Recipe: Golden fresh pineapple tarte

By Judi Rose, March 26, 2009
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This gorgeous Pesach dessert, with caramelised fresh pineapple atop a moist almond filling, makes a wonderful (and convenient) finale to a Seder or Passover meal. The sweet almond filling makes a delectable contrast with the refreshing pineapple bathed in a glistening, golden glaze.

The pastry does not need long to chill and is easy to roll out without cracking, particularly if you roll it sandwiched between two sheets of parchment paper or cling-film. It is equally good for jam tarts or coconut or almond slices. As the pastry is so short — and therefore rather fragile — it is better to cook the pineapple tarte in an oven-to-table dish so it does not need unmoulding.

The pastry can be made two days ahead and kept frozen or refrigerated, and the tarte assembled and baked up to 24 hours before serving.

Serves 8 (10 with another dessert). Baked unfilled case keeps 2 days under refrigeration. Do not freeze filled tarte.

Ingredients

Pastry
● 150g (5 oz) block margarine
● 75g (3 oz) potato flour
● 150g (5 oz) cake or fine matzah meal
● 50g (2 oz) caster sugar
● 1 egg, beaten
● 1 tbsp lemon juice
● 1 teasp water

Filling
● 75g (3 oz) ground almonds
● 75g (3 oz) caster sugar
● 75g (3 oz) margarine
● 1 large egg
● few drops almond essence
● 2 level tbsp potato flour

Topping
● 25g (1 oz) margarine
● 50g (2 oz) caster sugar
● 1 large pineapple
● 2 tbsp Passover brandy or orange liqueur

Method
● To make the pastry, cut the fat in 2.5 cm (1 in) chunks, put in the food processor with the dry ingredients and pulse 10 times.
● Add the liquid and pulse just until the mixture begins to cling together in little moist balls.
● Tip into a mixing bowl, gather into a ball with the fingers and then knead well until smooth and free from cracks. Flatten into a block about 2.5 cm (1 in) thick and chill for at least 30 minutes.
● Have ready a 24-25cm (9 ½-10 in) oven-to-table flan dish at least 4 cm (1 ½ in) deep.
● On a board lightly dusted with potato flour, roll out the chilled dough 3mm thick.
● Carefully ease it into the dish, making a small pleat all the way around where the sides meet the base so that the pastry is slightly thicker near the bottom — this prevents shrinkage. Trim the pastry level with the dish.
● Prick the bottom and the sides of the case with a fork then press a large piece of foil into its shape, completely covering the bottom and sides. l Put in the freezer while oven is heating.
● Preheat the oven to 190˚C (375˚F, Gas 5) and bake the pastry case with the foil on for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the foil, re-prick the case if it looks puffy and return to the oven for a further 5-8 minutes or until a very pale gold in colour. Cool on a rack.
● Turn the oven to 180˚C, 350˚F, Gas 4). Beat the filling ingredients together by hand or machine until smooth, then spread evenly over the bottom of the cooled pastry shell. Bake for 15 minutes.
● Meanwhile, peel and core the pineapple, cut into 1cm (½ inch) thick rings, then halve them.
● In a heavy frying pan, melt fat and sugar, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Sauté the pineapple slices in this mixture for 8 minutes until tinged with gold, turning once.
● Remove the tarte from the oven. With a slotted spoon, transfer the fruit slices to the tarte, arranging them decoratively.
● Add the liqueur to the pan and bubble until the mixture thickens slightly. Brush the pineapple with this glaze.
● Bake the tarte for a further 10-15 minutes or until both the crust and pineapple are golden.
● Serve at room temperature, plain or with sorbet.

Last updated: 12:33pm, March 26 2009