Vietnamese Coconut Tartlets

When I flick through my Vietnamese cookbooks, the dessert section will contain dishes like crème caramels, flans, custards and tarts. These dishes are associated with the French and were brought over to Vietnam during the French colonization (1874-1954). They are commonly eaten by the Vietnamese, so much so that they have made it their own with a Vietnamese twist using ingredients like coconuts, Vietnamese coffee, condensed milk and pastry often contains shortening rather than butter.  

Vietnamese Coconut Tartlets

Ingredients
Pastry Dough
  1. 55g vegetable shortening
  2. 55g butter, softened and cut into pieces
  3. 4 tablespoons caster sugar
  4. 2 egg yolks
  5. 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  6. 1 ½ cups plain flour
  7. ½ teaspoon baking powder
  8. 1 tablespoon milk powder 
Coconut Mixture Filling
  1. 2 cups desiccated coconut
  2. 4 tablespoons caster sugar
  3. 55g butter, softened and cut into pieces
  4. 1 egg yolk
  5. 4 tablespoons double cream
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Glaze
  1. 1 egg yolk
  2. 1 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled
Method
  • To make the pastry In a bowl, beat the shortening, butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in the egg yolks and vanilla, mix to combine. Add flour, baking powder and milk powder, and mix well. Turn the pastry out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until it comes together into a dough and is smooth.
  • Press the dough into tartlet pans, prick the bases and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • To make the filling In a bowl, combine the coconut, sugar and butter together. Add egg yolk, double cream and vanilla. Blend well with hands to form a soft paste.