, I swear, unless you follow me on Instagram where I’ve been periodically posting photos as we go.) All of a sudden, I just wanted to get into the kitchen and bake. Instead of just going to the kitchen to eat.
The other motivator for getting into the kitchen was to put together a post for the San Diego Food Blogger Challenge that Barbara Cooks put together with Melissa’s Produce. One week I went out of town for work and when I came home there was a box full of delicious smelling peaches and nectarines, a fresh coconut, a melon, rhubarb and fava beans. My first thought was a fruit tart, but then I felt like I should do something a little different. I thought about doing a roast chicken with peaches, then found this stew thinking I could sub in fava beans. Then the week got away from me, the weekends got sucked up by house-thing shopping trips, and the posting deadline was in front of me. I guess I really do work best last-minute.
In the end, I made a fruit tart. I took the fresh coconut meat and steeped it in cream and milk to make the custard. Custard went into a pie crust, slices of the beautiful peaches and nectarines went on top, and then I had to gild the lily with a framboise lambic reduction and malted caramel sauce from a dessert I made the week before. It may not unexpected or exceptionally creative, but it’s simple and delicious and because I made it in the morning and had extra scraps and filling, it meant we got to enjoy tiny pies for breakfast dessert.
Even without the lambic brushing and caramel drizzle, it’s a good tart. I only used it because I had extra in the fridge and it made for a better photo.
Thank you, Barbara, for giving me a reason to get off my blogging butt and get back into the kitchen. I hope it doesn’t take me another 4 months to come back to blogging. But, if it ever looks like I’ve disappeared, I’m probably just twittering or instagram-ing, so come say hi!
Coconut Cream Fruit Tart
1 single pie crust
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. cream
1/2 c. grated fresh coconut
3 egg yolks
3/4 c. sugar
1 Tb. cornstarch
1 Tb. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 small peaches, nectarines, or other stone fruit, sliced
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Roll out your pie crust (I keep Trader Joe’s pie crust in the freezer) and press into a tart pan. Line with parchment paper and weight down with rice or beans. Bake the crust for 20 minutes, then remove the parchment paper and weights and bake another 10 minutes until golden brown. Cool.
3. In a small pot, heat the milk and cream with the grated coconut until small bubbles form on the surface, then remove from heat and let sit for about 30 minutes. As an alternative, you could just use 3/4 c. coconut milk (full-fat, please).
4. To make the custard: Mix the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch until pale yellow and ribbony. Mix in the coconut-milk mixture and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick (7-10 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
6. Pour the custard into the prepared crust. Layer the sliced fruit over the custard. I recommend chilling the tart for a couple of hours before serving to let the custard firm up.
This linkup button will take you to a page to see all of the other San Diego Food Bloggers who took on the Melissa’s Produce Challenge! (I hope the button works…)