I love pineapple, but supermarket pineapples are frequently disappointing, so I developed a pineapple confit to sweeten and concentrate the fruit for this tart. The confit takes some time to prepare, but it’s worth the extra effort.
Makes one 10-inch tart, 8 to 10 servings
One 10-inch tart crust made from Sweet Pastry Dough
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened Thai coconut cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pineapple Confit (recipe follows)
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- Set a rack at the lowest level in the oven and preheat to 350°F.
- Combine the sugar and flour in a medium bowl and whisk them thoroughly together. Add the eggs and whisk smooth. Whisk in the coconut cream and vanilla.
- Cut the wedges of pineapple confit into 1/4-inch-thick slices and arrange them overlapping on the tart crust.
- Gently pour in the coconut cream, filling the crust only to within 1/4 inch of the top. If the crust is too full, the coconut cream will overflow while the tart is baking. Sprinkle the top of the tart with the shredded coconut.
- Carefully transfer the tart to the oven. Bake until the crust is cooked through and the coconut cream has set, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Cool the tart on a rack. Unmold the tart and slide it onto a platter; serve it on the day it’s baked.
If you live in Hawaii, you can buy a perfectly ripe, sweet pineapple, but most of us have to contend with ones that are underripe and lacking in sweetness. Several years ago, I experimented successfully with roasting pineapple before using it in a tarte tatin; this recipe takes the process a step further and adds some butter and sugar to enhance the pineapple’s flavor, with excellent results.
Makes enough for 1 large tart, about 18 ounces
1 large pineapple, 2 to 2 1/2 pounds
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
- Set a rack at the middle level in the oven and preheat to 300°F; if you have a convection setting, preheat to 275°F.
- Trim the top and bottom from the pineapple and halve it lengthwise. Cut each half into 4 long wedges, then trim the core and peel from each, being careful to cut away any eyes that remain on the skin side.
- Sprinkle the bottom of a small roasting pan with a third of the butter and a third of the sugar and arrange the pineapple wedges on it peeled side down. Sprinkle with the remaining butter and sugar.
- Bake the pineapple until it softens and starts to color a little, about 1 1/2 hours, using tongs to turn the wedges every half hour.
- Increase the temperature to 425°F (400°F convection) and continue baking the pineapple until the sugar caramelizes. Watch carefully to be sure the sugar doesn’t darken too much.
- Allow the pineapple to cool for a few minutes, then use tongs to transfer it to a shallow bowl.
- Place the pan over low heat and let the sugar start to melt. Add the water and use a silicone spatula to scrape up any caramel stuck to the pan. Let the juices reduce slightly and pour them over the pineapple.
- Cool the pineapple completely before using it. For the best flavor, refrigerate it before using.
SWEET PASTRY DOUGH
Makes enough for 2 single-crusted pies, 1 double-crusted pie, or 10 individual 4/1-inch tarts
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (spoon into dry-measure cup and level)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
8 tablespoons/1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 12 pieces
2 large eggs
- Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor; pulse several times at 1-second intervals to mix.
- Add the butter cubes and pulse again until the butter is finely mixed throughout the dry ingredients and no visible pieces remain.
- Use a fork to beat the eggs enough to break them up, and add them to the bowl. Pulse again until the dough almost forms a ball; avoid pulsing too much or the dough might become too soft.
- Invert the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead it together 3 or 4 times to make it smooth.
- Divide the dough into 2 pieces, form them into disks, and wrap each one in plastic. Chill the dough for a couple of hours before rolling.
- Before rolling the dough, place it on a floured surface and gently knead until smooth and malleable. Form into a disk again before beginning to roll.
To mix the dough by hand, stir the dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl. Add the butter and use your fingertips to rub the butter into the dry ingredients, occasionally using your hands to scrape the bottom of the bowl and incorporate any unmixed flour. Once the butter is finely mixed throughout and no visible pieces of butter remain, use a fork to beat the eggs to break them up; add them to the bowl. Use the fork to scrape up from the bottom of the bowl and incorporate the eggs. You can also stir with the fork while using the other hand to move the bowl back and forth on the work surface. Once the dough starts holding together, continue with step 4 as described.
To mix the dough in a stand mixer, combine the dry ingredients in the mixer bowl and place it on the mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix on the lowest speed for a few seconds, then add the butter and continue mixing until it begins to break down into smaller pieces, about 30 seconds. Stop and scrape the bowl and beater, then repeat 30 seconds of mixing, followed by stopping and scraping, until the butter is finely worked into the dry ingredients and no visible pieces remain. Whisk the eggs to break them up; add them to the mixer bowl. Mix again on lowest speed until the dough begins to hold together, then continue with step 4 as described.