Why are pineapple tarts so popular during Chinese New Year with the Singaporeans and Malaysians?
Pineapple is translated as ‘Ong Lai’ in Hokkien. Direct translation means prosperity come. And what colour is the flesh of the pineapple? It’s yellow which is a close colour to gold especially once the pineapple jam is cooked. Gold means wealth and prosperity as well. For me, it just starts damn bloody good. Pineapple tarts can be eaten in one mouthful. And once a year, I indulge to having as many as I can!
Making pineapple tarts can be really time consuming. It starts from grating the pineapple. Do not include the core. If you have a food processor, just use that instead of manual grating. But pulse it to reach the desired pineapple shreds. Many strain the liquid off and then add it again at the end, I did not. It actually saved stirring time. Decide for yourself if you want to strain and then add the juice back bit by bit or just start simmering off the liquid with the flesh. It did not make any difference in taste for me but not sure if it affected the colour. If sugar is added earlier, then the colour will turn much darker. I really don’t mind but if you prefer a lighter colour, then add all the sugar at a later stage when the liquid is almost dried up.
The last time I made these tarts I had no pineapple tart mould. One of these came from @fatbooo and another bought when I was back in Singapore for a visit. They are perfect size and makes little indents for the ball of jam to sit on. These moulds are for the open pineapple tarts.
The ball of jam will not be rolling off the dough. There are slightly variations of size. The ones I had are between 1.2cm and 1.5cm in diameter You may choose to roll the balls out first and then plonk them onto the pastry or make the balls as you go.
For the close version of pineapple tarts, I do recommend rolling out the jam first or it will get really messy later on if you don’t. I followed the video from A Table for Two. He makes it look so easy! These jam rolls are about an inch in length.
See how messy I got! I need more practise. So most likely to make more this week. And to be honest, these pineapple tarts are delicious to stop at one or two or three. Pinch a dough and roll into a elongated ball in your hands. Flattened it and then place the jam ball on the end. Roll the pastry upwards to cover the whole jam. Try not to over lap. Even if it does, just pat it out and it will be fine. Also tuck the ends of the jam in if you like to keep it quite neat.
Once these babies are all rolled out. Use a fork and gently draw lines on the top. Brush with egg yolk and they are ready for the oven. Don’t they look like little soft head cushions? And see how the ends are all tucked in?
I love the look of these when they came out from the oven. They went into the oven of 180C for 15mins and then turned other way for another couple of mins. They are just so adorable! I think I will be making these more than the open ones. Also Mister prefer these babies. And the pastry is pretty good. I love how it just melts in the mouth.
But I love the look of these open pineapple tarts as well. They look like golden edible sunflower! There are no need to roll balls of pastry and might be a little easier to make. But don’t overwork the pastry for this too much of it will lose its melt in the mouth texture. It is also more crumbly but I love it! It pops into the mouth and poof!
These open ones are cooked at 160C for 20mins. Just check that it is golden brown, remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely before stacking them into airtight container.
These pineapple tarts are so much better than the ones I did a couple of years ago which is why I am writing another blog about it. This write up has more tips which I gathered both from experience with this batch and also from 2 food bloggers, @pickyin and @Kokken69 that have been very patient and guided me through the process. Thanks girls! Much appreciated.
I made one lot of pineapple jam for the two versions. My method of cooking the jam does vary from both @pickyin and @Kokken69.
- 4 small pineapples, after grated weighed 1.2kg including juice
- 2 star anise
- 5 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 250g sugar
- 1tbsp glucose
- Skin the pineapples and cut out the eyes. Smaller pineapples seem to have less eyes. Finely grate or pulse it through a food processor. If using a food processor, please make sure that it is not over blended. Please remove the core
- Use a heavy pan and add the pineapple flesh, liquid, star anise, cloves and cinnamon stick into the pan. Add half the sugar and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Lower the heat and allow it to bubble softly until the liquid slowly disappears. Give it a stir once in awhile. You can make sure of this time to prep the dough
- Once the liquid is almost gone, add other half of sugar and glucose for shine. Taste and add more sugar if needed. Sweetness of pineapples are different. According to both @pickyin and @Kokken69, do not use over ripe pineapples as it means that less sugar is used. The sugar preserves the jam and make sure that it last longer
- Keep your eyes on the mixture and stir as required. Stir the mixture until it is caramelised and sticky. The mixture should be almost dry. Remove from heat and allow it to cool before rolling into balls. Please remember to remove the star anise, cloves and cinnamon stick
Open tart pastry (Makes 35) - Recipe taken from Shirley (kokken69).
- 200g of plain flour
- 50g of cornflour
- 1tsp of icing sugar
- 1/4tsp of salt
- 140g of chilled butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 30ml of ice water
- 1/2tbsp of vanilla essence
- Sift flour,corn flour,icing sugar and salt together in a mixing bowl. Refrigerate for 5 mins
- Cut chilled butter into cubes
- Add cubed butter into flour and work the butter into the butter with finger tips until mixture resembles breadcrumbs
- Mix egg yolks, vanilla extract and cold water together in a cup. Add this to the flour and butter mixture. Work briskly with finger tips to mix the liquid with the flour. Gather the dough into a ball and refrigerate for at least 15 mins
- Roll out dough to 0.8mm thickness. Cut dough with pineapple tart cutter. Divide the dough into two. Place other in the fridge while working on one
- Brush egg yolk glaze over the cut dough
- Place a ball of pineapple jam on the dough
- Bake at 160C for 20mins. Cool down and store in air tight container
Pastry (Close version) (Makes 30)- Pickyin’s blog
- 250 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 50 grams icing sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 360 grams plain flour
- 2 tablespoons corn flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon milk/water for the egg wash
- Sift the flours together into a bowl. Cream the butter and icing sugar until light in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Add in salt and vanilla, beat until fluffy. Reduce speed to low and beat in the sifted ingredients (divided into 2-3 times) and combine well into a firm dough. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes
- Remove the dough from the fridge. Take about 8 grams worth dough and roll it into a ball. Roll the ball into a long strip about 6 to 7 cm long. Press the strip of dough flat into a long rectangle on your palm. Place pineapple filing at the bottom end of the rectangle strip and gently roll up the pastry, like so in a Swiss roll, enough to enclose the jam. Do not overlap the pastry – I did not measure my dough but I made half the pastry and only ended up with 30 instead of yielding close to 45.
- Arrange the rolls on the baking tray. Score the tops with the tips of a fork or the back of a small knife across the short end of each roll. Brush each roll with egg wash. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Turn the baking sheet 180 ° and continue to bake for 2 minutes or until golden brown
- Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container. The tarts keep well up to two weeks at room temperature
I am going to be baking some cashew nut cookies this week. These little delightful morsels are going very quickly which means that another batch will have to be made before the Year of the Dragon arrive! Gong Hei Fatt Choy!