Heirloom Pineapple Squares

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These bar cookies taste just like you would expect from a cherished family recipe: homey, comforting and delicious (even if they don’t feature chocolate!). The thick pineapple filling and the nutty crunch from the pecans balance each other beautifully, and the light pastry comes together very easily. I have modified the pastry instructions for use with a food processor.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 24 cookie squares ServingsServings

Ingredients

Filing

  • 20 oz. can crushed pineapple in its own juice, not drained
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch

Pastry

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cups shortening (trans fat free)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter or natural margarine
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg yolks (reserve the whites)
  • 1/2 cup milk or non-dairy substitute of choice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Preparation

Make the filling: In a medium non-reactive saucepan, whisk together all ingredients to blend them and dissolve the cornstarch. Bring to a boil and cook over medium high heat until thick and bubbly, stirring occasionally, about 5 to 7 minutes. Cool completely.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Make the pastry: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and pulse to combine. Add the butter and shortening to the bowl in large chunks and process until the mixture becomes crumbly. Add egg yolks, milk and vanilla and pulse until the dough comes together in a large ball. Remove from the bowl and divide dough in half.

Roll one half of dough to fit the prepared pan and press on the bottom in an even layer (alternatively the dough can be pieced and pressed into the pan). Spread the cooled filling evenly over the dough, then roll out the remaining dough and use it to cover the filling completely.

Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until stiff but not dry. Spread the whites evenly over the top and sprinkle with the nuts.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the center feels firm when lightly pressed. Cool completely before cutting. Makes about 24 cookie squares.