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.
- 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)
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
- 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.
- Beat in the egg and the gradually work into the flour to form a dough.
- 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)
- Bake for 15 mins.
- Remove from the oven and set aside while you prepare the filling.
- Pineapple filling:
- 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)
- In a medium-sized saucepan add 1 cup of the reserved syrup and bring it to a low boil.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of cornflour with a little cold water and stir until smooth.
- Add the cornflour, sugar and pineapple to the saucepan and stir well to return to the boil.
- Allow to boil gently for 3-4 minutes.
- Set aside to cool for a few minutes and then spread out on to the pastry.
- Custardy topping:
- Thicken 1.5 tbspns of cornflour with 1 tbspn milk. Stir well to remove any lumps.
- 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.
- 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).
- Spread the topping on to the pineapple filling and smooth.
- Sprinkle on some coconut and then allow to cool on the bench, transferring to the fridge to set when it has cooled down enough.