Guyanese: Pine Tarts

A friend of mine ‘returned home’ to get married in Guyana and a couple of our mutual friends joined her for the experience. For most of them, this was their first trip to Guyana; although of Caribbean descent themselves, I had to admit I was slightly nervous for them as Guyana is a very different experience to say Jamaica and Trinidad and so I was interested to hear their take on the country, especially as I hadn’t seen the country for over 10 years myself.

They all came back smiling I am pleased to say, not only for our friend whose wedding was beautiful and heart warming, but also for the love of the country. “Those Pine Tarts were so amazing!” recalled one of my friends, also the Chief Bridesmaid at the wedding. “And although I don’t eat a lot of meat, I really enjoyed the pepperpot stew”.

I was curious to hear how much Guyana had really developed since I last visited. When I was there, it felt very rural yet lively with friendly, approachable people and social events that brought out the whole community. But those Pine Tarts, yes I had to agree, are pretty good. My mother use to make these during the summer holidays once the school term was done and would sometimes pack them into our bags for summer play-scheme.

Pine tarts a very easy to make with either fresh or canned pineapple. The sweet pastry really holds the filling together and tastes just as good as the jam inside. So if you have time during the summer holidays, I would recommend setting aside an hour or two to make some of these tarts for the family. You won’t regret it.

Guyanese: Pine Tarts

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients: 

For the Pineapple Filling

425g Pineapple Chunks (or fresh pineapple chunks)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

1/4 tsp ginger powder

1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp Vanilla essence

For the Pastry

1/2 cup salted butter (soft)

1/2 cup of vegetable shortening

2 3/4 cups plain flour

2 tsp sugar

pinch of salt

1 egg (egg wash)

3/4 cup ice cold water

Method

The filling

1. If you are using fresh pineapple, then peel and cut the pineapple into large chunks and transfer into a food blender, pulsate for a minute until you have small lumps. You want to then measure out 2 1/2 cups of pineapple from that to use in the filling.

2. If using pineapple from a can, take the fruit and half of the juice and pulsate in the blender until you have small lumps.

3. Place the fruit into a sauce pan with the remaining juice and the spices and sugar. Simmer slowly for 30 mins under a low to medium heat or until the mixture thickens to a jam like consistency. Keep stirring regularly to avoid it burning. When ready, remove from the heat and set aside to cool down completely.

The dough

4. Place the flour, butter, salt and sugar in a bowl and mix together until it forms a crumbly texture. Then little by little, add the cold water until you can form a dough. Knead the dough to a  smooth log (about a foot long), wrap in cling film and refrigerate for between 30 minutes and 4 hours before use. When you are ready to use it, leave the dough out the fridge for about 30 minutes to get to room temperature.

The assembly

5. Cut the log into 1 inch thick rounds, flour your work surface and roll the dough out into a 6″ circle (I used a plate).

6. Place 1 1/2 tablespoon of pineapple filling into the middle of the circle and brush the edges with egg wash.

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7. Fold the corners of the dough into the middle, to form a triangle. ensure the ends are sealed, you can use a fork to do this.

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8. Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar (optional)

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9. Bake in the oven (Gas Mark 5) for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

10. Serve hot or cold.

Vanilla Cardamom infused Mango w/ Honeyed Greek Yoghurt

 

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Greek Yoghurt has become my new obsession, especially now that I appreciate its health benefits a bit more. I have always been a lover of yoghurts: my family of 6 was split cleanly down the middle; 3 gulped it down by the gallons, the others couldn’t care less.

I experimented with soya yoghurts and even coconut ones for a while, the latter tasting mega delicious, but at £3 a small pot I couldn’t sustain it for too long. Maybe I’ll experiment a little with making my own…who knows. But in the meantime, this recipe works just fine. If you want to preserve some of the nutrition from the mangoes, you might only want to poach it gently, remove the fruit and then allow the liquid to simmer to a syrup like consistency.

 

Vanilla Cardamom infused Mango w/ Honeyed Greek Yoghurt

 

Ingredients:

1 Ripe Mangoes – cut into large chunks (1 cups)

1 tbsp honey

1 Vanilla Pod

1 cup water

1 cardamom pod – crushed

 

1 cup Greek yoghurt

1 tbsp honey

 

Method

Take the yoghurt and honey, blend together and set aside or place in the fridge to keep cool.

Take the remainder of the ingredients and place them in a pot. Simmer the fruit for 8-10 minutes. You can remove the fruit after 3 minutes to allow the liquid to thicken. Once you have the desired consistency remove the cardamom pod and transfer the fruit to a bowl to cool before serving with the yoghurt.

 

Nutritional Value of Mango w/ Honeyed Greek Yoghurt

Mango Greek Yoghurt Honey(2 tbsp)
Calories(Calories from fat) 107 100 120
Sodium 3 mg 65 mg 1 mg
Total Fat
Potassium 257 mg
Saturated Fat
Total Carbs 28 g 7 g 17 g
Polyunsaturated
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Monounsaturated
Sugars 24 g 7 g 16 g
Protein 1 g 18 g
Vitamin A 25%
Calcium 2% 20%
Vitamin C 76%
Iron 5% 1%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

 

Soursop Punch

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There use to be a time in my life when I was conscious that I was beginning to sound like my Mum.

Last week was definitely one of them.

