It's no secret that I love to eat. And cook. And bake. And every once in a while I'll tweet about it (by once in a while, I clearly mean a few times per day), and quite a few people who follow me on Twitter have asked for recipes. Well, here we have it!
On Easter (it may have happened a few times since then..give me a break--I have a big appetite; I'm pregnant!) I prepared what Tongans affectionately refer to as Pai Faina--Pineapple Pie. There are many ways to go about making this, and honestly this is the easiest one in my book. The big emphasis for my family is that the filling is quite custardy, and the crust/pastry not be store-bought. Even better, the filling ought to utilize fresh pineapple...but beggars can't be choosers in these non-tropical parts of the world. There are several variations (we don't mind a bit of rum in the filling) that are much more time-consuming, but it's usually up to what you have the energy for. This is a simple dessert--one that can be finished in under an hour.
3 cups pineapple, crushed
3tbl custard powder
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 tbl butter (you can add a bit more for a creamier effect)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
5 egg yolks
5 tbl sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
5 egg whites
Set your oven to 350 degrees F.
Next heat up your pineapple in a saucepan, slowly adding the custard, sugar, and then a bit of salt. Let it thicken just a bit, and then remove it from the heat. Before it cools, add in your butter and stir until it has melted within the mixture. Set aside to cool.
Cream your butter and sugar together, later adding your egg yolks. Be sure to reserve your egg whites for your meringue. Add the remaining dry ingredients, being sure to have sifted them first. Nobody likes a big chunk of white flour in their crust!
Transfer your dough to a cutting board, after having floured your board and pin. Roll out your pastry and then place it into a 13"x9" pan (hey, a pie doesn't always have to be round--there are
mouths to feed!). Bake this in your oven for about 25 minutes, or until it's golden brown.
Once you've removed your pastry from the oven, pour your pineapple mixture on top.
Take your remaining egg whites, beating them until frothy, and then add your cream of tartar and sugar. Beat them some more until they form stiff peaks--if you are using a mixer, turn up the speed! Get the air into them but don't overdo it, lest they collapse.
Add this atop your pineapple mixture. The more creative you are with your swirling, the prettier the final outcome :) Pop this back into the oven at 375 degrees F, and watch it for a few minutes. The peaks will brown slightly, and then it's ready to be removed.
At this point, you should probably just take your share and run--because if your house is anything like mine, waiting will leave you hungry.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, and we've now had Mother's Day. I was able to celebrate for this first time this year! In my mind, it's a-ok to celebrate Mother's Day while you're still pregnant--I'll never have this opportunity again, and I believe that one becomes a mother at the start of pregnancy. We were able to grab very last minute tickets to a talk by a midwife that I greatly admire--Ina May Gaskin. Then we spent time in the sun taking a walk, riding the swing at the park (I don't know..I've been doing this more than i ought to admit, lately), and visiting my nan at the cemetery. Later, the two (or is it 3?) of us had a lovely Italian meal and called it a night.
He's getting so big at 29 weeks--even getting off of the couch has required a new routine! I'll update you soon with some pregnancy skincare bits. They're things that I feel are good for pregnant and non-pregnant ladies alike.
Did you grow up eating pai faina...or something similar? For those of you in the US, what did you do for Mother's Day?