I am a big fan of butter. My affinity for baked goods and pastries (eating or baking) that I probably consume more butter than an ordinary person does. It shouldn’t be a surprise that I do like Plugrá a lot when I bake at home. Heck, even using their unsalted butter, spread it on a lovely, crusty bread with a sprinkling of Maldon salt would make me a happy person.
Plugrá is an American made, European-style butter. They use a slow-churned process that creates less moisture content and a creamier texture when compared to average table butters. It contains 82% butterfat so it’s a very rich, flavorful butter which would yield for creamier, richer sauces (if you cook), or higher rising, flavorful cakes.
I experimented with Plugrá initially with baking croissants. Admittedly, this was my first time baking croissants from scratch and the butter is essential to this delectable, flaky pastry. The recipe I used was from Pierre Hermé Pastries. I’m not going to re-post Hermé’s recipe but my friend Stephane of Zen Can Cook has done a fantastic job of it already so head over there, read it and try it!
Another baked product I created with Plugrá’s butter was based on Pie It Forward by Gesine Bullock-Prado. I used James Beard Award winner pastry chef Emily Luchetti‘s amazing all-butter pie crust (I’ll be selfish and not disclose to you the recipe) and used Bullock-Prado’s filling recipe for her Pineapple-Coconut Macaroon pie. The pie overall is super decadent and creamy, most notably because it has a half cup of butter in the filling. It’s subtly crisp from the golden brown exterior and the crust. It is not overwhelmingly coconut-ty and the touch of lemon juice and chunks of pineapple gave it a welcoming sweet-acidic touch from the richness of the custard filling. The recipe is found after the jump.
Pineapple Coconut Macaroon Tart
Filling recipe adapted from Pie It Forward by Gesine Bullock-Prado; pie crust recipe adapted
Ingredients for the crust (Pâte Brisée):
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces (preferably Plugra)
1/8 to 1/4 cup ice water
1. Pulse the first four ingredients in a food processor (or whisk by hand in a large bowl). Add butter and pulse (or quickly cut in with a pastry blender or your fingertips) until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, with some large pieces remaining. Drizzle in a few tablespoons of eater over the mixture. Pulse (or mix) until the mixture beings to hold together. If the dough is too dry, add one teaspoon at a time, and pulse (or mix).
2. Dump the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Gather into a ball, wrap loosely in plastic, and press into a disk. Refrigerate until firm, well wrapped in plastic, 1 hour or up to 1 day. (Dough may be frozen up to 3 months; thaw in refrigerator before using.)
3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch fluted, round or square tart pan with the dough, then dock the bottom of the dough and freeze it for 20 minutes. Line the crust with parchment (or foil), fill it with pie weights or dried beans, and bake it for 20 minutes. Remove the pie weights and parchment and set aside to cool.
Ingredients (for the filling)
1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter (preferably Plugra)
1/4 cup (60 mL) coconut milk
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (may substitute with vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, split and scrape the seeds)
1 1/2 cups (128 g) sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
1 tablespoon (15 mL) lemon juice
10 pineapple rings (canned or fresh), cut into small pieces
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and coconut milk, heat until the butter melts completely.
2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla. Stir the coconut, sugar, and salt into the egg mixture, then gently stir in the coconut milk mixture and lemon juice until well combined.
3. Arrange the pineapple pieces on the bottom of the crust, then scrape the macaroon filling on top of the pineapple pieces and smooth it onto an even layer with an offset spatula.
4. Bake the tart for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the filling has puffed and set and golden brown. Allow to cool completely before serving.