Coconut & Grapefruit Tarte and Unsolved Mystery (4341-4344)

The other day I tasted the best thing ever. It was the coconut and grapefruit tarte from Caffé, the Frasca baby just down the street. For one dollar it was the best deal in town. I would never had put the two things together, but the nutty crust combined with the silky, coconut studded pastry cream and the fresh and bright grapefruit segments. I can die now.

I waited at the door the next morning to re-experience heaven on earth … and was informed by the pastry chef that it just got taken off the menu.

Well hell.

Now I have to reverse engineer yet another dish from a restaurant I like. Since no one really reads my blog on the weekends (except you, of course) I decided to go limp and post recipes. But if you stick around, you might just get a little surprise.

Start with making a nut crust. For you glutards, this can be made gluten free, just omit the flour.

Nut Crust

1 cup brazil nuts
1 cup macadamia nuts
3 tablespoons cold butter, in pieces 
2 tablespoons flour (optional)
2 tablespoons white sugar 

Combine nuts in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and pulse to combine. Press the nut mixture firmly into bottom of a tarte pan. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool.


Coconut Pastry Cream

2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup blended cream of coconut
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon coconut extract
Pinch of salt

Bring milk, cream of coconut, coconut flake, and vanilla bean and seeds to a simmer in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Let steep 1 hour and pass through a sieve to remove coconut flake and vanilla pod. Press down on solids with a spoon to get all the liquid out.

Combine egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; mix on medium-high speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Reheat strained milk mixture until steaming. With mixer on medium-low speed, slowly pour in milk mixture. Transfer to saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until boiling.

Stir in 1/2 cup sweetened coconut flake and coconut extract. Spread over cooled nut crust. Cover and refrigerate.


Shortly before serving, section two or three grapefruits (it took three for mine). If you don’t know how to do it, watch this video. Make sure you have a very sharp knife. Arrange the slices over the pastry cream.


It was delicious! I made the dish, too. And the dress. Aren’t I so creative? You know what I can’t make? Money. I’d trade all my skills for the ability to earn a decent wage. Seriously.

My pottery people came over tonight for an impromptu get together. The boys went wild with all that male energy around.


Poor Blue just about has a nervous breakdown when men come near me or the boys. Especially the boys. He doesn’t know what to do with himself when they start squealing.


I almost got rid of this vintage game until Shawn and Rachel showed me just how much fun it can be.


Action packed fun. This could be cover art for the game. Look at how much fun they are having!


See? I put it on the block but then I pulled it out because it was too much fun. I got rid of the ancient coconut (not what I used in my tarte), the bitters, anatto and lemongrass. Zeb had a shopping spree at the Asian seafood market and came home with bottles and bottles of sauces and pastes. Now I have to make room for them all.


Zeb was digging compost into the garden when he turned this up. Of course he did. Anywhere else, this would seem odd, but not at our house, noooo.

It sure does look like a human tooth to me. Just what I need, some unsolved mystery turning up in my tomato patch. Now we’re the house with the crazy people and the body buried in the garden. No one, NO ONE, is going to send their kid over here for a play date now. And we just got rid of the crazy painter for chrissakes. I mean we fired him, not got rid of him, if that’s what you were wondering.


Creepy, I know.

Zeb sent a picture of the jaw fragment to his brother who is a pathologist (as if that has anything to do with teeth) and he said it looked human, but it could also be a dog’s. Whatever it is, it’s old. And since neither of us want our entire yard dug up, I’m gonna go with a dog buried in the yard 100 years ago.


Just incase you were wondering, Blue is still alive.

Zeb’s worked that garden plot for 20 years now, if there was a person buried in there, he would have found it by now. Sigh.

8 thoughts on “Coconut & Grapefruit Tarte and Unsolved Mystery (4341-4344)

  1. I want to dig your garden up now…..I shall send Werm over, if there are bones she will find them.

  2. Yes, except me. Coconut-grapefruit in combination sounds kind of weird, but I defer to your impeccable taste and food savvy. I like the recent photo of you in a dress. Nice segments. Looks like you’ve just trimmed your hair. Is that because you’re looking for a job? I mean, what’s this business about “cant make money” and “trade all my skills for a decent wage”? What’s going on?

    • The grapefruit combo does sound strange, I eyed it suspiciously for a while but everything at Caffé kicks ass so I decided to take the leap (so brave). It’s so worth making. It will be my new signature dessert. Let me explain the haircut. If I don’t cut it every few months, it gets long and I become long and bushy rather than short and sassy.

      I’m not looking for a job, I have several. And I make money when I think about it but people ooh and aah over my affinity for most things crafty, but they are doctors or business people who make lots of money and could just go out and buy the nice things that I otherwise must toil over. That Martha Stewart – Pintertest thing is overrated.

  3. Sounds delicious and you are simply epic! Playdates soon all around…boys, Mamazzzz….you name it.

  4. That dress is too cute; I love simple white pottery; I’m not a grapefruit fan, but I’m going to give a raw version of this a try. Have a terrific holiday weekend!

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