Pineapple tart is a special cookie made during the Chinese New Year. This is a must-have item and every year during the festival, trays and trays of pineapple tarts are baked. Any given Chinese New Year is incomplete without this super delicious cookie.
About Pineapple Tarts:
To simplify, Pineapple tarts are nothing but a special cookie with a pineapple filling. However, these buttery, crumbly cookies are super delicious and recognisable. A golden-colour pineapple jam filling is prepared by cooking and reducing fresh & juicy pineapples. Then some dough is prepared with flour and baked with the jam on top.
They are enormously popular in Malaysia and Singapore region. People call them in different names like pineapple cakes (though, they are not cakes), pineapple shortcakes, pineapple rolls, pineapple cookies or pineapple pastries. Whatever the name may be, this is the most delicious and amazing cookie ever!
Preparing Homemade Pineapple Tarts
No matter where you are from, you’ll love pineapple tarts. They are available in any bakery offering Chinese new year goodies. However, nothing taste like the ones you make yourself! And preparation of pineapple tarts doesn’t require a great deal of expertise as well. Also, you might not like the taste of conventional store-bought pineapple tarts with added preservatives and artificial flavouring. For a change, you can always try to make your own with this recipe.
To put the whole recipe in a single sentence, preparing pineapple tarts is equivalent to preparing pineapple jam alongside dough! You can prepare delicious homemade pineapple tarts by easily collecting some available ingredients and following the steps below.
Some necessary ingredients –
- Sugar (300 grams)
- Salt (A quarter to half tablespoon)
- Flour (200 grams or more, as required to prepare the dough )
- Egg (At least 2, or as required)
- Butter (In about a ratio of 3:4 butter to flour or as required)
- Water (As required)
- And of course Pineapples, 2-5 of them for this recipe!
Additional ingredients might also include Cinnamon stick (1), Icing sugar, Margarine (instead of butter) and Cloves. Collect these ingredients and start the process.
Preparing the Pineapple Jam
The pineapple jam is the core ingredient of pineapple tarts. Fresh, ripe and sweet pineapples are best for making the jam. However, avoid over-ripe pineapples as they will spoil the taste. Take 2 standard sized or 5 small honey Pineapples. The idea is to yield around 900g – 1kg of jam altogether. Then, follow the steps below to prepare the jam:
- First, wash the fruit to remove any dirt from its body before cutting off the bottom part of the pineapple. During peeling off the skin, place the pineapple on a flat surface and hold on to the stalk.
- Next, you need to cut several v-shaped grooves in an upward diagonal spiral around the pineapple. This removes the eyes of the pineapple which should not be present while preparing the jam. Rinse the pineapple afterwards and pat dry.
- Now it’s time to remove the inner core of the pineapple. To do that, keep the pineapple upright and cut down the middle. Then, slice each half into quarters along the length needs to be cut off.
- When the inner core is removed, slice the wedges into thin slices, chop finely and place the chopped pineapple into a big bowl. Repeat the whole process for the rest of the pineapples.
- Once all the pineapples are chopped, heat up a stainless steel pot over low heat. Now put some cinnamon, star anise and cloves into the pot. Add all the chopped pineapples into it and stir the mixture when necessary.
- This mixture needs to be heated for about 30 minutes. Add around 300 grams of sugar somewhere in the middle of the process. By this time the juices should dry up creating the desired jam. You need to stir frequently to prevent the pineapple tart filling or jam from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Bonus tip: If you’re not in a hurry and have some additional time, keep the fresh pineapple upside-down for at least 2 days before peeling off. Gravity is something you can’t deny. And in this method, gravity is used to draw the sugars out from the stem or the bottom end of the pineapples into the rest of its body. The method ensures the whole fruit to be evenly sweetened and ripened.
So, you have the desired pineapple jam / pineapple tart filling prepared and ready to move on to the next step.
Preparing The Dough
Once the pineapple jam is prepared, you’re halfway through making these mouth-watering cookies. Now you need to make use of the flour, eggs, sugars and other ingredients to prepare the dough. To prepare the dough:
- You will first have to sieve the plain flour, take at least 200 grams or as much as flour you think necessary. Then, add salt and icing sugar and mix them well.
- Now, you need butter. The cold butter needs to be cut into cubes and mixed with the dough until the mixture becomes a breadcrumb-like substance. To do this you can use a dough blender or simply fingers.
- Bonus tip – usage of Margarine instead of Butter: The traditional method of preparing pineapple tarts includes the usage of margarine. It makes the dough dense and gives the desired crunchy effect instead of being crumbly. The use of margarine also gives these cookies a longer shelf life compared to butter. Therefore, your pineapple tarts might be made using margarine instead of butter.
- Bring in the vanilla extract and eggs, mix them gently to bring the dough together. At this step, you need to be extra careful not to overwork the dough. Use 2 yolks and 2-3 white portion of eggs.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and place them in separate bags. Put the bags into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Final Step, Crafting the Masterpiece
When your dough is being chilled in the freezer, it’s your time to prepare the final product, the yummy, juicy, delicious pineapple tarts.
- Remember the pineapple jam you prepared before? Bring that out and shape it now. Create small pineapple jam balls. Roll up the jams in a round shape with your hands to prepare it.
- You need an oven at this stage. Preheat to 170°C. Bring out the first batch of dough to about 0.5cm thickness. The surface you roll the dough needs to be well floured. Flour both the surface and the rolling pin as well.
- The whole thing is getting into shape now, it’s time to cut the dough. Take a pineapple tart cookie cutter and cut the dough carefully.
- Press on the outer side then gradually on the inner mold of the cookie cutter to get a nice impression. Don’t forget to flour the cookie cutter before every use. Temporarily store the cookies on a greased baking tray.
- In this step, you need some more eggs. Take 3 egg yolks and beat them. Each of the tarts needs to be brushed with the yolk. Use a soft brush to add a layer of egg yolks over the surface.
- Finally, it’s time to bake! Take the first batch of tarts and bake it for 5 minutes at 170°C. Use the middle-lower rack of the oven.
- Do not waste the time when the first batch is baking, work on batch 2.
- After about 5 minutes, take the pineapple jam balls and place them on the batch 1 tarts. Use your hands to press down gently and remove any air pockets. Run the oven and bake the pineapple tarts for another 10 minutes at the same temperature.
- When the first batch is completely baked, take it out and let it be cooled. Follow the same instructions to place the second batch in the oven.
Here you have it, homemade, fresh, ambrosial pineapple tarts! All you need to do now is allow the cookies to cool completely and store them in an airtight container. If you want your pineapple tarts to keep fresh and crumbly, you need to buy enough airtight containers beforehand. They are widely available in baking supply shops. Different sizes of containers can fit from 20 to 60 tarts. The tarts can be stored for 2 weeks in room temperature. However, special processing and storage techniques can pull up the storage time to several months but that’s a discussion we’ll have in a future write up. Till then, bake your own homemade pineapple tarts and don’t forget to share your experience with us!
Purchase Homemade Pineapple Tarts
If these steps are tedious and you have no time or are too lazy to make your own pineapple tarts, Pineapple Tarts Singapore (https://pineappletarts.sg) provides homemade traditional pineapple tarts that can be delivered right to you!
Our pineapple tarts come in 4 different flavours. Traditional melt in your mouth, cheese, salted egg and Mala! They are crumbly, fragrant and extremely addictive. Besides pineapple tarts, we have a wide range of CNY Goodies which you can purchase directly online! We guarantee that your relatives and friends will love them when you serve these goodies during Chinese New Year!shop now!