Almond Joy Tart

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Yield:

    six

    4 inch Individual Tarts

Appears in

Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented

Baked Explorations

By Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Published 2010

  • About

Though I am not a true coconut person, people go bonkers for our coconut cakes and coconut macaroons, especially at our charleston location, where coconut is king. And I have managed to work my way into the coconut groove with this riff on the Almond Joy. That legendary candy bar was the creation of the Peter Paul Candy Manufacturing Company of Connecticut, now absorbed by Hershey’s. Mr. Peter Paul Halajian certainly knew his way around coconut: He developed the Almond Joy’s precursors—bars of moist coconut flake covered in chocolate—made them fresh at night, and sold them door-to-door the following day. This recipe is my wistful version of what a fresh Almond Joy must taste like.

Ingredients

For the Almond Tart Dough

  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup whole toasted almonds
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½- inch cubes

For the Coconut Cream Filling

  • 8 ounces good-quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut (if you’re coconut obsessed, go ahead and use 2¼ cups)
  • 1 tablespoon light rum

For the Chocolate Glaze and Garnish

  • 2 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 6 whole toasted almonds

Method

Make the Almond Tart Dough

In a small bowl, lightly whisk the egg and set it aside.

Put the almonds and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the almonds are finely ground. Add flour and salt and pulse again just until mixed. Add the butter and pulse until sandy (about 6 to 10 quick pulses). Pour in the egg and pulse just until the dough begins to cohere into a ball. Form the dough into a disk, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Make the Coconut Cream Filling

Place the white chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl.

In a small saucepan set over medium heat, heat the cream just to a boil. Pour it over the white chocolate and let it stand for 30 seconds. Slowly, starting in the center of the bowl, whisk the cream and white chocolate until smooth. Cover and refrigerate this ganache for 4 hours or overnight before proceeding.

Assemble the Tart

Dust a work surface with flour. Place the disk of chilled dough on the work surface and divide it into 6 equal portions. Shape each into a smooth disk. (Note: The dough will be sticky. Make sure to turn it with a bench knife or offset spatula as needed and keep the working surface floured.) Use a rolling pin to roll each piece of dough into a 5½-inch circle just over 1/8 inch thick. Very gently press each dough round into a 4-inch tart pan with removable bottom.

Place the tart pans in the freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line the tart crusts with aluminum foil, and fill each one three-quarters full with pie weights or dried beans. Bake them for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and weights and bake for another 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Transfer the tart pans to a wire rack to cool.

Make the Coconut Cream Filling

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the white chocolate ganache at medium speed until soft peaks form. Do not overwhip. Gently fold in the coconut and the rum. Divide the filling evenly among the cooled tart shells and place them in the refrigerator while you make the chocolate glaze.

Make the Chocolate Glaze

Place the milk and dark chocolates in a medium heatproof bowl.

In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream until it is just about to boil. Pour it over the chocolates and whisk to combine. Let the mixture set for about 10 minutes. Remove the tarts from the refrigerator and spoon the glaze evenly over each one. Top each tart with one almond and refrigerate again until the glaze sets up, about 10 minutes.

The tarts can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.