My first encounter with the Jamaican coconut tart Gizzada, was in back in the 90s when I had a walkman permanently attached to my ears with reggae tunes pumping. I remember reggae artist Merciless singing “mi ah di gal dem gizzada.” Huh??? What exactly is he referring to? What the h*ck is a gizzada?
Having just migrated from Guyana, I had but one encounter with a Jamaican much less to be familiar with their lingo. Fast forward to 20 years later, I have met many Jamaicans along the way, some have remained lifelong friends and I even married one. Needless to say my knowledge on all things Jamaican has grown tremendously over the years; the food and slangs are no longer puzzling. My husband gave me my first gizzada, I wasn’t too excited because it wasn’t the prettiest but I gave it a try and boy was it tasty! The sweet coconut filling had hints of nutmeg and vanilla but I wasn’t too fond of the crust. The flavors were phenomenal, I just thought the crust needed to be mellower and the fill should be a bit gooier. A light bulb went off in my head – what’s more gooey than the filling for pecan pie? Now let’s get this straight, I actually don’t eat pecans but I make a version using walnuts instead. So I whipped up a brown sugar filling that would become gooey after baking. I also used a pastry that simply melts in your mouth. I definitely enjoy these tarts. These sweet, buttery coconut tarts are the ultimate dessert. Love! I hope you enjoy!
Jamaican Coconut Tart
adapted from Le Cordon Bleu Dessert Techniques
1 2/3 cup flour
¼ cup sugar
1 stick cold butter( ½ cup butter)
2 egg yolks
6 tsp cold water
1 cup brown sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
2 cups coconut flakes
2 tbsp melted butter
Pinch of salt
To make the pastry: In a small bowl mix the flour and sugar together. Cut butter into small chunks then cut into flour using a fork or pastry cutter until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Next add egg yolks and water and mix to for the pastry. Once pastry comes together, flatten into a disk, wrap with cling wrap and refrigerate for ½ hour.
To make the filling: Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork to combine.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove pastry from the fridge and on a floured surface, roll to 1/8 of an inch thickness. Using a biscuit cutter (or wide mouth glass) cut into 4-5 inch circles. Line a muffin pan with the pastry circles. Place the muffin pan into the oven and bake for 7 minutes. Remove from oven then fill each pastry shell with until it’s about ¾ way filled. Return to oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before serving.
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