Saturday, January 30, 2010

Jade: Bitemypineapple

There is little in this world that is more satisfying than a good, homemade pineapple tart. The perfect ratio of buttery pastry to gooey, tangy pineapple paste that disintegrates as soon as it touches your tongue. And it's not just the tart itself..the whole process is a whirlpool of sensations from start to finish: the fresh, fruity fragrance of pureed pineapple gradually intensifies to something more golden and syrupy..until finally you're swathed in a heady perfume, an exotic mix of warm caramel with a hint of cinnamon; Sight...watching the bright purée thicken ever so slowly, marvelling at the subtle changes in shades, from sunshine yellow to a rich reddish gold; Touch..crumbly pastry..sticky rounds of jam..painstakingly stretching the flour and butter concoction..gently rolling it between your palms to get a perfect sphere; Taste..of warm little bundles of joy fresh from the oven...sweet, tart and singing with tropical goodness; Sound...the sigh of pleasure that escapes your lips as you savour them..trying to make each one last..

Pineapple tarts

2 small pineapples or 2 cans of pineapple in juice please, not syrup. Drained and chopped
4-5 tbsp brown sugar
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon

350g flour
220g butter
1tbsp shortening
2 egg yolks
1/4 tsp salt
50g cornstarch
3 tbsp icing sugar

egg wash

1. For the jam, blitz the pineapple a blender or food processor. I have neither so i used my stick blender, worked like a dream.
2. Sieve to get rid of a bit of the liquid, transfer to
a large, heavy bottomed non-stick pan, and stir over medium heat
3. Be patient
4. Once the mixture has thickened quite a bit, ie if you scrape the bottom of the pan with your spoon, you should see a clear line, no fluid rushing in , add the sugar slowly, tasting as you go along.
5. Add the cinnamon and salt and continue stirring until the whole mixture comes together in a ball. Should take about 45 minutes to an hour, depending
6. Cool and either store, or shape into balls in preparation for wrapping.
7. For the pastry, cream the butter, shortening and sugar
8. Add the yolks and mix
9. Sift in the flour, salt and cornstarch and mix gently.
11. Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
10. Now wrap. It's a very fiddly dough, quite add a bit more shortening if you have to. Be gentle as it is prone to breaking apart.
11. Glaze with a beaten egg, and bake for 10-15 minutes
12. Cool and devour. I would happily get fat on these, no questions asked :)

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