A pretty way to serve any assortment of fresh fruit, these tacos can be made ahead of time and assembled at the last minute. The cookie taco shells may be made up to a week ahead and kept in a tightly covered tin or zipper bag. The custard can be made up to 3 days in advance and kept refrigerated. Assemble just before serving.
- Cookie Taco Shells
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Blanched Almonds - 3/4 cup (or 1/4 cup pine nuts and 1/2 cup blanched almonds)
- Water - 1/4 cup
- White Chocolate Custard Sauce
- Egg Yolks - 6
- Cornstarch - 2 teaspoons
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 2 cups
- Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Half-and-half - 2 cups
- Vanilla Extract - 2 teaspoons
- White Chocolate - 3 ounces, chopped
- Raspberries - 2 pints
- Ripe Papaya - 1, seeded and diced
- Strawberries - 1 pint, hulled and quartered
- Chocolate Sauce - 1 cup
- White Chocolate - 2 ounces, shaved
- Mint sprigs - 8
To make the taco shells: Place the sugar and nuts in a blender or a food processor. Grind very fine, then add the water and mix well. It should be a paste. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and place the dough in a pastry bag without a tip. Pipe small half dollar-sized rounds onto the paper, leaving about 4 inches between the cookies for spreading. Bake one tray at a time on the top shelf of the oven, 10 to 13 minutes, or until evenly browned. Cut between the cookies with scissors and gently fold the edges of the paper to make each cookie into a taco shape. Place between two boxes of kitchen wrap to hold the shape until set, about 30 seconds. Shape the remaining cookies, working as quickly as possible; place the tray in the oven for a few moments to rewarm the cookies if they become too cool to bend.
To make the custard sauce: Combine the egg yolks with the cornstarch, 1-1/2 cups of the cream, and the sugar in a mixing bowl. Heat the half-and-half in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
In the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, heat the remaining 1/2 cup of cream and white chocolate until the chocolate melts. Whisk gently until smooth. Keep warm over warm water.
Whisk 1/2 cup of the hot cream into the yolk mixture, then slowly stir the egg yolks into the remaining hot cream, along with the white chocolate cream. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the custard is thickened and coats a spoon, about 8 minutes. Strain into a bowl and set the bowl into a large bowl filled with cracked ice. Let cool 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
To serve: Place a taco shell in the center of a dessert plate and gently fill with mixed fruit. Spoon the custard on one side, and chocolate sauce on the other side. Sprinkle with shaved white chocolate to simulate cheese. Garnish with a sprig of mint.