Valentine day falls on the first day of Chinese New Year. We have decided to spend it with friends as some of them have become like family. There isn’t much of a festive mood here as we are away from family. So this year, I thought it will be a good idea to make more effort in creating a mood by baking some Chinese New Year favourites.
I have no baking skills. Even when I follow the recipe, something is almost always wrong. So this time, I decided to test run a small batch and have time to make amendments before the New Year. The first batch turned out ugly but tasted good. And the second batch looked better. More presentable. I did increase the amount of cold water that the Nonya recipe book had recommended.
Pineapple tarts is one of the more popular kuih (bite -size foods). In translation, it means ‘good luck to come’. And the colour of the tart which is a golden yellow plays an important role as well. Golden yellow is the colour of gold. So it can mean ‘wealth’ as well.
So what has this got to do with this week’s theme? Pineapple tarts are time consuming to make. First, it requires constantly stirring of the pineapple jam for a period of time. So you have to make sure that you squeeze and drain out as much juice as possible. Secondly, care needs to be taken with the dough. Mister said that his grandma used to say that pineapple tarts are made from love as it takes time and effort. I found it very fitting for this week’s theme and this year the first day of Chinese New Year is Valentine’s day as well.
- 500g sieved flour
- 170g margarine
- 65g butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 egg white
- 1tbsp vanilla essence
- 1 few drops of yellow colouring
- 3 – 5tbsp ice water
- 4 pineapples
- 320g of sugar (depending on taste and natural sweetness of pineapple)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 star anise
- 5 cloves
- Pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- A few drops of yellow colouring
- Rub butter and margarine into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs
- Beat egg yolks and white lightly. Add vanilla essence, 1/2 the amount of ice water, yellow food colouring. Add the mixture to the flour and blend slowly. Pour more ice water in if it still does not come together. (Can use hands to mix as well) Cover with a damn cloth and rest in the fridge for at least 1/2hr (Tip: Make use use less water first and then add if mixture is still very crumbly. Do not work it too much)
- Preheat over to 150C
- Use the kuih mould (in my case, a cookie cutter) to cut and fill with pineapple filling (Tip: I use my thumb to make a small dent and then place pineapple balls on top)
- Cut thin stripes from left-over pastry to decorate top (optional). Egg wash the tarts generously. Place on lined baking tray and bake for 20-25mins or until golden brown.
- Turn tarts out to cool on rack before eating or storing into air-tight container
Mister was a great help. He did most of the hard work which is stirring the jam. I was in charge of the dough which is my biggest enemy. And then I would cut the dough and Mister will roll the jam into big generous balls and place it on top. I would have preferred the dough to be more crumbly but the jam was perfect (to me). Maybe more margarine next time?
Waiting for it to cool down before consumption was near impossible. I like that warmth that the aroma of the pineapple and butter brings to our house. It feels festive. I just wish that I have more a bakers hand and gut feel. I just need more practice.
Bigger, better and prettier batches next year!
And visit the rest of the bloggers for their love recipes:
Carolyn from Gluten Shmooten – French chocolate cake
Silver Moon Dragon from Dragon Musings – Satan’s own chocolate mousse
Ange from Vicious Ange – Oaty hotcakes with fruity toppings
Rizka from ini, itu – Raspberry cheesecake brownie
Anthea from What’s For Tea? – Friands
Maree from Melbourne Delectable – Black forest cake; Black sticky rice
Bri from Bri Eats – Pasta with unpestoed pesto
Agnes from Off the Spork – Moist chocolate beetroot cake
Kate from Something by Kate – Molten chocolate puddings
Shellie from Iron Chef Shellie – Penne alla vodka
Leigh from Chit Chat Chomp – Champagne risotto
Sarah from The Sugar Junkie – Chicken & prosciutto cannelloni
Rilsta from My Food Trail – Rick Katz’s brownies for Julia
What is your favourite Chinese New Year or festive cookie?