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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pineapple Tarts 2012


Pineapple Tart3

Pineapple Tart9

I first attempted to bake pineapple tarts last year. This is decidedly the most popular Chinese New Year cookie among my family members and friends. I have a friend who would order his $1.50/piece pineapple tart every year without fail and it is not uncommon to pay $1/ piece for home-made pineapple tarts nowadays.

In case, you are reading this in the hope to pick up a recipe so that you can make your own tarts and save a few quid, I need to be upfront and urge you to abandon your wishful thinking. The ingredients which include primarily pineapples(lots of them) , good butter, some flour and eggs are not going to be cheap. Then when you factor in the tediousness of grating your own pineapple, stirring the jam cauldron for 2-3 hours and fiddling with the pastry to shape them into pretty little morsels, you just want to give up.

I kind of did...give up. Not wanting to repeat the same old same old as last year, I decided to work with 2 different recipes, one for the open tart and another for a closed tart. Thanks to Valerie Kong's Traditional Chinese New Year Goodies class, I think I have truly found a melt-in-the mouth pineapple tart recipe. Contrary to what most food bloggers believe, you don't need corn flour to achieve the tender melt-in-the-mouth texture. Her recipe appears to be simple enough, with flour, butter, egg yolk and milk powder. I am uncertain if it is the golden ratio of her recipe or if it is the technique of incorporating the flour with the butter that delivered the melt-in-the-mouth end result.

The cookie turned out to be one of the most tender and delicious pineapple tart I have eaten. My dad couldn't stop eating them and at one point, was stuffing 2 cookies at one time into his mouth! Kind of funny to see the old man behaving like a kid.

I was feeling ambitious and attempted one of the most traditional closed tart design. This entails wrapping the jam with the dough and shaping it into an acorn shape before making little snips around the  tart to achieve the semblance of a little pineapple. The whole process of shaping and snipping was so laborious that I only managed to get some 20 tarts in close to an hour. I gave up and chose a simpler shaping method which only required me to roll the round dough across a little ribbed plastic panel.

Pineapple Tart 11
I have just finished cooking my second batch of Pineapple Jam and can't wait to bake another batch of closed tarts.

I shall not publish the recipes of the pineapple tarts here as I know Valerie conducts the classes every year.  If you are interested, please check in with Shermay's Cooking School or contact Valerie for class schedules.

In the meantime, if you do not already have your own 'heirloom' pineapple tart recipe, I welcome you to start here.

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Anonymous said...

The tarts look so pretty! You mentioned shaping method which only required you to roll the round dough across a little ribbed plastic panel, may I know how your panel look like? It looks so pretty and simpler. Thank you!


daphne said...

How lovely! I think attending classes to make these tarts was worth it! And you shaped it perfectly too. I miss CNY!!! This year, I am celebrating by drooling on blog posts! LOL

Jeannie said...

I just made mine too and using Wendy's pastry recipe....a bit different from the usual ingredients....and simply delicious! I love your enclosed version, but too tedious for me lol! Beautiful!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@Jeannie - thanks for sharing. I shall try that!

Gerry @Foodness Gracious said...

Beautiful cookies and awesome pics, these sound like a real nice treat for a cup of tea!
Thanks for sharing...

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Chloe: I have posted a photo of the panel on my facebook page..

Passionate About Baking said...

Shirley, I can resonate with what you said about buying and making them. Some two decades ago, I used to order homemade ones for 50cts per piece. Nowadays, it's very expensive, and I find they are not up to expectation.
For the dough ingredients, I also agreed that to achieve a melt in the mouth texture, it's not necessary to add corn flour. I have been using my friend's recipe, which is only butter, flour and egg yolk, and the texture is very good. Since then, I have been making my own pineapple tarts, except I don't cook my own pineapple paste.
You really have the patience to try different designs. Very nicely done...This is one cookie I cannot live without for Chinese New Year!

Anh said...

Your pineapple tarts look incredible! happy CNY Shirley!

pickyin @ LifeIsGreat said...

I doubt that there'll be any tarts left for me, but in any case, kudos for trying something new this year. Maybe next year I will play with the open face tart. Maybe.

Xin Nian Kuai Le!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Sorry for all this qns. How you roll it up using the board? Where you bought it? Exp? Thank you so much :)


Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@Pickyin- don't worry, I will be making some more :)

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@Chloe : You can get this at Phoon Huat or Sun Lik. It is not expensive at all, $1-$2, I can't quite recall. But at this festive season, I am not sure if they have sold out. (all the pineapple tart press are gone!)

It is very easy. After you have wrapped the pineapple with the dough, roll it to form a round ball. Then, lightly roll it across the board. The round ball will miraculously turn oblong in shape :)

Joanne said...

I will be making these and it will be SO worth it. I'm a pineapple addict. Can't deny that!

ICook4Fun said...

Lovely tarts Shirley!! Here wishing you and your family Gong Xi Fatt Cai and may the year of dragon bring you joy, peace, health and prosperity!

mycookinghut said...

My favourite CNY sweet! I made some a few days ago and there is none left for CNY.. haha

Torviewtoronto said...

Shirley everything looks superb


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