Small round tarts show off pineapple wedges which have been seared to caramelize some of their sugar. The ice cream and piña colada sauce that finish the tarts could stand on their own as a refreshing dessert.
- Puff pastry dough - four, very thin 5-inch circles
- Pineapple - 1, large, peeled, cored, eyes removed, cut into 4 equal wedges; small leaves reserved
- Piña Colada Sauce
- Pineapple Juice - 1 cup
- Crème Anglaise - 1-1/4 cups
- Dark Rum - 1/3 cup
- Coconut Milk - 1/4 cup
- Crème Legère (recipe follows) - 3/4 cup
- Apricot jelly - 2 tablespoons, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- Macadamia nuts - 4 scoops, or vanilla ice cream
- Pineapple leaves (above) - reserved, small
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Place the puff pastry circles on the sheet and prick the circles liberally with a fork. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned and slightly puffed. Let cool.
Meanwhile, cut each pineapple wedge into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Heat a dry large nonstick saute pan or skillet over high heat. Sear each pineapple slice until golden brown, about 1 minute. Turn with tongs and sear the other side. Set aside on a wire rack to cool.
To make the sauce: In a small saucepan, boil the pineapple juice over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/4 cup. Pour into a medium bowl and set the bowl inside a larger bowl filled with ice. Stir to cool. Stir the crème anglaise, rum, and coconut milk into the reduced pineapple juice.
To serve: Spoon 1/4 cup sauce onto each of 4 serving plates. Place a pastry circle on each plate and spread each evenly with the crème legère. Overlap the pineapple slices in a circle on top of the cream, tucking the last slice under the first. Brush the jelly mixture over the top of the pineapple slices. Place a scoop of ice cream in the center of each tart and garnish by standing several small pineapple leaves upright in the ice cream.
Makes 4 cups
3 cups milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Pinch of salt
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup heavy (whipping) cream, beaten to firm peaks
To make the hot mixture: In a heavy saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
To make the cold mixture: In a medium saucepan, whisk together all ingredients.
Stir the boiling hot mixture into the cold mixture. Pour the combination back into the saucepan and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Place in a bowl and let cool; to hasten the cooling, set the bowl in a larger bowl of ice. Stir occasionally.
When the custard has cooled, gently fold a large spoonful of whipped cream into the custard to lighten it, then fold in the remaining whipped cream. Cover by pressing plastic wrap right on the surface. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.