These delectable pastries feature a crumbly and buttery pastry base, topped with sweet pineapple jam.
HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR! 🙂
What are your must-have CNY goodies? I only managed to make some pineapple tarts on the CNY eve this year for my kids, as work has been really busy.
I chose to redo this recipe which I have tried a few years ago. And I am still very much in love with it!
若想阅读中文版本，请在网页的右边 “Google Translate” 点击选择 中文简体 (Chinese Simplified）或 繁体 (Chinese Traditional) 翻译。可能食谱读起来会怪怪的，所以如果有疑问都可以问哦！
Do you still remember your favourite childhood CNY goodies?
I have a couple of favourite cookies for CNY, but among them, open pineapple tarts are the BEST! It won’t feel like it’s CNY if there is no pineapple tart!
If I remember correctly, during the time when I was a kid, we mostly ate these open pineapple tarts. The melt-in-mouth pineapple balls were made popular in the past decade or so.
What Are Pineapple Tarts?
Pineapple tarts are small bite-sized pastries topped with cooked-down pineapple jam, which are then baked till golden. In recent years, another variant of the pineapple tarts, those melt-in-mouth pastry wrapped with pineapple jam, have taken over the spotlight.
Pineapple tarts are often given as gifts or offered as snacks to guests during visiting, because pineapple are called “ong lai” in Hokkien. As many Chinese love auspicious words during the CNY, pineapple tarts sounds like 旺来 / “prosperity is here“, thus gaining popularity and is considered a “staple” snack or gift during this time.
How Different Are They?
I feel that the open vs enclosed pineapple tarts taste quite different! I remember the old tarts that I ate when I was a kid, were slightly crumbly and buttery. I also love the lightly spiced pineapple paste (with cloves and cinnamon).
On the other hand, the enclosed tarts are usually melt-in-mouth with a slightly sweeter crust.
Some of my friends prefer the sturdier and slightly “crispier” tart shell for open tarts. Those who love melt-in-mouth texture would usually vote for the enclosed tarts. How about you?
Homemade Pineapple Paste vs Store Bought Pineapple Paste
It takes a lot of practise to cook homemade pineapple paste to the right consistency, so store bought pineapple paste can be a good choice when you are busy or inexperienced! You can look at the ingredients listed on the pineapple paste and try to choose one without coloring and preservatives.
If you are making homemade pineapple paste, choose the Morris pineapple for best taste! Smell the bottom of the pineapple. Ripe ones will have a pleasantly sweet pineapple scent. I like to have a 50-50 mix of ripe and slightly unripe pineapples.
You’ll need to cook down the pineapple paste – if too watery, the pineapple tarts can turn moldy quickly; if too dry, the pineapple paste, placed on the open tarts, may have a layer of dry “skin” around it as it gets baked in the oven. It will then be a little too dry, and tastes really chewy, sticking to your teeth, which won’t taste as nice as the well-cooked jam.
Again, if you are inexperienced, you can try out store bought pineapple paste. If you are feeling adventurous, and have some time on hand, try cooking your own pineapple jam!
I have also included some tips and tricks in the recipe card below for baking these tarts with homemade and store bought paste 🙂
>> MORE CNY RECIPES:
Buttery and crumbly pastry crust topped with sourish-sweet pineapple paste! Makes about 48-50 Pcs of regular sized pineapple tarts.
Homemade Pineapple Paste (About 400g after cooked)
- 2 pc Pineapples ((Morries, Malaysian Pineapple))
- 1 Pc Cinnamon Stick ((Not cinnamon powder))
- 1 Pc Star Anise
- 1 Pc Cloves
- 300 to 320 g Caster Sugar ((Depends on your preference))
- 1/4 pc Lemon* ((Juiced. Optional))
Pineapple Tart Pastry Crust
- 320 g Plain Flour
- 200 g Unsalted Butter, Cold & Cubed ((About 1x1cm cube))
- 30 g Icing Sugar
- 2 Egg Yolks, Cold ((About 40g))
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 2 Egg Yolks, Strained
- 1 tsp Water
Homemade Pineapple Paste
- Peel and remove the “eyes of the pineapple”.
