Pastry Chef Koa Duncan of Water Grill in Los Angeles, CA on
Pastry Chef Koa Duncan

Water Grill
544 South Grand
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 891-0900

Cajeta Tart with Chile-Almond Goat's Milk Ice Cream, Guava Puree and Tequila Caramel
Pastry Chef Koa Duncan of Water Grill – Los Angeles, CA
Adapted by

Cajeta Tart with Chile-Almond Goat’s Milk Ice Cream, Guava Puree and Tequila Caramel from Pastry Chef Koa Duncan of Water Grill in Los Angeles on StarChefs.comYield: 10 Servings


    Tart Dough:
  • 250 grams butter, softened
  • 220 grams sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 grams finely ground salt
  • 4 grams baking powder
  • 350 grams all-purpose flour
  • 50 grams cornmeal

    Egg Wash:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ounce water
  • Pinch of salt

    Cajeta Filling:
  • 16 ounces sugar
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1 quart goat’s milk
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in 1 Tablespoon water

    Chile-Marcona Almond Praline:
  • 225 grams sugar
  • 25 grams corn syrup
  • 2 ounces water
  • 28 grams honey
  • 112 grams brown sugar
  • 28 grams butter, softened
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 gram salt
  • 1 gram ground black pepper

    Chile-Almond Goat’s Milk Ice Cream:
  • 2 cups manufacturing cream
  • 4 cups goat’s milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 10 ounces sugar
  • 10 ounces egg yolk
  • 4 grams chili flakes
  • 12 ounces Marcona almonds, toasted

    Guava Puree:
  • 4 ounces guava puree
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon lime zest

    Tequila and Vanilla Caramel Sauce:
  • 2½ ounces corn syrup
  • 2 ounces water
  • 2½ ounces sugar
  • ¼ vanilla bean, scraped
  • 4 ounces top shelf añejo tequila (aged tequila)

    Poached Quince:
  • 1½ cups water
  • ½ cup Sauvignon Blanc
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 quince, peeled and sectioned


For Tart Dough:
Mix the butter, sugar and orange zest in an electric mixer until smooth. Add the eggs, and then slowly add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix until well until incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic, and chill at least 30 minutes.

For Egg Wash:
Whisk ingredients together and set aside.

For Cajeta Filling:
In a medium-sized sauce pot, combine the sugar and milks; set over medium heat, simmer and reduce the mixture by half. Remove from heat and add the baking soda, stirring until it is dissolved. When the bubbles subside, return the pot to the heat, allowing the mixture to reduce again for 30 minutes. Stir frequently as the filling turns a caramel brown color, and takes on the consistency of maple syrup. When the mixture has cooled it should be the consistency of very thick caramel sauce. Strain and chill overnight.

For Chile-Marcona Almond Praline:
In a medium-sized pot, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water, and bring to a boil. When the mixture becomes a dark caramel add in the remaining ingredients all at once, stirring to combine. Pour mixture onto a Silpat, or a non-stick baking mat. Once completely cooled, chop the praline into small bits.

For Chile-Almond Goat’s Milk Ice Cream:
Bring the cream and milk to a boil with the vanilla bean. Whisk sugar into the yolks, and temper the 2 mixtures together away from the heat. Return the mixture to the stove and cook until it thickens slightly. Strain through a chinois and then cool it in a water bath. Refrigerate the mixture overnight and spin in an ice cream machine, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. As the ice cream comes out of the machine, swirl in the Chile-Marcona Almond Praline.

For Guava Sauce:
Mix all ingredients well and refrigerate.

For Tequila and Vanilla Caramel Sauce:
In a small pot boil the corn syrup, water, and sugar until it is a golden brown color; add the vanilla bean. Remove the caramel from heat and slowly add the tequila, being careful not to ignite the alcohol. Return sauce to the stove on low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved into the tequila. Strain through a chinois and chill.

For Poached Quince:
Combine the water, wine, and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer just until the sugar is dissolved, approximately 1 minute. Add the quince and simmer for 2-4 minutes, until the fruit is tender but still slightly firm. Remove the mixture from heat and pour into a heatproof glass bowl. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature; cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

To Assemble and Serve:
Preheat oven to 325ºF.
Spray 10 (3-4-inch) tart molds with a baking spray. Roll out half of the tart dough to ¼-inch thickness. Cut out the dough to line the tart molds, pressing the tart dough about ½-inch up the sides. Brush the edges with egg wash and fill the center of each tart with 2 ounces of Cajeta filling.

Roll out the remaining half of the tart dough to ¼-inch thickness, and cut it to fit as the top layers for each tart. Place the dough cover on each tart by pushing out the air and pinching the edges to hold in the filling. Trim any excess dough from around the edges, as necessary. Brush the tops with egg wash, and scrape the tops gently with a fork to make a decorative design. Bake tarts for approximately 10 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown.

Drizzle ½-ounce of guava puree and ½-ounce of tequila and vanilla caramel sauce onto each serving plate. Place 1 warm tart on each plate, and top with a quenelle of the Chile-almond goat’s milk ice cream. Garnish each serving plate with 3 sections of quince, placed next to each other and facing the same direction. Serve immediately.

   Published: January 2006