I noticed an abundance of macapuno (coconut sport, mutant coconuts) at the market the other day. I wonder if I am just sensitive to the produce now that I have actually tried it. I canâ€™t imagine that macapuno has a seasonal preference as mutants wouldnâ€™t just occur in the Fall or Spring, no? At any rate, I bought three heavy nuts the other day with the intention of trying to re-create the macapuno tarts that I recall from childhood. In preparation for the tarts, I started to make a pate brisee which is a classic French tart dough essentially made up of flour, butter, salt and cold water. I find it is difficult to do perfectly in a tropical country unless you have a chilled marble countertop and an airconditioned kitchen. If the butter rises above a certain temperature, the dough is a goner. And our butter here is pathetic to begin with. At any rate, I made enough dough for three tarts, two small (6-inch) round tart pans I bought on Saturday and a long rectangular tart pan. Since the dough needs to be started several hours before it is cooked, I had the dough done early Sunday morningâ€¦
Mid-afternoon Sunday we opened the three macapunos only to find that 2 of them were rotten and unusableâ€¦donâ€™t you hate it when that happens with any fruit? So I made use of only one macapuno that I scraped with a melon scraper into strings. I plopped 3 cups worth into a heavy enameled pot and added half the amount of sugar and stirred over medium-low heat until thickened a bit. I set that aside to cool. After pre-baking the tart shells, I filled them with the macapuno mixture and baked them for about 20 minutes at 375 F. After allowing them to cool, they can be served plain or if you want a really over the top dessert, put a generous scoop of good ube ice cream on top of a slice of the macapuno tart. It was absolutely delicious and incredibly simple to make. If you aren’t too finicky, use a regular pie dough whichmay be easier to manage (but pre-bake it as well)….