- Grate or finely chop the pineapples using a box grater into a large bowl. Discard core as it would be too fibrous. You should have about +/-900g of pineapple flesh now.
- Drain the grated pineapples with a sieve. Place the grated pineapple flesh into a large surface area pot. Save the pineapple juice for later.
- Add sugar. lemon juice and spices into the pot at this point. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon.
- Bring the pot to a boil at medium-high heat. Once it start to boil, lower the heat to medium and stir it occasionally, be sure not to allow it to burn.
- Start adding the pineapple juice to the pot a ladle at a time until all the juice has been boiled away.
- The juice will start to evaporate and dry out. The mixture should start to look dry and its color should turn darker by now. Turn the heat to low and continue cooking until the mixture looks very dry and coats the wooden spoon without any moisture. Add in the rest of the sugar to taste towards the end of cooking.
- Take the pot off the heat and allow the jam to cool completely once it looks dry and sticky. The golden yellow colour would also be an indication of its doneness.
- Take note that the jam will continue to thicken after it is cooled so it is best not to overcook the mixture. It is better to under-cook it, for you can always put it back on the heat if it is still not at the right consistency after cooling.
- After the pineapple jam is cooled, discard the spices, store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a 3-4 weeks. (Good to cook this mixture 2 days prior to making the tarts. Roll and chill the pineapple paste 1 day prior to making the tarts – about 8 to 10g each.)
- Sift flour, icing sugar and salt into mixing bowl. Mix well.
- Add half portion of cold butter into mixing bowl. Using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and dry ingredients together using low speed. You will see some coarse, sandy mixture coming together.
- Add the remaining half of cold butter and beat together, till sandy mixture. If there are large size butter, rub it into the dry ingredients, using gloved hands. Beat the mixture again. Using your gloved hand, stir through the mixture to check if there are anymore large blobs of butter. Continue rubbing in if there is.
- Add in the cold egg yolks and beat the dough together.
- Divide the dough into 3 portions. Cling wrap each portion and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 mins to firm up.
- In the mean time, roll out pineapple paste into balls if you did not manage to do so the day before. Roll each ball about 8 – 10g. Set aside in air tight container. Chill them for about 30 – 60 mins before using.
- Preheat oven to 170C. Prepare the egg wash.
- After resting the dough, roll out 1 portion of dough and cut out using pineapple tart mold. You may need to dust the working surface and mold with some flour. (I rolled the dough on non-stick baking paper so I didn’t need to sprinkle with flour. I also rolled the dough to about 4-5mm thickness. You can roll thicker pastry if you prefer more crust.) Repeat for all portions of dough. Place cut-out dough on lined baking tray. Reserve a portion of dough for “topping” on top of the pineapple paste.
- Place pineapple paste balls onto pastry. Egg wash the pastry surrounding the pineapple paste TWICE.
- Roll out reserved pastry dough and cut out using a small flower or heart shape cutter. Place on top of pineapple paste balls. You may want to egg wash the cut-out pastry dough as well.
- Bake in preheated oven 170c for 20 – 22 mins, or till tart pastry look golden yellow. You may want to rotate the tray 10 mins into the baking time.
- Once baked, cool baking tray on cooling rack. Once cooled, remove tarts to further cool on cooling rack. Store in airtight container when the tarts are completely cooled.
If your homemade pineapple paste is drier, you can parbake the pastry for 10 mins without the pineapple paste balls (with egg wash). Remove from oven and top with pineapple paste balls and cut-out pastry. Continue baking for 10 mins more.
If you are using store bought pineapple paste which is slightly drier than homemade paste, you can use the parbake method as above.
I apply the egg wash twice so that the tarts will look more golden yellow after being baked.
Each tart pastry is about 4-5mm thickness; you can definitely cut thicker if you prefer. Simply add a few mins to baking time. Each pineapple paste ball is about 8g. You can roll 10g if you prefer more pineapple paste.
- Category: Cookie
- Method: Rubbing In (Mixer)
- Cuisine: Chinese