Pineapple Tarts are one of my favourite Chinese New Year treats. That’s not to say you can’t have it any other time of year but these bite sized pieces are even more joyous in times of celebration. I’ve always loved the sweet and slightly sour pineapple filling with the buttery dough that melts in your mouth. Also these tarts come it various sizes or shapes that always makes it more appealing.
Probably every year we try those home made Pineapple Tarts sold in your typical local Asian Grocer and it’s always a tad too sweet and the tart isn’t as soft as I would have liked. So I have wanted to try to make my own tarts for ages but the thought of making the filling just seemed like too much effort.
However, It just so happened we ended up having large, old pineapples sitting around so what else could we use it for but pineapple jam? My mother was the one wh actually made the jam, just from adding pineapples into a pot and letting it dry up and adding sugar so I don’t know the exact quantities she used, I think just tasting as she went along and added sugar when needed. However, I’ve provided a recipe from one of my favourite Asian/Malaysian Food websites, Rasa Malaysia for the filling and pastry. We did use the pastry recipe from there and I think it worked out quite well, you can read my impressions further down.
4 large pineapples
300 g sugar
1 inch cinnamon stick
1/2 star anise
250 g liquid glucose
2 Tbsp wheat flour or wheat starch (Tung Mein Fun)
1. Slice and grate pineapples till fine. You can use a food processor do grate it.
2. Strain the grated pineapple till dry.
3. Let it simmer in a wok toll the juice has dry up. Add sugar and, star anise, cinnamon stick and clove.
4. Stir till the pineapple has thickened and dry. Add maltose or liquid glucose.
5. Stir till the pineapple filling is thick, sticky and dry.
6. Add wheat flour. Continue to stir for about 10 minutes or until filling is dry.
7. Leave to cool and shape into small balls.
Note : You can make the filling in advance and refrigerate it.
500 g butter
140 g powdered sugar
4 egg yolks
650 g all purpose flour
1 Tbsp cornflour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg yolk plus 1Tbsp water
- Preheat oven at 150° C.
- Cream butter and sugar till white.
- Add in egg yolks and beat at low speed for 1 minute.
- Fold in flour gradually.
- Insert pastry into cookie press and press into strip of about 3 inch each. (Or just take a small spoonful of the pastry, flatten it and take another spoonful of the jam and use your hands to shape it into a ball)
- Put the rolled pineapple filling onto the pastry and roll it up.
- Brush with egg brush.
- Bake for 30 minutes or when tarts is light golden brown in color.
You can shape these tarts any way you want, and as mentioned in the Rasa Malaysia recipe, they roll it up like a sausage roll of sorts. We stuck to the ball method and just used a fork or a toothpick to engrave the lines on to make it look more like a pineapple.
You can also use a mold designed for these tarts and they come in various shapes like a flower or hearts. I’ve purchase one from Brown Cookie but for since this particular dough is quite soft it gets quite difficult to remove from the mold.
The pastry recipe is surprisingly very good as just how I like it! It’s soft and simply melts in your mouth as you take a bite. I’ve actually made this a number of times since my mother had made an enormous quantity of pineapple jam.
It really does depend on how you like your pineapple tarts, some like the shortbread style tarts that are slightly harder and crisper but I’m a big fan of these softer tarts. If you’re like me and prefer these ones, this is a great recipe to try.