An iconic treat in Taiwan is the pineapple cake. It’s beloved because it intensely captures the flavor of Taiwan’s prized, sweet pineapples. The classic cake looks like a thick fig newton. The crust is somewhere between a shortbread and a cake, and the pineapple filling is thick and chewy, almost like the French paté de fruit. Taiwanese people go crazy for these, but to the uninitiated they can be an acquired taste. So I’ve tried to capture the essence of pineapple cakes into a more familiar treat by reversing the ratio of shortbread to pineapple. Like the original, this shortbread filled with diced pieces of dried pineapple is great with tea.
2 cups flour
1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup finely diced sweetened dried pineapple (about 3-4 rings)
1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Sift together flour, cornstarch, and sugar.
3. Use a fork, then your hands to work in the butter.
4. When dough is combined, work in the pineapple pieces.
5. Flatten into a 3/4 inch circle on a baking sheet, and flute the edges. Use a fork to prick all over.
6. Bake for approximately 1/2 an hour, until the edges are golden.
7. Cool for 20 minutes, then cut into wedges or rectangles to serve.
© 2010 Linda Shiue