I know lots of people who panic at the idea of making pastry dough, but please relax! This is an easy-to-handle flaky pastry dough that I used in culinary school and continue to use on a regular basis because it produces consistent results. Here are some tips to help along the way:
- Read the recipe before starting and be aware that the dough needs to rest a few times; be patient.
- For best results, weigh out the ingredients (the ratio is 2 flour : 1 butter). I've listed the weight of flour and butter in grams and provided an approximation in cups and tablespoons, respectively, but do use the scale.
- Work in a cool room on a cool surface; flaky dough depends on cold butter and the last thing you want is for it to melt as you work.
- Have a glass of ice water on hand. You will need approximately 3 tablespoons, but may need a bit more depending on the dough's consistency.
- Letting the dough rest and chill is really important: skip those steps and you'll end up with tough, shrunken dough!
- I roll out the dough between pieces of parchment paper--it's neater and makes it much easier to transport the dough from counter to baking sheet, etc.
- This recipe is a little unorthodox in that the bottom crust is blind baked before topping with the pineapple jam and lattice top: this produces crunchier results.
- This recipe is meant to be rustic and homemade in appearance, so don't stress about ragged edges and an imperfect lattice top.
- For the pineapple filling:
- 1 large, ripe pineapple, peeled and cored
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- For the crust:
- 600 grams all-purpose flour (4 cups), plus additional for dusting work surface (See Notes)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 300 grams unsalted butter (21 tablespoons), cut into 1/4-inch pieces and chilled (See Notes)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Ice water, as needed (See Notes)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
Coarsely chop pineapple and transfer to large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven.
Whisk water and cornstarch in small bowl and stir into pineapple. Stir in sugar and salt and bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until golden and jam-like, 45 to 60 minutes. Off heat, stir in butter.
Cool to room temperature, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare crust.
Combine flour and salt on a clean, dry, and cool work surface. With a bench scraper, cut in butter until it resembles wet sand. Alternatively, combine flour and salt in bowl of food processor and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles wet sand, then transfer mixture to work surface.
Form a well in the center of flour-butter mixture and pour in eggs and 1 tablespoon ice water. Working quickly, use the bench scraper to combine the ingredients. If the mixture appears very dry and crumbly, add ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until mixture is cohesive but not overly wet.
Bring dough together with lightly floured hands. Pinch off small pieces of dough and, working quickly, with the heel of your hand extend on work surface to ensure even distribution of butter. Gather dough together.
Divide dough in half and shape each piece into a disc. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut four pieces of parchment paper, about 20- by 15-inches each. Place one dough disc between two pieces of parchment and roll out (always start rolling from the middle, extending towards parchment paper edges) to 17- by 12-inches. Peel off top parchment sheet and dock with fork. Transfer to baking sheet and refrigerate 30 minutes, then, freeze 30 minutes.
Repeat rolling out procedure with second dough disc. Peel off top parchment and cut dough into twelve 1-inch-thick strips. Transfer to baking sheet and refrigerate until needed.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375˚F. Remove baking sheet from freezer and bake dough until opaque, about 15 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and cool about 15 minutes.
Spread cooled crust with cooled pineapple filling, leaving about a 1/4-inch border. Lay out dough half of dough strips lengthwise or at an angle across the tart at about 1-inch intervals. Lay remaining strips on top at 1-inch intervals.Then, carefully weave the strips over and under each other for a woven effect, otherwise just set down half the strips in one layer at 1-inch intervals and overlay remaining strips. If a strip should break, simply press the pieces together gently.
Beat egg yolk and cream in small bowl. With a pastry brush, paint egg mixture over lattice top. Bake until golden, 30 to 40 minutes. Transfer tart to cooling rack and cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Cut into squares and serve.