Nana’s Pineapple Tart

Pineapple tart

A few weeks ago my Nana passed away after a long and painful battle with Parkinson’s Disease. It has been a tough time for all our family as we come to terms with the loss of one of the most vibrant and wonderful people from our lives. Each day becomes a little easier but every now and then I’m forced to remind myself that she’s gone. It’s a difficult situation but I’m navigating my way through as best I can.

One of the fondest memories I have of my grandmother is her cooking. She was a tremendous cook who always knew how to make a wonderful meal from even the most basic set of ingredients. As you would have read in a previous post, my Nana’s pineapple tart was one of her most famous creations and it was a staple at every family event. Like many cooks of her vintage, Nana cooked from memory and many years of trial and error. A few years ago my Mum decided to sit down with Nana as she cooked a few of our favourites and wrote down each of the steps. I’m so glad that she did because it means we can continue to make a pineapple tart for our family and friends and remember our beloved Nana in the process. It also means I can share this recipe with you, my dear readers who have been so wonderfully kind and supportive during this tough time.

It’s a lovely, sweet dessert that I hope you will have a go at making and sharing with your loved ones. It’s really easy to make and uses simple ingredients, many of which I’m sure you’ve already got in your kitchen. If you’re not a fan of pineapple then I can’t see why you couldn’t use apples, pears or peaches but to me, it just wouldn’t be the same.

Nana's Pineapple Tart
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
My grandmother's Pineapple slice was a firm favourite at every family event. It is a lovely example of simple, Australian-style cooking with a sweet biscuity base, jammy pineapple filling and a sweet custardy top.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Australian
Serves: plenty
  • Part 1: Pastry
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 cups of SR flour (I used wholemeal)
  • Part 2: Pineapple filling
  • 1 850g tinned of crushed pineapple in syrup
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • Part 3 - Custardy topping
  • 1.5 tbspns of cornflour
  • 1.5 cups of milk + 1 tbspn
  • 1 tbspn of butter
  • 3 tbspns icing sugar
  • ½ tspn of vanilla bean paste (optional)
  • 2-3 tbspns shredded coconut (optional)
  1. Pastry:
  2. Heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
  3. Using your hands, rub the butter into the sugar until it is all combined. No need to wait until the butter is at room temperature for this.
  4. Beat in the egg and the gradually work into the flour to form a dough.
  5. Lightly grease a lamington tin and then 'roll out' the pastry to line the base of the tin. (Mum's note: it may not 'roll out' properly so you can just press it in to the tin)
  6. Bake for 15 mins.
  7. Remove from the oven and set aside while you prepare the filling.
  8. Pineapple filling:
  9. Open the tin of pineapple and drain the syrup into a bowl or jug. (Don't drain into the sink as you will use some of the syrup to make your filling)
  10. In a medium-sized saucepan add 1 cup of the reserved syrup and bring it to a low boil.
  11. Mix 1 tablespoon of cornflour with a little cold water and stir until smooth.
  12. Add the cornflour, sugar and pineapple to the saucepan and stir well to return to the boil.
  13. Allow to boil gently for 3-4 minutes.
  14. Set aside to cool for a few minutes and then spread out on to the pastry.
  15. Custardy topping:
  16. Thicken 1.5 tbspns of cornflour with 1 tbspn milk. Stir well to remove any lumps.
  17. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring 1.5 cups of milk to a gentle boil and add the cornflour mixture. Stir until it starts to thicken.
  18. Add the vanilla bean paste, butter and icing sugar and whip to a cream (my note: I transferred the contents to a mixing bowl and whipped for a minute of two with the mixer).
  19. Spread the topping on to the pineapple filling and smooth.
  20. Sprinkle on some coconut and then allow to cool on the bench, transferring to the fridge to set when it has cooled down enough.



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