Coconut gizzada is mini coconut pies or tarts. It’s made by grating coconut and cooking it in sugar and nutmeg spice. The coconut filling is then baked in a short crust pastry and topped with a cherry. It is a super simple dessert but it is so delicious.
Before you get started:
I bake my gizzadas in a super buttery shortcrust pastry I got from Chef John by way of The Greedy Girl many years ago. This is my go to pastry for all kinds of goodies because the method and recipe is simple but it’s also absolutely delicious. The pastry calls for a stick of butter to 2 cups of flour making for a yummy buttery bite. You can sweeten this crust and use it for sweet pies or you can make it without sugar and fill it with more savory fillings.
The hardest part of making this dessert is grating the coconut. Nothing can quite get the consistency needed like a manual grater can. Though this method is tedious, it is the only way. Put on a good show and grate the coconut at your pace until you get through it. It shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to do.
This is all the spice that is needed in this dessert. You may be tempted to add cinnamon, etc. It is not necessary. The nutmeg, sugar and coconut marriage produces the authentic taste this dessert needs.
For Coconut Gizzada you will need:
- Food processor
- Baking tray
- Parchment Paper
- Rolling pin
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (4 oz)
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp iced water
- 1 large coconut (2 cups +)(grated)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tbsp butter
- 4 maraschino cherries
- Cut butter into 16 pieces. Place in a small bowl and set in the freezer for about 30 mins.
- In a food processor, add flour, frozen butter and salt. Pulse the mixture a few times until the butter is in pea sized pieces.
- Add the water and pulse mix again until the butter pieces resemble coarse crumbs or cous-cous.
- Dump the mixture onto a clean surface and begin pressing it all together into a ball (refer to video tutorial). Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge until your filling is prepared and set aside to cool.
- Make the filling and set aside to cool. (see instructions for filling below)
- After the dough has rested and the filling has cooled, remove from the fridge and cut into 8 equal pieces.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (Do not place these into a cold oven)
- Roll each dough piece into a ball using both hands. Roll out each dough piece with a rolling pin to about a 1/4 inch thickness.
- Pinch the edges to create a ridge that will hold the coconut filling. (see video tutorial)
- Fill each shell with coconut filling and top each one with 1/2 of a maraschino cherry.
- Bake at 350 degrees on a lined baking sheet for 20-25 mins or until the coconut filling begins to slightly brown.
- Add water to a saucepan on low heat.
- Add sugar and dissolve in water.
- Add coconut and nutmeg to the sugar and water mix. Mix well.
- You may also add 1 tsp of vanilla to the mixture.
- Let the mixture cook for roughly 10 mins on low heat.
- Add butter and let it melt while stirring the mixture vigorously.
- Remove mixture from heat and allow to cool.