Fresh Pineapple Pie
November 27, 2002

Crust:

Note: The dough is very sticky and requires a heaping 1/3 cup flour to roll it out.

1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter 2 C. unbleached all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 C. lard 1/3 C. ice water

Slice the butter in 1/2-inch slices. Fit a food processor with a metal blade and add the butter to the work bowl with the flour, salt, and lard. Process about 15 seconds or until just combined. With the machine running, pour water through the feed tube and process about 5 seconds longer, or until mixture just forms a ball, no more than one or two pulses. Remove dough, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate 1 hour.

Filling:

1 2-inch slice of stale homemade white bread, or two 1-inch slices commercial white bread, cut into 1 1/2-inch squares 3 Tbs. sugar One 3 1/2 - 4 lb. pineapple, or 1 fresh pineapple plus 1 can crushed pineapple 1 Tbs. lemon juice 1 C. dark brown sugar, lightly packed 2 Tbs. vodka 3 Tbs. lightly salted butter Cold water 1 egg yolk 1 tsp. milk

Fit the work bowl of a food processor with the steel blade. Add bread and the 3 Tbs. regular sugar and process until the mixture forms fine crumbs. Remove to a separate bowl. Wipe out the work bowl.

Cut the top off the pineapple. Cut a 1/2-inch slice off the bottom. Stand the pineapple on the blunted bottom and cutting downward, strip off the peel all around. Cut the pineapple lengthwise into four parallel pieces, isolating the fibrous core in the center. Discard core section. With a chef's knife, cut the pineapple wedges into 1/2-inch slivers. Measure 4 cups of slivers and transfer them to a large strainer or colander set over a measuring cup to drain and collect the juice. Drain the canned and crushed pineapple, combine it with the 4 cups of fresh slivers, and add the juice of the canned pineapple to the juice of the fresh pineapple to get one cup.

Place the juice in a 2-quart non-aluminum saucepan. Add the lemon juice, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and vodka. Bring to a simmer and be careful it does not boil over. Simmer about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until liquids are reduced to 1/2 cup. From time to time add additional juice from drained crushed pineapple to saucepan. When it is syrupy, melt the butter and add to the syrup.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it into two pieces, on 2/3 and one 1/3 of the whole. Return the smaller piece to the refrigerator. Generously coat a work surface with flour. Roll the dough into a 13-inch circle. Line a 12-inch metal tart pan with the dough. Trim edges of the crust to 1-inch beyond the outer rim. Sprinkle the reserved crumb/sugar mixture evenly over the bottom of crust and refrigerate.

Roll remaining dough into a 14 x 7-inch rectangle. Trim it neatly to 12 x 6 inches. Mark the pastry lengthwise at 1/2-inch intervals across the top and bottom of the 6-inch side. Using a fluted ravioli cutter, guided by a ruler, cut the rectangle into twelve 1/2-inch strips for the lattice top. This provides two extra strips for emergencies.

Toss the pineapple mixture with the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar. Add the reserved syrup and quickly mix it through the pineapple. Turn pineapple mixture evenly into bottom of lined pie plate and pack gently.

Carefully loosen the lattice strips from the work surface with a flat plastic scraper or a spatula. Brush the rim of the bottom crust lightly with cold water. Begin to weave the lattice strips over and under to create a lattice top pie design as demonstrated in class.

Working around the rim, fasten all ends, pinching each strip carefully but firmly into the bottom crust. Press crust to 1/2-inch beyond the plate rim. Brush rim lightly with water and bend bottom crust up and over lattice ends: seal firmly with a fork. Mix egg yolk and milk. Brush mixture over lattice strips and around pastry rim. Bake for one hour and ten minutes.

Cool 1-2 hours before serving. Serve with vanilla bean ice cream.

Copyright Roberta L. Dowling

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