I asked my friend if she had any requests for the special birthday dessert I planned to make for her celebratory get together. She replied, “something with toasted almonds, or toasted coconut, or pecans, or something cinnamon-y, or nutty.” Inspired by fall, the holidays, and her requested flavor profiles :), I came up with a toasted almond-toasted coconut sweet potato tart.
It’s actually somewhere between a tart, a pie, and since I used a spring form pan, it was also reminiscent of a cheesecake. No matter what you call it, folks will be calling it delicious! The filling is rich (but not too rich), the toasted almonds and coconut add really great crunch, and the candied ginger and ginger snap crust add an unexpected zing. Mmmmmmmm…. just in time for Thanksgiving!
Toasted Almond-Toasted Coconut Sweet Potato Tart
Crust and Topping
1 2/3 cups dried unsweetened coconut
1 1/3 cups sliced almonds
1 container of Trader Joes Triple Ginger Snap Cookies
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2/3 cup earth balance (melted)
To make crust:
* Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
*Add coconut to baking dish, add almonds to a separate baking dish, lightly toast in oven 3-7 minutes. Note: Pay attention!!!!! I tried to multi-task (writing and toasting do not mix!) during this step and burned my first batch of coconut and almonds.
* Pulse ginger snap cookies in blender or food processor until ground into a fine meal.
*Mix ground cookies, 1 cup toasted coconut, brown sugar, earth balance into spring form pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Set aside.
*Save remaining coconut and almonds for topping (see below).
2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (2-3 potatoes)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup vanilla almond milk
1/3 cup hazelnut soy creamer
1 cup half and half
1/3 cup melted earth balance ‘butter’
1/3-1/2 cup crystallized ginger
*Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
*Wash sweet potatoes, prick with fork, wrap in foil, bake 45 minutes-1 hour until soft.
*Drop oven to 325 F.
*Whisk eggs, sugars, spices, vanilla, milk, creamer, half & half, and melted earth balance. Add sweet potato. Whisk until smooth.
*Line bottom of pan (w/ partially cooked crust) with crystallized ginger. Pour batter into pan.
*When ready to serve, sprinkle with coconut and almonds and a touch of sugar. Use torch or oven broiler to brulee top.
*This is a bit more involved than the dishes I usually post, but it’s nice for special occasions or holidays! In terms of timing, I cooked the potatoes first, then made the crust, then the filling.
*I lined the bottom of the tart/pie with whole pieces of candied ginger. Folks liked the bite, but next time I will probably add chopped candied ginger instead.
*If you go with the bruleed top, I would use un-toasted coconut and un-toasted almonds. I used toasted and by the time the sugar was crunchy, the coconut and nuts were a little browner than I think is optimal.
*This tart/pie is decadent, but I did try to make it a bit lighter by using almond milk, soy creamer, and only 1/3 cup of earth balance.
*The sweet potatoes were from SEEDS! Big Ups!