Friday, December 14, 2012
Bonus Territory: American Samoa: Paifala
Venturing out into the Pacific, we come to American Samoa. I was helped along by a wonderful (although very omnivore) blog called Travel by Stove. This fierce blogger is cooking a meal (not just a dish - a whole meal!) from every country on the planet! Her project makes my tour of the states and territories look like nothing. I worked from her recipe for paifala, a pineapple-filled hand pie. Hand pies seem to have universal appeal. Here is my modification:
1. Make the filling. Drain a 20 oz can of crushed pineapple. This should leave you with about 2 cups of fruit. Put the fruit in a saucepan with 1/2 c nondairy milk (I used flaxmilk as it was open) and 1 c unrefined sugar. Heat this on medium while whisking together 1/3 c of the pineapple juice from the can with 1/3 c cornstarch. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the hot fruit, and continue whisking until it is quite thick. Remove from the heat and set aside. (It doesn't need to cool completely, but you don't want it blazing hot.)
2. Make the dough. Stir together 3 c all purpose flour and 2 t baking powder. (If you have coconut flour, you could sub about 1/2 cup of it for some of the ap.) Using a pastry blender or fork or (better) your hands, cut in about 1/3 c vegan margarine. Stir in 1/2 t coconut extract and 1 c coconut milk (the fatty kind from the can). Keep adding coconut milk until the dough comes together as a soft but cohesive ball.
3. Make the pies. I followed the directions to divide the dough into 5 parts. These paifala were huge - like pineapple calzones! I suggest you divide the dough into 10 parts, or even more. Roll each ball of dough into a rough circle, place a good bit of filling on one half, fold over, and crimp. Cut a couple of slits in the top, and put on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 30-35 minutes at 375 F. (If you make smaller ones, they will probably bake faster.)
If you get enthusiastic about American Samoa, Travel by Stove also has a recipe for Keke Pua'a (a relative of the Asian dumpling), which looks like it would be fairly easy to veganize. The pineapple pies are quite yummy, but my favorite Samoan item remains kava (the beverage). If I had thought ahead, I would have bought some from the Vanuatu Kava Bar in Asheville, to go with dinner tonight.
Posted by JohnP at 2:52 PM