The end of summer always seems to be a time when I lose my recipe muse, albeit briefly. It’s disconcerting and annoying, but temporary, and understandable, I think.
I’m getting tired of berries. I’ve done everything I’m going to do with stone fruit. I’m eating figs on toast, but can’t seem to rustle up any fresh ideas for them. My head is filled with recipes for pumpkin, apples and pears, but I won’t be posting any of them until after September 20th (wrote ‘em all down—Thanksgiving is gonna be goooood this year, y’all).Times like this are why I have my ever-growing list of blog inspiration. I wrote down “pineapple kolaches maybe?” after I made pineapple-centric sweet rolls and Rosh Hashanah challah last year, knowing I would be glad to see those words weeks, months or years later.And I am, thank goodness. I think we can all agree that the unofficial last week of summer deserves some quality baked goods.Make no mistake: these Pineapple Kolaches are quality.
This take on the Czech pastry favorite is made with a pineapple juice-spiked version of my favorite kolache dough and a tart, gingery pineapple filling. YUM.Kolaches are surprisingly simple to make—I think they’re less intensive than your average cinnamon rolls. The dough and filling are both made the night before baking. The next day, the kolaches are assembled, proofed, sprinkled with posypka (crumble) and baked until ever-so-slightly golden. It sounds like a lot, but the total “active” work time is probably 60-75 minutes and the payoff is 🍍🍍🍍🙌💗🎉‼️There’s little that beats a soft, fresh from the oven, butter-brushed pastry with jammy pineapple filling.I won’t be diving into any pools this holiday weekend, but I really want to dive into that well of filling. Don’t you?!
makes about 18 pastries
1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple in juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 cup (1 stick) + 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice (reserved from filling)
2/3 cup full-fat sour cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon lime zest (from 1 medium lime)
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of ground ginger
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
The night before you want to eat kolaches, make the pineapple filling. Set a colander over a bowl and pour in crushed pineapple. Press out 1/2 cup of juice and set that aside for the dough.
Combine remaining crushed pineapple in juice, sugar, cornstarch, ground ginger, salt and lime juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until juices are clear and mixture thickens slightly. Cool for a few minutes. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
Make the dough. Cut 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter into 8 pieces.Combine butter, whole milk, and sour cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Melt together, stirring occasionally, until mixture is warm to the touch (about 115F). Pour into a large mixing bowl and stir in sugar. Sprinkle yeast over the top and allow to prove for 5 minutes. Mixture will have just a few small bubbles. If bubbles do not form, your yeast is dead. Discard mixture and start the dough from the beginning with fresh yeast.
Add 1 cup of the flour, the lime zest, and salt to the wet ingredients. Fold together. Fold in beaten eggs, followed by 2 1/4 more cups of flour. Dough will be very soft and a bit sticky.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead 5 minutes before forming into a ball. Dough will be very soft and sticky—use a bench scraper for easiest kneading. Grease a mixing bowl with oil. Place dough ball in the bowl, being sure to grease it on all sides. Press plastic wrap to the surface of the dough. Refrigerate overnight, about 8-12 hours.
In the morning, line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Remove dough from refrigerator and discard plastic wrap. Into two pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough until it’s 1/2-inch thick. Use a 2 1/2-inch round cutter to cut kolaches, rerolling as necessary. Place 3 inches apart on prepared pans.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Brush on the tops of cut kolache dough. Flour the back of a tablespoon and press it into the center of one kolache to make a well. Immediately fill with a heaping 1/2 tablespoon (1 1/2 teaspoons) of pineapple filling. Flour the tablespoon again and repeat process with all remaining kolaches on the baking pan. Repeat process with remaining baking sheet.
Loosely cover with plastic wrap (or greased foil) and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 30 minutes, or until puffy.
Make the posypka (crumble). Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Stir with a fork until crumbly.
Position oven racks near the center. Preheat the oven to 350F.
Remove plastic wrap from one baking sheet of dough. Top each kolache with a big pinch of posypka. Bake kolaches uncovered for 18-20 minutes, rotating pans front to back at the 10 minute mark. They will be barely-golden when they are done. Brush baked kolaches with 1 tablespoon melted butter.
Let kolaches cool slightly on the pans. Serve warm.
Kolaches are best the day they are made, but may be refrigerated for a couple of days. Warm before serving.