Recipe updated Jan 2014
So how does one turn this …
Pineapple tarts is a popular Chinese New Year delicacy in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. It is one of my favourite snacks when I go visiting during CNY. I wanted to quietly celebrate CNY in Melbourne, so I bought myself a small jar of pineapple tarts from Jerky House for $15.
They were an absolute fail.
Clay-like pastry with artificial flavourings and a filling that’s too sweet. I brought the jar to work and even my ang moh colleagues who aren’t that fussy only picked at the jar slowly.
My friend Aelle was telling me that Singaporean and Malaysian aunties are baking the tarts at home and selling them at Glen Waverley grocers. But I thought, why search for these elusive “aunty tarts” that only arrive at the Glen’s grocers on Saturdays? I should take things into my own hands and make them myself!
So one sunny Saturday afternoon, Ees and I embarked on project pineapple tarts. It was arduous work, especially for Ees who did most of the stirring and pastry making, but they turned out pretty good.
After some taste feedback from Ees and Jo, I made another batch the Wednesday after with some recipe adjustments. I was quite happy with the result. Actually very happy. Feedback from Aunty Rita and her high maintenance Malaysian and Singaporean friends was that we could start a business selling these tarts during CNY. Haha, no thank you. Too leh cheh (tedious).
I’m happy to share my findings here and would encourage you to try out the recipe cos I think it’s quite good. But first of all, you have to know my preference profile. Each member of my family likes it differently. I think mum prefers it soft and crumbly. Dad and grandma prefers tarts with a firm pastry. In fact, grandma likes the pastry and filling almost biscuit-like, which is funny cos she.. umm *koff* —> dentures. Lol!! I like my pastry crumbly when bitten and it has to have a hint of salt. And I like my pineapple filling to have fibres in it and be on the tart side rather than sweet. Tarts made using store-bought pineapple jams just won’t taste the same nor have the same texture as authentic pineapple filling. And lastly, I don’t like the use of any flavourings and extracts in the tarts.
So to sum it up, this recipe will probably give you a firm-yet-crumbly pastry that is slightly salty, and a filling that’s texturally fibrous with a tangy zing to it. If it sounds good, try it! I’ll post it below. : )
.PS: After I shared this recipe, mom even got me these perspex boards cut to the exact width for precision rolling…! But to be honest, they aren’t necessary, just estimate. =)
Pineapple Tart Recipe
(Updated Jan 2014)
- Consider making this a day in advance, it’s time consuming
- Grate 2 large pineapples or 4 medium pineapples
- Sieve the juices until the grated pineapple is less wet
- Place the grated pineapple, cinnamon sticks and cloves into a non-stick pot
- Cook over low heat stirring all the time until pineapple turns translucent (approx 15 mins)
- Add the sugar and continue to cook until pineapple turns a golden colour and has a semi-soft sticky texture (approx 30-60mins)
- Allow to cool and refrigerate until you are ready to make the pastry
- Sieve the flour, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl
- Remove butter from fridge, cut into small pieces and add to the bowl
- Gently rub-in the butter into the flour using fingertips until mixture resembles breadcrumbs (alternatively, you can use a pastry cutter)
- Add the egg yolks and continue to mix with hands (or pastry cutter)
- Do not overwork the dough, it’s okay to have flecks of butter in it
- Slowly add the iced water and mix gently with hands till the pastry starts binding together and leaves the sides of the mixing bowl
- At this stage, stop mixing and start compressing the bits into a crumbly ball of dough
- Wrap pastry in a sheet of plastic and chill in fridge for 1hour, the dough will become quite hard, that’s normal
- Keep in fridge as you take small batches out to roll
- Line pastry board with a plastic sheet and place a small portion of pastry on it
- Cover pastry with another sheet of plastic
- Roll dough to about 4mm thick
- Use tart mould to cut out the tart, place on baking tray lined with greaseproof paper
- Use a soft fine brush to glaze the tarts with egg wash
- Roll a small ball of filling, flatten slightly and place on centre of tart
- Decorate the top by placing bits of cut-out pastry
- Bake in pre-heated oven at 170ºC for 20-25 mins or till tarts are a nice golden brown.
For more home-baked goodies and comforting home recipes, check out my recipe index.