Semita de piña
A soft, golden cake filled with pineapple jam spiked with cloves
Pineapple jam
Pineapple jam
  1. Remove the skin and core from the pineapple. Discard the trimmings and purée the flesh. Transfer the flesh to a saucepan, add the 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 occasionally, until it’s thick like apple sauce.
  2. Remove the cinnamon and cloves and discard them.
  3. Dissolve the cornflour in the water and mix it well through the cooked pineapple. Turn off the heat and set it aside until cooled completely before storing in a sealed container in the fridge.
  1. Combine the warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Stir well and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl, dissolve the remaining ¼ cup of sugar into the warm milk and butter. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt and whisk it to aerate. Make a well in the centre then pour in the yeast mixture, milk mixture and 3 beaten eggs. Stir until the ingredients come together, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, then knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  4. 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.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a flat or shallow tray with baking paper and set aside.
  6. Take the risen dough, punch it down and cut it in half. Roll one of the halves into a rectangle about 7 mm thick. Transfer the rolled pastry onto the lined baking tray. Trim the sides so that they’re straight, reserving the trimmings.
  7. Spread the pineapple jam evenly over the rolled pastry, leaving about 2 centimetres of space on the edges. The jam needs to be about 5 mm thick.
  8. Lightly brush a little of the remaining beaten egg on the edges of pastry.
  9. Roll the other half of the dough to the same size as the first, carefully lay it over the first half of pastry and jam, then trim the sides to match the first layer of pastry. Add the trimmings to the reserved ones.
  10. Using a fork, press down the edges to seal.
  11. To make the cross pattern – Knead the 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Cool completely in the tray before cutting into portions. Store the semita in a sealed container. If storing for more than a couple of days, do so in the fridge.
Recipe Notes

This recipe for Pineapple Jam makes 2 cups (500 ml) – it will keep in the fridge for at least 5 weeks.

The tray I used to make the cake is 30 x 20 cm. This recipe has enough dough to make a larger one that can measure up to about 40 cm x 30 cm.