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Pineapple pie

Serves   1
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 4 hours

In each episode Chef Michael Van de Elzen visits an everyday home cook and learns about their family recipe before dining with their kin. Check out the recipe from episode 5, Mike's Pineapple Pie!





  • Milk crumbs:
  • 400 g unsalted butter
  • 400 g flour
  • 200 g milk powder
  • 450 g caster sugar
  • 1 pineapple
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • Offcuts from the pineapple
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ tsp agar
  • 560 ml cream
  • 110 g sugar
  • 140 g egg yolks
  • half of the pineapple puree
  • 60 ml apple juice
  • 5 sheets gelatine
  • 40 g freeze dried pineapple pieces
  • 80 g freeze dried pineapple powder
  • 350g sugar
  • 30g liquid glucose
  • 80ml water
  • 6 egg whites
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • edible flowers
  • crème fraiche


Milk crumbs:

  1. Preheat oven to 180*C. 
  2. Line a sponge roll tin with baking paper. 
  3. In a food processor mix all the ingredients until combined. 
  4. Tip the crumbs into two baking trays and spread them out evenly.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, giving the crumbs a stir every five minutes to avoid burning.

Pineapple Crackers:

  1. Turn the oven down to 80*C. 
  2. In a small bowl mix the honey with a little warm water. 
  3. Take the skin off your pineapple and slice it very thinly until you have about a dozen slices. Reserve all the offcuts from this slicing process. 
  4. Take a pastry cutter (about 8-10cm diameter) and press out circles from your slices. 
  5. Dip each pineapple disc into the honey solution and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. 
  6. Put into the oven for about 4 hours. 
  7. While the crackers are in the oven, prepare your pineapple puree.

Pineapple puree

  1. Sprinkle over the brown sugar and put under a hot grill for about 15 minutes. 
  2. When the pineapple has caramelised, put it in a food processor with the salt and blitz until pureed. 
  3. Pass this through a sieve to remove the fibrous parts. 
  4. Take half of the puree and while it is still warm, stir in the agar. 
  5. Refrigerate for 30 minutes until firm. 
  6. Just before serving, whisk the puree.

Pineapple custard

  1. Put the sheets of gelatine in a bowl of cold water to soften.
  2. Add the sugar to the egg yolks and whisk together until pale and fluffy.
  3. Put cream, apple juice, pineapple puree and pineapple powder into a heavy based saucepan. 
  4. Add the egg, stir to mix and place the pan over a low-medium heat. 
  5. Heat the custard up to 80*C or until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, then add the pineapple pieces. 
  6. Squeeze the water from the gelatine sheets and add these to the custard and stir. 
  7. Pour the custard into a baking tray lined with cling film. The custard should be about 2cm thick. 
  8. Refrigerate until set.

Italian Meringue

  1. Place sugar, water and glucose in a saucepan. 
  2. Heat to 120*C on a sugar thermometer. 
  3. Beat the egg whites in a bowl until stiff. 
  4. Add the cream of tartar then slowly pour the sugar mixture into the egg whites and continue to beat until cool and glossy.

To Serve

  1. Squiggle some of the pineapple puree onto each plate, then place the pastry cutter at one end. 
  2. Fill it with 2 Tbsp of the milk crumbs and gently press them down. 
  3. Use the same pastry cutter to cut out custard circles, which are carefully placed on top of the milk crumbs. 
  4. Pipe the Italian meringue onto the custard in little spikes, beginning in the centre and working outwards. 
  5. Fire up a kitchen blowtorch and carefully start to colour the meringue with the flame. You want a golden caramel colour.
  6. Pipe little dots of crème fraiche around the plate. 
  7. Stick one pineapple cracker into the meringue, and lay one on the plate. 
  8. Arrange some edible flowers (viola, nasturtium etc) around the whole dish.
  9. Serve.