Guyana lies right at the top of South America and has Suriname, Brazil and Venezuela as neighbors. The climate is tropical, and rice, sugarcane and cocoa are the main food products that are exported. All tropical fruits grow well here and pineapple is a big favorite.
These traditional pine tart cookie from Guyana is maybe more a pastry than a cookie. It is a big mouthful! I think I will make them even less than half the size next time I bake them. The dough is a ‘rough puff’, a simple form of puff pastry. Instead of making layers of butter and flour, leaving large pieces of butter in the dough make for a light and flaky crust. No sugar is used in the dough but the delicious sweet pineapple filling more than makes up for that. The basic recipe just uses cinnamon, but I have seen recipes with cloves and nutmeg added too. In Guyana the pine tart cookie is eaten for breakfast or as a tasty sweet snack during the day. I am sure it will do well on any Easter breakfast table.
Pine tart cookie from Guyana
for 6 large cookies
250 grams (1⅔ cups) flour
150 g (⅔ cup) of ice-cold butter into cubes
pinch of salt
1 pineapple (or 2 cans of ± 230 grams / 8 oz each)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
25 grams (2 tbs) sugar
juice of ½ lemon
1 egg yolk, beaten
Put the flour with the butter in a large bowl.
Rub the butter into the flour with your fingertips until it forms a coarse mixture. The largest pieces of butter should be the size of small peas.
Little by little add ± 125 ml / ½ cup of water and quickly form into a nice ball of dough. Add a little more water if the dough is too dry. Knead as little as possible. The butter lumps should stay whole. Let the dough rest covered in the refrigerator for ± 1 hour.
Clean the pineapple and cut into pieces.
Puree coarsely with the juice. I used a stick mixer. Put in a saucepan with the cinnamon and bring to a boil. Let simmer and thicken for ± 25 min. Leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 190°C / 275°F. Divide the dough into 6 pieces (or more if you want smaller cookies) and roll them out to ± 15 cm. I used a saucer to check if they were an even size and I cut off the rough edges.
Divide the pineapple mixture over the center of the circles.
Brush the edge of the dough with egg. Fold over the circles to get a nice triangle. Cover the top with egg, prick some decorative holes with a fork and put on a cookie sheet lined with baking paper.
Bake the cookies in the middle of the oven for ± 20 min. until golden brown and done. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet.
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