No Soursop today?” I said in deep frustration to the man at the stall in Ridley Market. “No sorry darlin’ none today; nothing came off the ship from St Lucia or Jamaica...” In that split second my imagination took me to the shores of St Lucia, picturing Mr Market Stall man waiting at the beach front with his trolly waiting for this precious fruit to come in. I smiled at myself and walked away, a little disheartened.

Last month there was no Soursop either, this time it was because it was being sold for the “price of Gold” his friend had told me. The way I hounded these guys, week after week watching, lingering, pretending to only pass by, hoping to see a pile of fresh prickly green skinned fruit smiling back at me…it was beyond an obsession, I was a evolving into my mother.

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Why I bothered to walk the 500 yards to the end of the market last week when I could have caught the bus straight to work, I don’t know. But something told me, give this market stall another try.

At that time in the morning the stalls are just setting up for the day: I could see the old turkish man screwing on a handle which had dropped off a lid he was selling; then there was that tall black guy with the skull cap, dark blue overalls and mono-brow that met in the middle; he greeted me every morning like we knew each other well.

Then came my former hairdresser nestled behind the man who sold hats, scarves and ladies lingerie whom she resented because his stall blocked the entrance to her shop.

Finally, the Man in the Market. I passed his shop slowly and carefully scanned the goods on display: right in the centre were my little babies: Fresh Green Prickly Soursop – I took the first one my hands and eyes laid on to and proceeded to the counter. Someone was already there: “You’re gonna make some sweet punch wit dat!” The man he was serving remarked – I laughed and said yes…some sweet punch indeed.

 

Soursop Punch

 

Ingredients

Pulp of Sour Sop Fruit (large fruit size = 4 – 5 cups of pulp)

1 can (397 g) of condensed milk

3 tsp grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp Angostura bitters

2-3 cups cold water

2 cups boiling hot water

 

Method

Cut the sour sop fruit length ways down the middle into two halves. You will find a thick stalk running down the middle of the fruit, remove this with a knife.

Scoop the white flesh and seeds out from the shell and place in a bowl. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over the fruit and stir the mixture to release some of the seeds from the pulp. remove whatever seeds you can by hand this way. Then with your fingers peel the black seeds away from the fruit and discard. This may take 10 minutes to do. Keep all the remaining fruit in the bowl.

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Take the remaining fruit and pass it through a large sieve with a bowl underneath to catch the pulp, this will help to remove any seeds that you may have missed. You may have a lot of fresh remaining in the sieve, transfer this all to the bowl underneath.

Take the pulp and transfer it to a blender with 1/2 cup of cold water if needed. Blend the pulp to a smooth pulp. Then again using the sieve, pass the pulp through the sieve, gently pushing the pulp through. Now you can discard any skin that remains in the sieve.

You should be left with a off white thick pulp. If you don’t wish to use all of it, squeeze some lime or lemon into the remaining pulp, and place in the fridge in a sealed container.

Otherwise, transfer half of the pulp and half of the condensed milk, 1 cup of cold water and nutmeg to the blender. Blend the mixture and transfer to a jug. Then proceed to blend the remaining pulp and milk together. You can combine the two into the one jug; and add more water to achieve the consistency you wish.

Finish by adding a dash of Angostura Bitters to the punch. Serve chilled.

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Supermalt Banana Fritters

IMG_4493This is an original creation of mine which I am so excited to share with you! Don’t let the deep-frying put you off, this is an occasional irresistible, seriously addictive dessert which is best served hot and crispy with vanilla ice cream. I can’t say I am a huge fan of Supermalt, but I do get a thirst for it with certain meals. Fans of Supermalt, when you make this dish, tell me if you can taste the drink in the batter? Not being a malt novice, in my mind Supermalt gives the batter its colour and the crispy light texture. It also makes an incredible caramel sauce which detailed below. One thing to remember, make sure the bananas you use are not overly ripe, the firmer the better with no dark spots – they need to take some intense heat while frying!

Supermalt Banana Fritters

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

175g/6oz plain flour
1 cup / 250ml Supermalt
125g/41/2oz cornflour

1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Vegetable oil to fry
4 Bananas, peeled cut into thirds

The Sauce

30 ml Supermalt
50g light muscovado sugar (light brown)
40g  butter
30ml  cream
¼ tsp vanilla

Whisk the flour, Supermalt and salt together in a large bowl until smooth. Place in the fridge for 1 hour. Whisk the flour and cinnamon together in a shallow bowl. Remove the batter from the fridge and give it another good whisk. Slice the bananas into thirds.

Pour the vegetable oil into a large high sided pot. Don’t fill a pot full of oil.

Heat the vegetable oil until very hot, at least 350F if you have a thermometer. NOTE: if the oil isn’t hot enough the fritters will sink to the bottom and immediately stick to the bottom of the pan. Then, they will take too long to cook resulting in the banana turning to mush. When the oil is hot enough roll the bananas into the cinnamon flour then into the batter and then into the oil. The fritters will drop in and then almost immediately rise to the surface. I recommend using one fritter as an oil test first before cooking the rest.

Let them cook until golden brown then remove with a slotted spoon and drain in a paper towel lined bowl.

Mix all but the  cream in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring all the while. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool and thicken.

Copyright © Ranette Prime and Love Loretta’s Kitchen, 2014. All Rights Reserved.