Pineapple Lunar New Year Tarts (Thermomix & Conventional Methods)
I had never heard of these tarts before, but while we had our mini 5-day lockdown in Perth this week, I was researching what I could bake and came across these popular sweets prepared to celebrate the Lunar New Year especially in Singapore and Malaysia.
The Hokkein (“Ong lai”) and Cantonese (“Wong lai”) pronunciation for “pineapple” sounds like “wealth/prosperity comes”, and so serving these up to family, friends and important business partners during Lunar New Year celebrations will bring prosperity and luck to anyone who consumes them!
The tarts can take on a variety of shapes, from “open tarts” where small balls of the chewy pineapple jam are placed in the middle of a buttery, shortcrust pastry circle before baking, or molded into “little pineapples” by wrapping the shortcrust pastry around the jam, scoring or making little cuts in the dough, and sticking a clove in the top.
With time on my hands this past week, I went the creative way and was pretty happy with my attempt at making my “Pineapple Tarts”! Go whichever way you like, open or closed, with this version being not too sweet.
Wishing you all much prosperity & luck for the coming year!
(Makes about 20 tarts. Recipe can be doubled)
750 g fresh pineapple, peeled, eyes and core removed, cut in cubes (2 cm)
50 g sugar (2 1/2 tbsp) (If you prefer it sweeter, you can add up to 100g)
1/2 cinnamon stick
175 g plain flour
10 g caster sugar (Conventional Method: use icing sugar)
1 pinch salt
125 g unsalted butter, cold, cut into 10mm dice
2 egg yolks
1 egg, lightly beaten
20 whole cloves
(Adapted from Cookidoo Recipe in “Chinese New Year Festive Flavours Collection”)
- Place pineapple pieces into TM bowl and chop: 5 sec/speed 5. Place into a strainer over a small bowl and press out juice.
- Return pressed pineapple pulp to TM bowl with sugar and cinnamon stick and cook: 25 min | 120C | SP1 | MC Off.
- Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool completely.
- Scoop 1 teaspoon of pineapple jam (about 8g each) and roll into about 20 small balls. Repeat this step until all jam is used.
- Place plain flour, caster sugar, & salt and mill: 6 sec | SP10.
- Add butter into bowl and combine: 5 sec | SP5.
- Add egg yolks and knead: 20 sec | Knead.
- Pastry will be crumbly, but place onto a lightly floured work bench and bring it together with your hands into a ball. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
To prepare tarts
- Remove dough from fridge and let soften so that you can roll out dough into a 20mm thick log.
- Divide into 20 equal size pieces about 15g each. Gently roll them into a ball.
- Working with one ball at a time, place into the palm of your hand and use your opposite thumb to press into a thin 60mm circle.
- Place prepared ball of pineapple jam into the centre of dough, then carefully bring sides of dough up and around jam to encase. Once enclosed gently roll between your palms to form a smooth ball.
- Use your thumb and forefingers of each hand to the press the ball into an oval shape.
- Use the sharp tip of a small pair of scissors to make about four to five rows of little “v” shaped incisions to create the look of a pineapple*, then place onto a baking paper lined tray.
- Repeat with remaining dough and jam.
- Preheat oven to 170°C.
- Whisk together one egg and lightly brush the surface of each tart. Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned.
- Remove from oven and let cool on a rack. Store in an airtight container.
* Shaping Tarts – If you can’t be bothered making incisions with scissors, you can use a sharp paring knife to make a criss-cross pattern on formed tarts. Alternatively, make them into filled “biscuits” by simply flattening the enclosed dough/jam a little, then baking. Alternatively, to make them as “open tarts” roll out your pastry dough to about 5mm thickness and cut out 60mm circles using a cookie-cutter. Egg wash the pastry, then press a pineapple jam ball into the middle, then bake. Whichever way you shape them, they’ll still taste great!
- Place pineapple pieces into a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Place into a strainer over a small bowl and press out juice.
- Return pressed pineapple pulp to a heavy based non-stick frypan and stir in sugar and cinnamon stick. Cook over a medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring constantly so as not to burn, until any liquid has reduced and mixture thickens to a golden brown colour.
- Let cool then continue from STEP 4 of Thermomix Method (Pineapple Jam).
- Combine flour, icing sugar, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add egg yolks and continue to process until mixture is able to just hold together if pressed in your fingers.
- Place onto a lightly floured work surface and gently press together into a ball. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Prepare tarts by following steps above in “To Prepare Tarts” section.
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