These fabulous Orh Nee Tarts recipe is a modern spin crafted out from the popular local Orh Nee dessert. Comprised of French shortcrust pastry (pâte sablée) for the tart shells, layered with moist & buttery coconut frangipane and filled with pipings of silky smooth Orh Nee. Each tart gets a glistening jewel of caramel walnuts for aesthetic and crunch. While it might seem like a lot of components, I can assure you that this recipe is not difficult to make and I promise these are the most wonderfully delicious Orh Nee Tarts.
Orh Nee inspired desserts are very popular in Singapore right now. Tarts being the top on the list. However a search on Google reveals that Orh Nee inspired dessert recipes are not as widely available. Most of the suggested pages are recommendations or reviews on the bakeries that sells Orh Nee inspired desserts. So I thought of sharing my take on the popular Orh Nee Tarts recipe. A modern spin from the traditional with just a little extra work but I’m sure you’re going to love it. I made the tarts several times and sent them to a few people, everyone who’ve tried the tarts loved it! So please give this recipe a try!
What is Orh Nee 芋泥 ?
Orh Nee (芋泥) is a popular Teochew dessert made with sweetened yam paste and coconut milk. This dessert is well liked by many Singaporeans and is usually served as the last dessert course during Chinese wedding banquets. Recently, this local dessert has made its way into creative bakes like tarts, crepe cakes, Swiss roll, as a filling in donuts and even croissants.
Ingredients for Orh Nee Tarts
This recipe has a longer list of ingredients because it has 4 components. But please don’t let this scare you. Each component is relatively easy to put together and worth every effort. Allow me to guide you along.
- Unsalted butter
- All-purpose flour
- Powdered sugar
- White sugar
- Fine sea salt
- Yam (Taro)
- Coconut Milk
- Heavy cream
- Vegetable Oil
- Desiccated coconut
- Ground almonds
- Dark rum (optional)
What Are The Components
- Sweet tart shell – I chose to use my go-to French shortcrust pastry (pâte sablée) for the tart shell. This recipe is adapted from Dorie Greenspan and I’ve been using it for years. The crust is very tender and buttery like shortbread. The key is to use very cold butter. I found that the easiest way to incorporate the ingredients without melting the butter is to use the food processor. However in order to achieve a very tender crust, the butter needs to blend evenly into the flour. So the French use a method call fraisage, which is to smear portions of dough using the heel of your hand to complete the blending.(after fraisage)
- Coconut frangipane – A marvellous tart filling made with a mixture of butter, sugar, egg, finely ground almonds, desiccated coconut and dark rum (optional). One simple way to make this is to use a food processor. If you use the food processor, the mixture will be smoother. You can also use the electric hand mixer or hand whisk to combine everything together which will give the frangipane more texture. Taste wise both methods are equally divine. If you don’t like coconut, feel free to swap it out with equal amount of ground almonds which you will end up with an almond frangipane instead. I tried and love it too!
- Orh Nee (Yam Paste) – This is the highlight of the tart. So make it your best. Yam naturally contains thin fibrous strings which can affect the texture of the paste. For this reason, always strain the paste through a fine mesh strainer to achieve a silky smooth yam paste that you won’t get enough of. The paste can be quite thick so it requires some elbow grease to strain through. Previously I shared a recipe on Taro Swiss Roll and included a step-by-step guide on how to cook the yam paste and an effective method to strain the paste. Please refer to this post.
- Caramel walnuts – This is optional since I included the nuts mainly for aesthetic reasons. However when eaten together, the crunchy bittersweet walnuts compliments the very tender tart really well. So the choice is yours. This recipe for caramel walnuts makes a small portion but you may still end up with extras which is a good thing because these are very satisfying to snack on.
How long can the tarts last in the refrigerator
These tarts don’t last very long since it contains coconut which has a very short shelf life and the tart shells tend to lose its crisp in 2 days. Anyway, this shouldn’t be something to worry about. These tarts are so delicious I’m sure it will be gone in no time.
This recipe makes about 15 fabulous small tarts, depending on the tart size. If you don’t have tart moulds, you can always use disposable aluminium cups. If you think 15 tarts is a lot, you can half the quantity for frangipane and Orh Nee. Bake half the tarts and keep the remaining frozen for up to a month.
