Coconut Tarts

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

These turnovers are an interesting departure from traditional fruit-filled versions. They make an ideal snack or dessert. Dress them up for guests with a dollop of whipped cream and dash of cinnamon.



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • cup cold water


  • cups fresh or frozen grated unsweetened coconut
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon mixed essence


  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons milk


Make Dough

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and vegetable shortening and pulse until crumbs the size of peas form. Slowly add the cold water until the dough just comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

Make Filling

In the meantime, combine the coconut, sugar, mixed essence, and 1 cup of water in a saucepan and simmer until the sugar melts and liquid thickens to the consistency of maple syrup, about 30 minutes. Cool.

Make Tarts

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Dust the chilled dough with flour and divide into 15 balls. Flatten the balls and then roll out to ⅛ inch thick, dusting with flour as necessary to prevent sticking.

Place 1 tablespoon of filling on the center of a dough disk. Lightly brush the edges of the disk with water and fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon. Crimp the edges closed using a fork. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Place tarts on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Beat the egg yolk and milk together for the glaze and brush over the tarts. Prick each tart once or twice to let steam escape. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tarts are golden brown. Cool and serve.