I first watched these being made by my mum when I was about five years old by the time I was twelve I was making them each week and from then on there was no stopping me.
If you are short of time you can buy readymade sweet short crust pastry, if you can set aside an hour at the weekend you can make 4 batches of pastry and freeze it for when you need it. If you get the pastry out of the freezer the night before it will be defrosted by morning. I use butter in the pastry, I like to use unsalted Lurpak as it has less water added to it. I like to use Stork in a tub for the coconut filling. I also like to use Billingtons sugar as it is mostly unrefined. I usually double the recipe and make 24 tarts,12 to keep out and 12 to freeze.
What you will need One 12 hole jam( patty) tart tin or even better a mince pie tin as the circles are wider and slightly deeper. Grease the patty tins with a little butter. 8 cm fluted round pastry cutter
Ingredients For the sweet short crust pastry
250g plain flour plus a little extra for rolling out
50g icing sugar
Pinch of salt
150g unsalted butter
2 egg yolks (18g )
30ml ice cold water
For the filling
50g Stork tub margarine
50g caster sugar
1 egg beaten
1 teaspoon coconut extract, optional
50g desiccated coconut
10g self raising flour ( if you wish you can leave the flour out of the recipe and it will give you a softer filling)
Set the oven for 190C , 180C fan, 375F, gas mark 5
Method To make the pastry Rub the fat into the flour, icing sugar and salt until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well in the middle of the of the mixture and pour in the egg yolk and a little of the water sufficient to bind the pastry into a firm dough. Flours vary and you may need all of the water. Turn onto a lightly floured board and knead lightly ( I find about 20-30 turns of the pastry will get it nice and smooth) . Roll the pastry into a flattish round the size of a tea plate, wrap in cling film and chill for an hour if you have time but 15 minutes would also work. Whilst the pastry is chilling make the filling. Cream the fat and the sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the beaten egg a little at a time ( if the mixture curdles, separates don’t worry when you add the other ingredients it will be fine). Fold in the coconut , extract and flour using a metal spoon, the mixture should be a good dropping consistency, if it is not add a desert spoon of water.
To assemble Remove the pastry from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature for about 5 minutes. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the pastry to the thickness of a pound coin ( or a Euro, or a dollar) depending where you are in the world. Using an 8cm fluted cutter cut out 12 rounds and gently press them into the patty tin. Into each tart put a half teaspoon of jam. Half fill a mug with hot water and dip a desert spoon into the hot water use this spoon to place a spoonful of the coconut mixture into each tart. Dip the spoon into the water in between each spoonful and this will give you a nicely rounded top for each tart. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden and firm to touch. Lift out and cool on a wire rack. When cold they can be stored for up to 2 weeks or frozen for 6 weeks.