Fabulous Orh Nee Tarts
- 7cm tart moulds (15 pcs)
Sweet Tart Dough (Pâte Sablée)
- 125 grams very cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- 60 grams powdered sugar
- 200 grams all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 45 grams unsalted butter soft
- 30 grams fine sugar
- 20 grams finely ground almonds
- 18 grams dessicated coconut
- 1 tsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 30 grams egg
- 1 tsp dark rum optional
Orh Nee (Sweetned Yam Paste)
- 500 grams yam (taro) peeled and sliced
- 100 grams sugar
- 60 grams vegetable oil canola or sunflower oils are good choices
- 60 grams coconut milk
- 60 grams heavy cream can replace with equal amount of coconut milk
- 2 tsp dark rum optional
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- 30 grams walnuts roughly chopped
Sweet Tart Dough (Pâte Sablée)
- Put flour, powdered sugar and salt in the food processor and pulse a few times to blend. Add in the cold butter pieces and pulse until butter is coarsely grind - you should have some pea size pieces and some that resembles oat flakes.
- Stir the egg yolk to break up a bit and add a little at a time, pulsing after each addition - about 10 seconds each pulse. The dough will look granular. Just before the dough starts to clump, turn the dough onto a work surface.
- To incorporate the butter more evenly and to gather any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing, separate small amounts of dough from the pile and use the heel of your hand to smear each dough a few inches across the counter. In French this is called fraisage, and it's the ideal way to finish blending a dough. After fraisage, gather the dough and form into a disk. At this point, you can use it immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
- Pinch small portions of the dough and press evenly onto the bottom and sides of the tart mould. Trim off the excess using a small knife. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a small fork and freeze for at least 15 minutes before baking.
- You can use the food processor, electric hand mixer or hand whisk. Beat the butter until smooth and creamy, the texture should resemble mayonnaise. Add sugar and beat for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add ground almonds, dessicated coconut, flour & cornstarch and beat until smooth. Add egg and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Finally, add in rum if using and blend well. Transfer mixture into a piping bag if using directly. You can make this ahead, cover with clingwrap and store in the refridgerator for up to 3 days.
Orh Nee (Sweetened Yam Paste)
- Steam the taro slices over high heat for about 15 minutes. Test doneness with a fork. Taro should be very soft. Mashed with a hand whisk or fork while still hot.
- Put mashed taro onto a nonstick frying pan together with the rest of the ingredients for Orh Nee.
- Over medium heat, stir constantly with a spatula until sugar melted and all the ingredients combined well. The yam paste should look glossy, sticky but not too dry. Remove from heat.
- Place a sifter upside down on a plate. Dollop a portion of the prepared yam paste on the sifter. Using a scraper, scrap the paste through the sifter. Repeat with remaining yam paste. Scoop into a container, cover with clingwrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Put walnuts in a small baking pan and toast in non-preheated oven at 170C for 10 minutes to lightly toast the nuts. Set aside to cool.
- Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan, bring to a boil over medium high heat.
- Watch closely as the syrup starts to colour. Once syrup turns brown, reduce heat to low and add the chopped walnuts. Stir quickly for about 1 minute. They will start to clump and that's ok. Once the nuts are well coated, transfer to a heatproof plate. Try to separate the nuts as much as you can. Allow to cool and harden before using.
Bake and Assemble the Tarts
- Preheat oven to 170C. If your coconut frangipane is in the refrigerator, take it out 30 minutes before using and transfer the frangipane into a piping bag.
- Take out the frozen unbaked tart shells from the freezer. Cut a hole at the tip of the piping filled with coconut frangipane. Pipe a small portion into the tart, about 1 teaspoon each tart. Try not to fill too much as the frangipane will expand during baking and you will need some space to fill the Orh Nee.
- Bake the tarts for 10 to 12 minutes until nicely browned. Cool before filling the Orh Nee.
- Put Orh Nee into a piping bag filled with piping tip. I use open star 1M piping tip to create the ridges. Push all the paste towards the piping tip, deflating any air bubbles that might have trap within. Pipe onto the baked tarts in circular motion starting from outer ring to inner. Place a caramel walnut on top of each tart. Serve!
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it and don’t forget to tag me @vanillynbakery on Instagram. I’d love to see your lovely bakes!
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