One day I’m hoping to recover from my obsession with turning every single piece of food in my kitchen into a blog post recipe, but for now, the only thing stopping me from doing that is time. I had two pineapples lurking around my fruit bowl waiting to get converted into something interesting and the puff pastry is always in the freezer. A tartin popped to mind. I’ve done a few over the years and included a poached quince tartin recipe in my new cookbook ‘sweet’. They really are the easiest possible dessert to knock together at the last-minute.
Pineapples remind me of summer and tropical Islands so I decided to use a whipped coconut cream as the accompaniment instead of whipped cream. I had never done this before. I also used palm sugar, which next to a natural raw demarera is my favourite sugar. It’s so delicious I can just nibble on it like candy. I think a brown sugar works best here as it adds a delicious caramel flavour to the syrup.
If you are daring you could add a pinch of dried chili flakes, a few drops of Tabasco sauce or even saffron to add an exotic spicy dimension to this tartin. All of those go superbly with pineapple. I left it plain this time because I was giving it straight to my teenage twin nephews and I think they would have preferred it this way.
I love to flambé things. It makes me feel all cheffy and takes me back to my Hotel School days. It also allows you to burn off the harshness of the alcohol while leaving behind the flavour. I used a spicy dark rum for this recipe. A splash of vanilla went in too, but I probably should have used the seeds from a pod instead.
Only good things can come about when you combine butter, sugar, pineapples, rum and pastry, and this is my recipe.
- 250gm sheet all butter puff pastry, thawed in the fridge to room temperature
- 50gm butter
- 2 medium pineapples, tops and bottoms trimmed, skins cut off
- 1/2 cup palm sugar or demarera sugar
- 80ml dark rum
- 1 tsp vanilla. or the desks from a vanilla pod
- coconut cream, fresh cream or vanilla ice cream to serve
Preheat the oven to 180c / 350 F
Cut the flesh off the pineapple core to make about 1.5cm slices. Melt the butter in a large (wide) non-stick frying pan until bubbling. Add the sliced pineapple along with the sugar and let it simmer. This will take about 3 minutes.Add the rum and ignite this with a flame. Allow the alcohol to cook off and the flames to die down. Add the vanilla extract. Cook for a further 2 minutes or so. You want the syrup to start thickening and the pineapples to be firm but cooked through.
When they are ready, empty the fruit and syrup into a sealed cake tine, or smaller frying pan (skillet). I have a 24cm shallow stainless steel pan that is perfect for tartin (pictured above). Arrange the pieces to cover the entire surface of the pan. There may be some overlap. Place the chilled square of puff pastry on top and stretch it to cover the surface, tucking in an excess pastry at the corners.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes and until the puff pastry is golden brown. I like to cool this to room temperature before tipping it out onto a flat plate. You may need to run a spatula around the inner rim of the tartin to loosen it.
Serve with whipped coconut cream, cream, or vanilla ice cream.
* Note – to whip coconut cream, simply whisk a tin of coconut cream until it is in soft peaks. it doesnt whip up very stiff like cream. I added 2 tablespoons of icing sugar to the cream to sweeten it slightly and added a few drops of vanilla extract for additional flavour.
If you wanted to leave the alcohol out, simply do so and skip the flambee stage.
A few of my favourite pineapple recipes: