Looking for quick CNY goodie recipe? Learn how to make these easy melt-in-mouth pineapple tarts…
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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.
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 for me 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?
Do you also find that the open vs enclosed pineapple tarts tasting 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
To cook homemade pineapple paste to the right consistency, it will take a lot of practice to perfect it. So store bought pineapple paste can be a good choice too! You can look at the ingredients listed on the pineapple paste and try to choose one without coloring and preservatives, if you are concerned with that.
If you choose to make 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:
- Purple Sweet Potato Pineapple Tarts
- Pandan Coconut Cookies
- Almond Cookies
- Peanut Almond Cookies (Kid Friendly)
Pineapple Tarts Baking Tips
As pineapple tarts usually carry the fragrant buttery scent, choose a good brand of butter to start with. I usually prefer the more subtle buttery fragrance from French butters, that don’t make the baked goods too greasy either.
You will find that making the pineapple paste and pastry dough from scratch will take up a lot of time. So it would be good if you can break up the tasks:
- Pineapple Paste: Select and buy pineapples, cook them 2 days before you make the pineapple tarts. Roll them into balls the day before baking. Store in fridge.
- Pastry Dough: Make pastry dough the day before assembling and baking the tarts. Cling wrap and store in fridge for use the next day.
- Baking: Just roll out the dough, egg wash, top with the pineapple paste and bake!