Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Smoked Pineapple Tart a la Mode


We here in Kansas City just love when things are smoked! So why shouldn't fruit get in an all of the fun? As an honorary citizen(transplant from Arizona, mind you) of the Midwest, I salute you, Kansas City, for your love of the hickory, the cherry, the apple woods. I salute you, Kansas City, for your rising smoke stacks and perfect barbecue rub recipes. And since I am wearing my Pastry Chef toque, time to have some fun!

Smoked Pineapple Tart

  • 1 medium-sized pineapple
  • Pie crust(either store bought or use your favorite recipe(or you can use mine))
    • 8 oz butter
    • 10.5 oz flour
    • 2 Tbsp sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 Tbsp vinegar
    • Enough water to bring it together
      • Pulse it all together in a food processor. Or just combine all of this stuff by cutting the butter into the flour and then adding the liquids and eggs until it comes together, then freezing it/chilling it for at least one hour
  • Spicy Pastry Cream
    • 5 egg yolks
    • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 1 Tbsp butter, cold
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper**
Break down your pineapple by cutting off the tip and bottom. Then lay it flat on its bottom and "peel" the pineapple's thick husk using a chef's knife, carefully, following the curves of the fruit. Cut the fruit into half, down the middle and then down the middle again. You now have four quarters. Cut the core out of those corners by making one long slit down the middle of the fruit and discarding the ick. Slice each quarter piece into thirds, lengthwise, and then arrange on a sheet pan in your smoker. Or on a rack. It's really whatever. 

Don't have a smoker? No problem!

Take three disposable aluminum pans, the kind you get at the grocery store in the 'kitchen tools' aisle, and perforate one of them with a knife or a nail. Light a combination of your favorite wood chip blend and get some smoke going in the bottom of the first pan. Place the perforated pan atop the smoky 'coals' and then line with wax or parchment paper. Place your pineapple on the paper and cover with the third and final pan. Secure with aluminum foil and set it into a warm oven(200 degrees is just fine) for about 30 minutes.Just...keep your window open. It'll get smoky in your house.

Create your custard by whisking the sugar, salt, cayenne, cornstarch, and egg yolks together until it forms a wonderful thick ribbon. Boil the cream and vanilla together, and splash the hot liquid into the yolks, stirring constantly. Place the combined liquid back into the pan and bring it slowly-slowly-slowly to a boil, or until it gets thick, whisking constantly. Remove immediately from the heat and add in the butter. Give it a strain, too, if you can.

Roll out your pie dough into a large circle, big enough to fit into your pie/tart tin and have some hanging over. If you're using a tin, go ahead and get the dough into it now and let the dough sit, draped over the tin and its edges, for about five minutes. This allows the dough to relax. Once your dough is relaxed, fill about 2/3 of the way up with your reserved pastry cream. Then arrange the pineapple slices atop the custard in a pattern, or just plain across it. Just make sure it's covered completely! You can now either fold the dough over the pineapple, or trim it off the edges. It's up to you. I trimmed, but there's no reason you can't fold it over into a lovely flower-like galette! Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and delicious. Let it cool completely before cutting. If you want to eat it warm, pop it in a hot oven for about five minutes before slicing and serving with ice cream!

Happy eating!