A couple of months ago, I made paifala using a traditional recipe with coconut milk and cornstarch. Here are some delicious paifala from a fellow blogger, Lotus, at Whymsicallotus, that also used that recipe. When I made it, I noticed that quite some filling leaks out during baking, and the crust on that paifala is very much like Masi Samoa.
So this is Paifala II - with a shortcrust pastry, a custard filling and without coconut milk. It's flavour is not better or worse than the traditional recipe, just different. In terms of structure, however, this modern take on paifala has minimal leakage and the crust can hold even more filling than the traditional recipe.
Paifala (makes 5)
1 cup (240ml) milk
4 tablespoons custard powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 cups (500g) crushed pineapple, drained
½ cup (100g) sugar*
½ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
* If you have a sweet tooth, increase to 3/4 cup (150g) sugar.
Put the custard powder, milk, vanilla essence and sugar in a saucepan and mix until smooth. Put this over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens. Finally, turn the heat off and add your pineapple and nutmeg (if using). Mix until well-combined, then set aside to cool to room temperature.
3½ cups (400g) flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
⅓ cup (70g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons (60ml) milk
¾ cup (150g) butter, room temperature
Sift the flour and baking powder and salt into a bowl. Mix together. Then add the rest of the crust ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until everything just comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead together into a smooth ball. Try not to handle the dough too much because you don't want to melt the butter. Also, don't add too much flour, or you'll get a tough dough. If you find the dough is too sticky to handle, then refrigerate for half an hour, and try working with it again.
Assembling the paifala
Cut your dough into 5 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into an 8” (20cm) circle. Put some of your cooled pineapple filling into the centre. Lightly wet the edges of the piecrust with water, and then fold one half of the pie over the other. Press the edges together with a fork. See the paifala video if you want visuals.
Pierce the top of the pie several times (steam vents) then bake at 350°F (180°C) for 25-30 minutes until light golden. Remove from the oven and cool. Be careful not to overbake these or the crust will be too crumbly.
My pie was stuffed till crammed with filling, but this is the only leak I had:
In the big picture, this leak was next to nothing.
Enjoy warm or cold, with a hot drink.