I’m into my second week of Chinese New Year (CNY) baking, woot! woot! and I’m loving it. With containers of cookies (with red plastic caps) in the living room and CNY decors all up, it all looks like we’re ready to celebrate and welcome the new year. Feels good to keep the tradition alive, at least, when we’re far away from our beloved home.
Last week, I made Chinese Peanut Cookies and it was so delicious that my family wiped out almost all of it. This week, I made yet another of my favourite cookie – Pineapple tarts (凤梨酥), that I grew up with. They’re so addictively tasty with a good balance of buttery melt-in-your-mouth pastry and sweet tangy pineapple jam – thank you Nasi Lemak Lover for sharing the recipe!
With CNY around the corner, the Chinese will go all the way out to buy pineapples to cook/bake or display as decor. To the hokkiens, pineapple is called ong lai. Ong means “prosperous” and lai means “to come”.
Let me start by saying that pineapple tarts are not easy to make – basically it takes time and lots of patience. I spent almost half a day in the kitchen cutting the pineapple, making the pineapple jam, then the dough and lastly shaping the tarts. But the efforts are all worth while – we absolutely love the taste of pure pineapple flavour tart 🙂
Pineapple Tarts (adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover)
Makes 100 pieces
510g plain flour
100g condensed milk
2 egg yolks
1 egg yolk (lightly beaten) + 1 tsp milk, for egg wash
2 large pineapples, yield about 1.5kg flesh
220g caster sugar
1. To make the pineapple jam, firstly, cut the pineapple and remove the “eyes”. Then cut them into small cubes and blend in a food processor until fine. Cook the pineapple flesh in a wok over medium low heat until the water/juice has reduced, stirring constantly to prevent burn. Add sugar, turn the heat till low and continue cooking the pineapple jam until it turns thick and sticky, takes about 1 hour 15mins.
2. Now, to make the dough – cream butter and condensed milk together in a mixer until light. Then add in the egg yolk one by one, beat until well combined. Add plain flour into the mixture and continue to beat until a soft, smooth dough is formed.
3. To shape – take a tablespoon of dough and roll into a ball and then flatten it. Take 2 tsp of pineapple jam and put them at one end of the dough. Slowly roll it in, bringing the edges to close and lightly press to seal. Then fold the two sides down and lightly press to seal. Shape the tart to form a rectangular pillow.
4. Cut a few lines to form patterns on top of the pineapple pillow. Brush egg wash on top of it.
5. Bake (by batches) in preheated oven at fan forced 165 celsius for 20 mins or till pastry turns brown. Remove from the oven and place on wire rack to cool completely before storing them in containers.