pineapple tart

A Puff Pastry Recipe Perfect for Mother's Day

A puff pastry project for baking enthusiasts and their mothers

Pastry & Baking Arts Chef-Instructor Penny Stankiewicz shares professional puff pastry guidance and the recipe for a picture-perfect kale clover and pineapple tart to treat your mother to — or make for yourself.

There are four key guidelines to making proper puff pastry like a pastry chef.

They are:

  1. Keep it cold. The beautiful layers will only stay layers if you work with the dough cold and keep it cold throughout the process. This includes putting it in the freezer for a bit before it goes in the oven. Don't even try to make puff pastry in a super-hot kitchen. If it is too hot, the butter will melt into the dough and you'll never achieve any layers. If this is the case, just purchase one of the many great brands in the freezer section of your grocer.
  2. The less you touch it, the better. The dough is going to warm up fast, so work quickly and try to touch it as little as possible.
  3. Don't stress when the dough looks like a total mess. It will completely come together as you create the folds.
  4. Use the right amount of force. You do have to exert some effort to roll and fold puff pastry, but you don't want to be too aggressive with it. This can result in the dough building up too much gluten and becoming tough, and it can also force the butter into the dough degrading the sharp integrity of the layers.

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kale clover and pineapple tart


Kale Clover and Pineapple Tart

Yields 8 4-inch pieces

Quick Puff Pastry


  • 170 grams all-purpose flour
  • 60 grams cake flour
  • 260 grams unsalted European style butter, very cold
  • 3 grams kosher salt
  • 10 grams lemon juice or vinegar
  • 80 grams ice water (or enough to combine with lemon juice and vinegar to make 4 oz or 1/2 cup)


  1. Place both flours in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add 29 grams of cold butter and work it into the flour with the paddle attachment. (This can also be done by hand.)
  2. Cut the remaining butter into 1/2-inch pieces and add to the flour. Toss to combine.
  3. Mix acid, water and salt together.
  4. Drizzle the liquid over the flour and butter. Toss this together by hand to combine lightly. Then work a bit to bring it lightly together. Dough should be very rough and some dry spots should still exist.
  5. Flour your counter surface well with all-purpose flour. Place the dough on the counter and form it into a rough rectangle. Tap with a rolling pin to work the dough out into a larger rectangle that is approximately 12x6 inches. No need to be exact on the first roll, you just want your rectangle long enough to be able to perform the folds.
  6. Perform a double fold: Fold the dough from the top edge to the middle, and from the bottom edge to the middle. Fold this in half and place the folded spine on your left side. This is one double fold. Use as much flour as you need to keep the dough from sticking, but try not to add too much or it will alter the ratio in the final product.
  7. Roll the dough out into a longish rectangle and repeat folding procedure. Repeat once more for a total of three (3) double folds.
  8. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

To roll the dough:

Dust the surface with all-purpose flour. Tap the surface of the chilled dough with the rolling pin to get it started. Roll the dough into a rectangle that is about 1/4-inch thick and a minimum of 8x8x16 inches. Place the rolled dough back in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.

Kale Filling


  • 1 bunch kale, washed, dried, deveined and sliced into 1-inch strips
  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 whole nutmeg
  • Butter or oil for sautéing (approximately 28 grams)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 60 grams ricotta cheese


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil or butter and when hot, add the sliced shallot. Stir while cooking to keep it from coloring.
  2. When the shallot is softened, add the kale and sauté until tender. While it's cooking, season with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg.
  3. Transfer cooked kale to a bowl to cool. Stir in ricotta.

Note: You can hold this filling in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Marinated Pineapple


  • 1/2 pineapple
  • 20 grams good quality rum
  • 40 grams light brown sugar
  • 14 grams freshly grated ginger


  1. Remove the skin from the pineapple. Slice down the side half, avoiding the core, to get one full semicircle side of pineapple. Reserve the rest for another application. Dice pineapple finely and move to a bowl.
  2. Mix together the rum, brown sugar and ginger, and drizzle this mixture over the pineapple. Let them sit at room temperature for as long as you have, 15 minutes to 1 hour.

Kale Clover Assembly

Yields 8 using all the dough, 4 using half

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Cut the puff pastry with a pizza wheel or very sharp knife, straight down into 4-inch squares. (No sawing motions, please! It will seal the puff and prevent it from rising.)
  3. Take the square and with a paring knife, cut a 1 1/2-inch slice into each point of the square. Keep the dough cold while working. Chill it if you need. The colder the dough, the easier it is to work with.
  4. Place about 1/4 cup of the cooled sautéed kale into the center of the square. Take the edges where you cut in, and fold them towards the center, pushing down firmly to seal. Repeat with all sections. Chill again before baking if dough has warmed up at all. Brush the top of the visible dough with egg wash.
  5. Bake the kale clover in the 400 F oven for about 22 minutes, or until the dough has puffed and is deep golden brown.
  6. Serve immediately.

Pineapple Tart Assembly

Yields 10 3-inch tarts using all the dough, 5 3inch tarts using half the dough

  1. With the remaining dough, cut 3-inch circles with a large cookie cutter, a template and paring knife, or a pizza wheel. With a smaller cookie cutter, make a delicate mark in the center of the round, about 1/2 inch away from the edge. Don’t cut all the way through the dough. Pile the pineapple in the center of the round, using the new mark as a guide.
  2. Chill pastry again before baking if necessary.
  3. Bake at 400 F for about 18 minutes or until pastry is puffed, golden and cooked until crisp.
  4. Serve immediately or hold at room temperature.

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