Semita de Piña (Pineapple Tart)

June 12th, 2011 § 0 comments

Makes about 12 tarts

Semita is the most popular pastry in El Salvador and its basically a bread dough filled with jam. The most popular filling is pineapple utilizing El Salvador’s sweet pineapples!


1 cup milk
½ cup butter, unsalted
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
13 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
5 cup all purpose flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1½ cups pineapple preserves (recipe follows)
(egg and water for glaze)
Turbinado sugar for dusting


Preheat oven to 350°F. In a saucepan heat the butter, sugar and milk until all the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and cool to a lukewarm temperature. In a small bowl whisk together water and yeast and set aside for about 3-4 minutes until yeast is frothy. In a large bowl combine the flour and salt and make a well in the center. Mix together the milk mixture and the yeast mixture and slowly add to the flour bowl mixing as you add forming a bread dough. Once a bread dough is formed and all the ingredients are mixed well, transfer to a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer to a lightly oiled metal or ceramic bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot for about 1½ hours or until doubled in size. Punch the dough down and divide into two sections and place again on a lightly floured surface and roll out the dough into a rectangle sheet the size of a baking sheet. Place the dough on a lightly greased baking sheet (save the trimmings of dough if you have). Spread the pineapple preserves all over the dough evenly leaving a border around the edges for sealing the top layer. Roll out the second section of dough and place over the top of the jam. Making sure to seal the edges (by pressing together tightly). Roll out the strips of dough into long strips and make criss-cross pattern over the tart. Take some beaten egg and water and brush the tops of the tart and sprinkle with the turbanado sugar. Poke many holes in the tart to prevent it from puffing ad let the tart rest for about 30 minutes before placing in the oven to bake. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the dough (on the side) comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let stand about 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Pineapple Preserves

Makes 2 cups


1 cup pineapple, chopped small to fine
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 vanilla bean, cut and scraped (scraped parts reserved)
½ teaspoon cinnamon, freshly grated
½ teaspoon ground cloves


Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan on low heat and cook slowly stirring often for about 20 minutes.

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