Sunday 16 February 2014

CNY Melt-in-the-Mouth Pineapple Tarts 入口即化金香黄梨酥

Now that the 15 days of Chinese New Year (CNY) is over. What's the fastest moving CNY goodie at my home? *Drum roll~~~~*

It's my home-made Pineapple Tarts! Yay!  They were so well received and were all gone by the second day of CNY!

If you know the symbolism of Pineapple Tarts in Singapore & Malaysia, you would understand why this is a must-have Chinese New Year (CNY) goodie in every household. Pineapple is pronounced as "Ong Lai" (旺来) in Chinese dialect. Meaning - Arrival of Fortune & Prosperity. Its significance is salient, especially at the start of a New Year. Besides, this mouthwatering pastry is too good to be missed!

Pineapple Tarts come in many variations and can be purchased anywhere during CNY period.  However, my family is generally dissatisfied with the inconsistency in pastry thickness. Most of which, too thick for our likings. To satisfy my husband's appetite (he has a super taster's tongue and can single out every ingredient or spice that has been used!), I needed to bake my own. 

This year, I decided to do the 'wrapped' version whereby the pineapple jams/pastes were wrapped around by a thin crust of pastry.  This 'wrapped' version allowed me to create a really thin pastry layer!

Being a novice home baker, I was not attempting to make my own pineapple tart fillings yet. I like this pineapple paste - readily available in supermarkets.  It's neither too sweet nor sour.
I agree that making Pineapple Tarts is a labour of love. It is labour and time intensive. To be more productive, I rolled the pineapple pastes into balls one day before baking and chilled them in the refrigerator

Ingredients for Pastry :

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 525 gm unsalted butter (must use cold butter, do not use soft butter)
  • 765 gm all purpose flour
  • 150 gm condensed milk (use condensed milk to replace sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla flavouring
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1 beaten egg for pastry glaze 

I used 2 packets of pineapple pastes. They were good enough for about 160 pcs (depending on your preferred size). Bear in mind that I achieved this quantity because my pastries were really thin and pineapple pastes were in very generous portions. Your quantity may vary subject to your preferred thickness and size.

Method :
  1. Mix the butter, condensed milk, salt and vanilla flavouring until light and creamy.
  2. Whisk in egg yolks one at a time. Continue beating till well combined.
  3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and fold in flour slowly. Beat till dough is well combined and non sticky to your bowl.
  4. Cover dough in Cling Wrap and chill in refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Then, flatten small pieces of dough (good enough to wrap the pineapple paste balls that I chilled a day before).
  6. Spread fingers to wrap each pineapple paste ball into a small flatten piece of dough and smoothen the surface with your fingers.  It is easier to roll them into round shape using gentle pressure from 2 palms.
  7. Use a blade/knife to cut lines on the surface to make it look like the texture of a pineapple.
  8. Brush a layer of beaten egg on the surface (such that it will emit a nice golden brown colour on top) 
  9. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees celsius.  
  10. Bake in pre-heated oven for 22 minutes (prolong 1 to 2 minutes if you want it more golden brown)
  11. Transfer to cooling tray for cooling before storing them into airtight containers.

Cover dough in cling wrap and store in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes before use. 
Flatten small pieces of dough, then spread fingers to wrap each pineapple paste ball into them and smoothen the surface.  It is easier to roll them into round shape using gentle pressure from 2 palms. Use a blade/knife to cut lines on the surface to make it look like the texture of a pineapple.
Brush a layer of beaten egg onto the surface to create the golden brown colour.

Bake in pre-heated oven (170 degrees celsius) for 22 minutes.
Nice golden brown colour!  Transfer to cooling tray to cool before storage. 
Simply melt-in-the-mouth....simply divine....
Not only can the final product be served at home, they can also be fantastic festive gifts to relatives and friends. 

Gong Xi Gong Xi!  To a year full of good fortunes and prosperity!


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