Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is as classic as it comes but pineapple tart or pie, not so much. The original recipe appeared in a fund-raising cookbook in the USA around 1924. Later Gold Metal Flour came out with a full page ad in a women’s magazine in 1925.
Since then, there are many variations to this classic cake. The sweet-tart flavor of pineapple works beautifully alongside a wide range of companion flavors and ingredients as well as the gentle spices of ginger, cinnamon and vanilla to enhance it just a bit more.
Because this particular fruit doesn’t ripen further after being picked, its good to look for a pineapple that is heavy for its size, with a rich, sweet fragrance.
Pineapple pie is not the number one star among pies. In the fall and winter season, its probably apple and in spring and summer, strawberry or maybe blueberry. However, I thought I’d make a ‘hybrid’ version of the old classic. This pineapple tart looks beautiful presented as one large ring, although it could easily be made into individual tarts as well. Of course, don’t hesitate to top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.
Spiced Pineapple Puff Tart
In a small saucepan, melt butter then add ginger, cinnamon & sugar; stir to dissolve. Add orange juice & bring mixture to a boil. Remove from heat, add vanilla & allow to sit for at least 30 minutes to infuse flavors. Peel pineapple & cut into quarters. Remove the core, then slice into 1 cm chunks, then place them into a deep dish. Reheat the syrup; pour over pineapple & allow to marinate until ready to use.
Roll the pastry out on a piece of parchment paper to a thickness of 1/8-inch, then trim to make a large circle. Cut out about a 2-inch circle from the center to form a ring. Cut any pastry that has been trimmed off into pieces & place on top of circle giving it a second layer. Transfer to a baking sheet & place in fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.
Strain the syrup from the pineapple into a small saucepan. Add cornstarch; place over a medium heat to thicken.
Prick the pastry ring all over with a fork, then arrange the pineapple pieces in a fan around the ring.
Dust the tart liberally with powdered sugar & bake for about 20 minutes, or until the top is caramelized & golden brown. When ready to serve, drizzle with spiced syrup & top with a scoop of ice cream.
Although, avocados are most traditionally used as a main ingredient in guacamole or to top a salad or sandwich, used in baking they are amazing.
When adding them into yeast bread recipes, you can replace all the butter with equal amounts of room temperature, mashed, ripe avocado. The ripeness of the avocado is very important as it needs to be very soft for it to work perfectly.
In addition to their creamy texture and mild flavor, avocados have a high water content so they can help to make baking softer, chewier and less likely to crumble.
You can freeze mashed, fresh, ripe avocados if you want to have an ’emergency supply’ on hand. To freeze, mash the avocados with a fork or blender. Add some lime juice and mix well. For every avocado use about 1 tablespoon of lime juice to prevent them from browning. Fill a freezer weight zip-lock bag with this puree. Remove the air from the bag, then zip closed and freeze. Best to use frozen avocados within 4-5 months of freezing.
I thought some Major Grey’s mango chutney would be a perfect compliment to these avocado rolls. Major Grey’s chutney is a style of chutney not a brand. The ingredients in Major Grey’s chutney vary both across commercial brands and recipes, but a few elements seem to remain constant like mangoes, raisins, citrus, onions, a sugar of some sort, and warm spices. The chutney is sweet and tangy with a nice ‘kick’ of heat at the end that’s enough to compliment the different layers of flavor without consuming them. You will often see it served with curried dishes or as a compliment to meats and cheeses.
Major Grey’s chutney is considered by many the gold standard of all chutneys. Complete with its own legend of a 19th Century British Army officer who presumably lived in British India and created this unique condiment.
The great part about making your own chutney is that you can tailor the ‘sweet & heat’ balance to your own preferences. Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with just picking up a jar at the supermarket!!
Avocado Dinner Buns w/ Major Grey's Mango Chutney
Major Grey's Mango Chutney
In a small bowl, place yeast, lukewarm milk & 1 tsp sugar. Stir; cover & set aside until frothy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together remaining 1/4 cup sugar, mashed avocado, eggs. Add yeast mixture & stir to combine.
In another bowl, whisk flour & salt. Add flour mixture to yeast mixture gradually, combining after each addition. Once all flour has been added, knead on a lightly floured surface for about 2 minutes.
Lightly grease the large bowl, place dough in it & cover with plastic wrap & a tea towel. Allow to rest for at least an hour in a draft-free place until dough has doubled in volume.
Punch dough down. Divide into 18 equal pieces in shape into balls. Place into a greased baking dish & cover with plastic wrap/towel. Allow to rise until doubled in volume, about an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake rolls about 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven; cool for just a few minutes then brush with the Tbsp of butter. Serve with Mango Chutney.
In a saucepan, combine all chutney ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring, until reduced & thick. Refrigerate any not used on rolls.