I start looking forward to the Winter by the time Halloween is over. There’s so much festive holiday cheer and warmth. Then there’s all the sweet delights…smores, Christmas cookies, hot chocolate and marshmallows, cinnamon and peppermint this and that…Oh and don’t forget the excitement of that first snow fall! I just love taking a walk in it.
But it’s just around now that the mood takes a turn. The new year’s excitement is gone. No one is in the mood to make peppermint this and cinnamon that. The second snow fall…not so exciting as you remember the shoveling, the wind and messy streets from the first snow fall. I don’t know about you, but post New Year’s Day I’m ready for warmer weather again.
Originally, I was trying to stay seasonal with a “winter mood” flavor for the tart I was making this week. Smore’s Pie? Cinnamon walnut tart?. But the winter flavors are just no longer appealing. So I’ve gone tropical with pineapples. The greatest thing about pineapples is that they are pretty much the same in taste year round.This is a tart similar to one which I made in culinary school. I thought almond cream and pineapples to be a strange combination but it turned out to be one of the most delicious tarts that we made. I highly recommend it even if you are not a huge fan of pineapples. You will be very surprised. For a more detailed post on making tart dough please see my post here.Recipe (makes one 9.5 inch tart)
For the crust:
1 2/3 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
8 Tbs cold butter (cubed into 1/2 inch pieces and chilled)
about 1/4 cup ice cold water
Mix together the dry ingredients. In an electric mixer (or food processor) combine the dry ingredients and the cold butter and paddle on slow speed until the butter is the size of small lentils. Add the water gradually and mix until just combined. Use your judgement here, don’t use all the water if it looks like the dough has come together. If it is too dry, you may need more. Wrap and store the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
For the almond cream (frangipane):
6 Tbs butter
3/8 cup sugar
3/4 cup almond flour
1 1/2 Tbs corn starch
In an electric mixer, paddle the butter, sugar and almond flour until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix until combined. Add the corn starch and mix to combine. If you are not using this immediately, you can refrigerate it but you will have to beat it again to soften it up.
For the tart:
Pineapple slices (about 1/2 pineapple worth)
Shelled, chopped pistachios (optional for garnish and crunch)
2-3 Tbs apricot preserves (for shine)
Roll out your dough to 12 inches and line an 9.5 inch tart ring with the dough, trimming off the excess. Refrigerate the dough for at least 20 minutes. Using a fork, poke holes on the bottom of the dough. Fill the tart shell with the almond cream spreading it as evenly as possible. Place your pineapples on top, overlapping the slices in a nice pattern. Bake at 350°F for about 35-40 minutes or until the top has browned and the almond cream has set. Heat the apricot preserves on the stove top until it becomes liquid. Brush on the preserves (avoid the chunks) onto the slightly cooled tart. Garnish around the edged with chopped pistachios.