Semita de Piña

Semita de Piña
Symbolic sweet dish inspired by Solomon Dueñas (El Salvador)


1 fresh pineapple (30 oz.)
2 cups of brown sugar
1 stick cinnamon
6 cloves
3 tablespoon cornflour
¼ cup water
⅓ cup warm water
2¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast
¾ cup milk warm
½ cup butter melted
¼ cup white sugar or raw
3 cups of plain flour
1¼ teaspoon salt
3 eggs beaten
1 egg beaten
2 tablespoon white sugar

Prep | 5 m
Ready in | 15 m
Duration | 4 days
Yields | 4 portions

Remove the skin and core from the pineapple. Discard the trimmings and purée the flesh. Transfer the flesh to a saucepan, add the brown sugar, cinnamon and cloves. Heat the saucepan over medium heat, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook the pineapple for 1 hour, stirring until it's thick like apple sauce.
Remove cinnamon and cloves and discard them. Dissolve cornflour in the water and mix it well through the cooked pineapple. Turn off  heat and set aside until cooled completely before storing in a sealed container in the fridge.
Combine warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Stir well and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
In a separate bowl, dissolve the remaining ¼ cup of sugar into the warm milk and butter. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt and whisk to aerate. Make a well in the centre then pour in the yeast mixture, milk mixture and 3 beaten eggs. Stir ingredients together, transfer dough to a lightly floured surface, then knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Wipe out the large mixing bowl, lightly grease it with oil, then put the dough into it. Cover with plastic and set aside in a warm place until doubled in size. It could take up to two hours.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a flat or shallow tray with baking paper and set aside.
Take risen dough, punch it down and cut it in half. Roll one of the halves into a rectangle about 7 mm thick. Transfer rolled pastry onto the lined baking tray. Trim sides so that they're straight, reserving the trimmings.
Spread the pineapple jam evenly over the rolled pastry, leaving about 2 centimeters of space on the edges. The jam needs to be about 5 mm thick.
Lightly brush a little of the remaining beaten egg on the edges of the pastry. Roll the other half of the dough to the same size as the first, carefully lay it over the first half of the pastry and jam, then trim the sides to match the first layer of pastry. Add the trimmings to the reserved ones.
Using a fork, press down the edges to seal. To make a cross pattern - Knead  remaining offcuts of pastry together, then roll to the same length as your baking tray. Cut the pastry into 5 mm strips. Brush the top of the prepared semita with the beaten egg, then carefully lay the strips of pastry diagonally over the top, pressing them down gently and trimming to size as needed.
Lay more strips on top, this time to cross over in the other direction to form a diagonal lattice. Press these down gently, then lightly brush the strips with beaten egg. Scatter over remaining sugar and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden.
Cool completely in the tray before cutting into portions. Store the semita in a sealed container. If storing for a couple of days, do so in the fridge.

Booklet Section: Symbolic New Year Foods
Source: Jewtina Y Co