Avocado toast is as delicious as it is ubiquitous. Here I've riffed on the concept and elevated the idea for a ladies' tea to create these avocado tartlets. When blended with a little vanilla and maple syrup, avocado cream becomes a revelatory sweet pastry filling.
I knew I had to include this very popular recipe from my book for our tea party; it hits all the right notes for a crowd: sweet, creamy, and a touch salty from the pastry crust. I had to rack my brain a bit thinking of how to transport and serve, but then this previous Kitchn tip hit me. I made the crusts ahead of time, cooled them, and then prepped the avocado filling. I kept the filling in a bowl with a little water on top, and right when guests arrived I poured the water off, mixed any excess water with a spoon, and served a la minute. The vibrant color and creamy delight was an easy win.
Avocado Coconut Tartlets
For the crust:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
3 tablespoons ice water
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, lightly toasted, for garnish
For the crust: In a food processor, mix the flour, sugar, and salt together. Pulse the butter into the flour mixture in 3 to 4 short bursts, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, mix the vinegar with the ice water, then drizzle over the flour and butter. Pulse a little more until the crust just clumps together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and squeeze together to become a ball. Knead about 3 times to create a 4-inch-round disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the gluten in the flour to relax.
Lightly flour your surface and pound the dough out flat with a rolling pin to soften it and make it workable. Roll the dough into a large 1/4-inch-thick rectangle. If making individual tartlets, cut the dough into 12 rough pieces, each about an inch wider on all sides than your mini tartlet pans. If making a 9-inch tart, roll dough out to a little larger than pan and follow same instructions. Lay each piece of dough gently into the pans, taking care not to stretch or pull the dough. Lightly press into the bottom and sides of the pan, and then use a rolling pin to roll off the excess dough from the edges of the pan. Gently poke the tart bottoms with a fork about 5 times. Place the crusts in the freezer and let sit for about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Place the tartlet shells on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the crusts are golden-brown and fragrant. Transfer the tartlet shells to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
Just prior to serving, make the avocado cream: In a food processor or blender, combine the avocados, milk, lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt and blend until the consistency is airy, smooth, and light.
Spoon a few tablespoons of avocado cream into each tart shell, or if you're feeling fancy, pipe in with a pastry bag. Serve immediately and garnish with the coconut.
- This recipe does not keep well, at all! The avocado can oxidize very quickly in the heat, so if you need to serve more, just replenish with refrigerated avocado cream as your party progresses.
Reprinted with permission from Food with Friends: The Art of Simple Gatherings by Leela Cyd, copyright (c) 2016 by Clarkson Potter