Coconut and Almond Tart

Here’s a tart with a lovely rich, dense, sweet and tasty filling and terrific crusty pastry. No more to be said really except bake and enjoy.

Makes: 10 – 12 slices

Time: About 75 minutes using ready made pastry. An extra 20 minutes + chilling time if making your own

Level: Moderate.

Equipment: A 20cm or 23cm flan tin, a box grater (if making pastry)

Credits: Filling: adapted from a BBC food website recipe. Pastry: adapted from a Delia Smith recipe.

Filling ingredients

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g/3.5oz – 125g/4.5oz desiccated coconut
  • 75g/2.5oz – 100g/3.5oz ground almonds
  • 225g/8oz – 250g/9oz caster sugar
  • 30g/1oz butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp jam or white chocolate (optional)
  • About 350g/12oz – 400g/14oz pastry (see note below)
  • Flour, for rolling pastry out
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 20g/0.75oz toasted flaked almonds
  • A sprinkle of icing sugar

Method (Filling)

1. Heat oven to 200C / fan 180C / 400F /gas 6. Place the flan tin on a baking tray or baking stone.

2. Tip the cinnamon, coconut, almonds and sugar into a saucepan with 150ml water and cook over a low heat for about 5 mins, stirring frequently to ensure the mixture doesn’t catch. Set aside to cool.

3. Meanwhile, roll out the pastry* on a lightly floured surface and use to line the flan tin. (*See below for pastry information)

4. Trim off the excess pastry and wrap it in cling film in case you need it to patch any cracks.  Fill the pastry case with baking parchment and baking beans and bake blind for 12 – 15 mins. Remove the beans and cook for 5 mins more so the pastry on the base of the tin is just cooked, but not brown. Coat the pastry with the jam or white chocolate. (not essential – optional)

5. Beat the egg and melted butter into the cooled coconut mixture, then spoon into the pastry case and smooth the top. Bake for 25 mins or until the pastry is golden.

6. Scatter the flaked almonds on top then dust with icing sugar before serving.


One option is to use ready made shortcrust or sweet shortcrust. When I first made this, I made it for a friend who is gluten intolerant. For her, I made unsweetened gluten free pastry. It’s not easy to work with, but gives good results. Here’s how:

Gluten free pastry ingredients

  • 85g/3oz butter (wrap in foil and place in freezer an hour before needed)
  • 125g/4.5oz plain gluten free flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum powder
  • 2 – 3 tbsp cold water
  • A tsp lemon juice


1. Place the flour, salt and xanthan gum powder in a large bowl, flat bottomed if possible. Take the butter from the freezer, fold back the foil to hold as this will help keep the butter hard.

2. Using the coarse side of a box grater, placed in the bowl over the flour, grate the butter. (Dipping the butter into flour occasionally helps keep it solid.)

3. There should be a nice pile of grated butter once the grater is removed. With a suitable instrument (I use a cake server) chop the butter into the flour, avoiding using your hands at this point. Aim to coat every piece of butter with the flour.  

4. Begin to sprinkle the icy cold water over the mixture, a little at a time as you continue mixing. Add in the lemon juice and then bring the whole thing together. Finish off using your hands.

5. Lay out a sheet of cling film nearby and place the pasty ball onto it. Bring the sheet loosely over the top then shape the ball into a flattish round and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Bring it out about 10 minutes before you need to use it in order to allow it to come up to room temperature.

N.B. Don’t forget to use gluten free flour to dust your work surface when you roll out the pastry later.

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Happy baking – Ian