Cakes and Cookies, Desserts

Pineapple Tarts

Every Chinese New Year or Hari Raya (Eid ul Fitr) will never be complete without families making and eating these delicious buttery sweet and sour pineapple tarts. And being in a beautiful multi-racial country, I get to enjoy everyone’s festivities many times over. ☺️

Earlier in the year before COVID-19 interrupted our lives, I already received a bottle of pineapple tarts from the office management for Chinese New Year. Now, with the Circuit Breaker in place and Hari Raya round the corner, I decided to finally conquer my fears and make my mother’s pineapple tart recipe.

It’s a daunting task. You definitely need helpers at hand. However, you can halve the recipe or even quarter it and make a small batch. Here is the original recipe:

For the tart pastry:

1. 500g butter (use the best you have. I used French butter and I think that made all the difference)

2. 3 whole eggs (some people use 2 yolks and 1egg but that will result in a delicious but crumbly pastry. Delicious I know but difficult to handle)

3. 900g plain all-purpose flour

4. 1/4 tsp of yellow colouring. You can omit this.

For the pineapple filling: I cheated. I used a store bought ready made filling but added one pineapple of my own. To make your filling from scratch, you need to grate 2-3 fresh pineapples, and then cook it down on a Low flame till it becomes jelly like. Add sugar. You’ll know when it’s ready when all the liquid has evaporated and you can form balls from the pineapple.

And then the rest is easy. Laborious work but easy.

First step is to make the dough. Using a mixer is easiest but you can certainly make this using just a wooden spoon, and a lot of muscle power.

Prep your ingredients. The butter needs to be very soft so that you can cream it with the eggs.
Cream butter and eggs. Add flour slowly till you can form a soft dough.
Break the dough into four for easier handling and let it rest, covered, for at least two hours.

Once the dough is rested, it’ll be easy to roll. If you can’t roll it, just use your cleaned palms and pat down as much as you can’t and then, using a tart cookie mould, cut the shape.


This is my tart cutter. You can find other types. All you need is a cutter with an indentation hole in the centre for you to place your filling in.
Press hard and clean the edges. This cutter is not so good that’s why it’s hard to achieve a clean line. The more modern plastic ones will produce better results.
With your thumb, gently peel off the dough.
Tada!
Fill a tray of the dough first.
These pineapple jelly balls are too big but they will make an easier task later. From that pan of jelly, take a small scoop to form into balls. Then eyeball how much you need to fill the dough casing.
Once the pineapple jelly is in the dough, you can choose to do a topper with some dough. Roll out some dough till very thin and cut into shapes. Diamonds, flowers, or you can just omit this step.
Put a ready filled tray in the oven at 170 Celsius for 10- 15min or until the bottom is done. Don’t over bake or you’ll end up with a hard filling and pastry.
The first tart here, you can see where the edges of the pastry was not neatly cut. But many turned out OK so I was pleased.
Persevere and carry on. 500g of butter will make about 180-200 of this size tarts. That’s a lot! So if you’re just making for yourself, half the recipe.
But I like to give away some to close family and friends so that everyone can enjoy this decadent treat! 😍

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