Fri, Apr 22, 2011
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My great Aunt turned 100 a few months ago. She and her mother (my great-grandmother Nana) used to make these tarts every Easter for a church fundraiser, selling them for a nickel a piece. This Easter I decided that it was time to continue the tradition and make my family’s pineapple meringue tarts in honor of Great Aunt Tadsie.
I discovered that the recipe is a keeper. Similar to lemon meringue pie, there is something light and refreshing about these tarts. And the bright yellow color and sunny pineapple flavor make them a perfect spring treat.
The original recipe calls for shortening but because I always prefer to use butter I tried making the crust both ways. They were both good so I’ve listed both and I’ll let you decide whether to use butter, shortening or a combination of the two.
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ⅔ cup cold butter or shortening
- ¼ cup cold water
- 2 cups grated or crushed canned pineapple
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup flour
- Pinch of salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 egg whites
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup sugar
- Sift the flour and salt together.
- Cut the cold butter into cubes.
- Using a pastry blender, cut the butter and cold water into the flour and salt, mixing them until crumbly. (There should still be little chunks of butter.)
- Roll out the dough on a lightly-floured surface until it is about ¼-inch thick and cut the dough into roughly 4-inch circles (big enough to fill a standard muffin tin). Gently press the circles into muffin tins and bake them at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden.
- Do not worry about pressing the dough into the bottom of the tins but simply shape them into cups.
- Remove them from the oven and let them cool.
- Gently twist them out of the muffin tins and place them on a baking sheet.
- Bring the crushed pineapple to a boil over low-medium heat in a small saucepan. Once the pineapple boils, add the flour and sugar and continue stirring the mixture until it is transparent.
- Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the egg yolks, making sure to stir as you slowly pour the egg yolks into the bowl so that the eggs don’t cook.
- Beat 4 egg whites at room temperature and ¼ tsp salt on high speed until soft peaks form.
- Add ½ cup sugar (2 Tbsp at a time), beating after each addition until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- If you rub some meringue between two fingers it should be smooth.
- If it is gritty, continue beating it.
- Once all of the sugar is dissolved, continue beating the egg whites until stiff, glossy peaks form.
- Spoon roughly 2 Tbsp of pineapple filling into each cooled tart shell.
- Spoon a dollop of meringue on top of the filling and gently spread it around to cover the tart, sealing it to the edges of the crust.
- Using the back of the spoon, swirl the meringue into small peaks.
- Bake the tarts at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes until the meringue is golden.
- Watch them closely so that they don’t burn.
- TIP: Once the tarts have finished cooking, turn off the oven, crack the oven door, and leave the tarts in the oven to cool. This will help keep the meringue from separating from the pineapple filling.
- Store the pineapple meringue tarts in the refrigerator.