Oh how I love a challenge. In my search for Mad Men inspired foods; and all foods for that matter from the 1960’s a friend of mine suggested a Pineapple and Pine Nut Pie. I know it sounds weird, but I instantly knew what she was talking about. It was mentioned in an episode, and I remember thinking “What is that?” I scrambled though recipes, cook books, and the internet and came up empty handed. I wanted a dessert that was as elegant as I feel the show it. I was not going to give in to canned pineapple; overly sweet pie filling of some kind, have pine nuts tossed in just to be there, or wanted something dated this dessert has to be timeless. I started to think about how Julia Child was first hitting her popularity in the 60’s. How French food was in vogue, and how exotic pineapples were at the time, along with how foreign pine nuts must have been for some. It hit me at that moment….combine the difference of these times like the differences of the ingredients and where they come from. I would use the pine nuts just like the French would use almonds and make a Frangipane….I would make a tart instead of a pie, and place fresh pineapple over the top of the Pine Nut Fangiapagne. It is elegant, lovely, and the fresh pineapple creates an exotic aroma that perfumed the air as it came out of the oven. Happy Baking!!!! I know you will be dying to try it out for yourselves.
Pine Nut and Pineapple Tart
2 cups of Pine Nuts
1 cup and 1 tbsp of sugar,
6 oz of butter, softened
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
Fresh Pineapple, cubed and sliced(about ¼ of one)
Pate Brise, ½ a recipe
First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Roll out your pate brise and press it into a 9 – 10 inch tart pan. Place it into the frezer and chill until your filling is ready.
Next, in the bowl of a food processor place your pine nuts and ¼ cup of your sugar and pulse until you have a fine even ground on your nuts – but not into nut butter!
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a mixer combine your butter and ¾ cup of sugar and cream them together. Add in your eggs and vanilla bean. Be sure to mix well before you add in your pine nut and sugar mixture and combine well.
Then, remove your tart shell and pan from your freezer and place it on a sheet pan. Fill your shell with the pine nut mixture and evenly place the sliced pineapple chunks over the top. Be sure to leave spaces in between so that the pine nut filling may rise and bake evenly. Sprinkle the top with the remainder 1 tbsp of sugar.
Finally, place your prepared tart in the center of your oven for about 40 minutes. You will want to rotate it half way through. Bake until it is firm, and evenly browned. Remove from the oven and cool about a half hour until ready to serve. Serve at room temperature and enjoy.