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Summer sunshine. [Photograph: María del Mar Sacasa]

I don't know what book or black-and-white TV show the image comes from, but I'm sure it's common and easy to visualize by everyone: fresh-baked apple pie on the sill of an open window. Apple pie is synonymous with the red, white, and blue.

In Nicaragua, pastel de piña is what you'd be most likely to find cooling in the kitchen and for sale at any bakery. Though "pastel" translates into "pie" there, this is more of a tart with a lattice top. It is always baked as a large rectangle and served at room temperature.

To me, pastel de piña tastes like lazy afternoon sunshine and horse-drawn carriage rides by the lake in Granada; nostalgia. Often nostalgia doesn't taste as good as the memory, but this dessert is even better live and in person. The pineapple filling is cooked until thick, sticky, and jam-like, the flavor intensifying and acquiring caramel notes as it simmers. It peeks out glossy and golden from the lattice screen that presses it against a crisp layer of buttery crust.

Have a piece in the afternoon with coffee or do as the locals and make it breakfast.

Get the recipe »

About the author: María del Mar Sacasa is a recipe developer, food stylist, and author of the food blog High Heels & Frijoles. Behind her girly façade lurks a truck driver's appetite.

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