I think the weather has been conspiring against me from the moment Hungry Hubby said “I am buying you a DSLR camera”. That night, a torrent of rain began which soaked us through running to the camera store and I swear, the rain and dark days haven’t stopped since! So, today I spent the day at home cooking, thinking my next blog post would be about the lamb rogan josh bubbling on my stove with beautiful pictures to illustrate it. Alas, ’twas not meant to be – I burnt it a bit yabbering away to a friend on Facebook whilst I meant to be keeping an eye on the pot! And it was so dark, I feared even RAW files in PhotoShop would not rescue my newbie photographer “skills”, such that they are 😉 So, instead of telling you about my iffy main course, let me spread a ray of sunshine through the gloom with a dessert that starts with these somewhat storecupboard ingredients…
My lovely foodie friend Mhairi (or Twinkles as I call her) sent me the recipe for this, what I call “pineapple tart cake” so long ago but despite buying a jar of pineapple jam, I never made it. So many recipes, so little time! Fortunately, after my other lovely foodie friend Carrie gave me the book from which the recipe came and I discovered the jam still had a month left on its expiry date. Score! So I set about making the cover cake of this beautiful book.

totally tropical tart

Now, if you’re half as hopeless a romantic as me, you’ll recognise the above photo is not one of sugar, eggs and lime zest but the aerial view of a dessert island. One with shallow, crystal clear waters bar some fronds of seaweed and the reflections of the sun moving overhead in the midday heat in the depths away from the white sand beach… Can you tell I am longing for a holiday? Well, as I am without a passport until Thursday, this tart-cake will have to do its best to transport me to tropical shores. And it really does.

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You see, the beauty of this dessert is the sheer simplicity. You make a simple sweet shortcrust pastry, the amount perfect to line your tin with then spread with most of a jar of jam then gently pour over a light, fluffy and bubbly cake batter and bake as one. No blind baking, no messing about with sugar thermometers (although you could make your own jam, should you feel the need). The result is far greater than each of the individual ingredients are. Just like great friendships really, when I come to think of it 🙂

Now onto the taste, well almost. I have to tell you first that before I tried this tart, I felt the preserved peach and almond tart with whipped yogurt and honey I had back in March for my birthday at Jamie’s Italian as the best dessert I had ever had. Oh yes I did. It was perfect. The flavour profile, the textures, the crumbly tender pastry against the impossibly light yogurt with a background hum of almond and tang of peach. Perfection. I had plans for making my own, seeing as attempts to bribe the waiter, an email, Facebook comment and Tweet to the “Jamie Empire” (as I doubt any of these actually reached “Him”!) left me without a hint of a recipe, lol! These plans fell by the wayside as I feared the feeling of failure and disappointment, should I not be able to recreate this perfect pud.

totally tropical tart

Little did I know, despite the obvious differences in ingredients, that this totally tropical tart would instantly transport me back to that night, dimly lit, having feasted on an equally fabulous sharing plank starter and main courses and fuelled with a fabulous bottle of wine with my Hungry Hubby several months before. We sat at our breakfast bar tonight, having eaten our burnt lamb curry, leftover over dhal roti and lime and yogurt spiced butternut squash the light fading and me rushing to quickly get a decent shot of the tart before and after slicing. Luckily for me, Hubby might be Hungry but he is also the most understanding and patient man alive! I scooped a tablespoon of Total 0% Greek yogurt (the best brand you can buy, of Greek yoggie, in the UK in my opinion at least!) on my slice and marvelled at the supremely tender pastry case. The almost roasted sweetness from the pineapple jam. The scent and rasp of lime, always reminiscent to me of my favourite cocktail, a mojito – the taste of hot summer evenings. The sponge so soft and delicate yet somehow, and I haven’t figured this out yet, frangipane like despite it’s complete lack of ground almonds. A truly perfect tart and please, please, please – do get yourself some Greek yogurt. Never will it find a more “meant to be” plate mate!

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Pineapple Tart Cake
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For the pastry
  1. 150g plain flour
  2. 75g cold butter, chopped small
  3. 1 tbsp caster sugar
  4. 1/4 tsp salt
  5. 1 egg yolk (reserve the white)
  6. 1-3tbsp very cold water
  7. About 200g pineapple jam
For the cake
  1. 150g caster sugar
  2. Zest of a lime
  3. 3 eggs + the reserved white from the pastry
  4. 75g melted butter
  5. 150g plain flour
  6. 1/4 tsp baking powder
  7. Pinch salt
Instructions
  1. For the pastry, blitz everything bar the water in a food processor then dribble in enough cold water to bring the dough together, pulsing the machine as you go.
  2. Or make traditionally by rubbing in the butter to the flour and sugar then stir in enough egg and water to bring together.
  3. Either way, wrap in cling and refrigerate 30 mins.
  4. Roll out to a 11 inch circle between two sheets of cling, lightly flour the dough first if it's a little sticky.
  5. Peel off one layer of cling then line a 9 inch spring form pan with the dough (I lined my tin with parchment but feel free to butter and flour it lightly instead)- peel off the second layer of cling. Spread the jam on the pastry base then return to the fridge as prepare the filling.
  6. Whisk the eggs and white, sugar and zest until much increased in volume and pale in colour.
  7. Sift over a third of the flour, salt and baking powder then add the butter with the next third of the flour - fold in lightly.
  8. Fold in the final third of the flour then pour gently from a low height onto the jam covered pastry.
  9. Bake in an oven at 180˚C until risen, golden and springs back to your touch - between 35-45 minutes depending on your oven.
  10. Cool for 5mins then unclip the sides of the tin.
  11. Cool until more or less room temp on a rack then remove off the base too.
  12. Delightful served with Greek yogurt or Creme Fraiche whilst still a touch warm, mmmmm 🙂
Adapted from Warm Bread & Honey Cake by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra
Adapted from Warm Bread & Honey Cake by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra
Every Nook & Cranny https://www.everynookandcranny.net/
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