Pastéis de Coco
by David Leite
Makes 10 pastries
My Aunt Exaltina has made these delicacies for as long as I can remember. But are they decadent custards, eggy macaroons, or a bit of both? For 35 years, no one’s been able to decide. Grab a spoon and judge for yourself.
My late friend Lois Sparks, who adored these desserts, was fond of spooning some raspberry coulis into the crater on top of the pastéis. She felt it gave them a lovely tart counterpoint to the sweet coconut. I always balked at the idea until she made them for me one night. It’s a dream-team combination.—David Leite
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Adjust the rack to middle position. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with 10 paper cupcake liners.
2. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup of the milk. Set aside.
3. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade shred the coconut flakes for 30 seconds.
4. In a large mixing bowl, stir the eggs and sugar together with a wooden spoon. One by one, add the cornstarch mixture, remaining milk, coconut, melted butter and lemon extract, stirring well after each addition.
5. Ladle the custard into the paper cups, filling to 1/4 inch from the top. (Note: Make sure to stir frequently to keep the coconut well distributed.)
6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the coconut is nicely toasted. Cool completely in the tin before serving.
Recipe © 1999 David Leite. All rights reserved.