Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pineapple Tarts (Looking For The One)

I have been experimenting with different Pineapple Tart recipes recently, trying to see which ones appeal to my family's tastes. We love a buttery, melt-in-the-mouth pastry. If you have a good, tried-and-tested recipe, or a particular brand of butter you swear by, please share it with me!

As for the all-important pineapple jam, I am sad to say I have never tried making my own. This year is no exception. I don't think I can afford the time nor the energy, unless it's a recipe which requires very little effort - like throwing everything into a slow cooker until it's done. Is there such a recipe?

I always buy ready-made jam from bake stores or supermarkets. They aren't all that bad, but they don't blow you away either. But that's OK with me because I like my pineapple filling sticky and jam-like (as opposed to the fibrous, paste-like type). So, I'll stick to buying. Unless one of you out there can convince me to make my own this year? ;)

Last year I made some tangerine-shaped tarts. They looked pretty but we all didn't enjoy eating them because of the cloves. And did I mention they were painstakingly laborious to make?! In the end, I made another batch of plain ones which we all much preferred.

This year I guess I will stick to the regular open-faced ones. I saw this cute cutter at Phoon Huat a few days ago, quite by accident. It creates hearts all around the tart - an ideal design for this year's Chinese New Year which falls on 14 February, ie, Valentine's Day!

Unfortunately, the hearts are very clear on raw dough, but lose their shape somewhat after baking. Such a pity.

Another dilemma: To glaze?

Or not to glaze? That is the question.

Glazing makes the pastry look less "raw" but the downside is, it gives an uneven colouration. What do you think? I kinda prefer the non-glazed version better. Plus, it spells less work for me.

Here's an idea for your Valentine's Day dessert. Jam heart in the middle, surrounded by small hearts on the pastry. But you've got to quickly shape the jam when it's still warm. Not a pleasant job, though - you end up with burnt finger tips. Do it only if you're madly in love.

My daughter's favourite bunny plate. She said it looks like the rabbit is wearing a hair clip on its ear. She interprets things exactly the way I do.

And the search for the perfect buttery Pineapple Tart continues. It's me, really. My kids aren't complaining. The entire batch I baked was polished off in 2 days!


  1. Ju, Those are the cutest things EVER! I had not really thought about pineapple tarts, but as I began reading you have me convinced I must make them.

    The little hearts on the rim are so darling. Glazed or unglazed they have my vote either way!

    Is the pastry you used a shortbread-type recipe? I am so tempted to make these (without your darling mold *sniff*). I can only imagine how delicious they are. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I had tasted many pineapple tarts but the best was baked by this Eurasian lady. The crust is absolutely melt in your mouth. The secret? Apparently she uses some lard. Ya, the sinful lard.

  3. Dear Ju, I check back your previous post of "Pineapple Tangerine style", the ingredients used is so much difference from mine. My pineapple tart recipe was taught by a Malay friend who selling cookies during Hari Raya, I followed her recipe and good compliments from my friends and relatives. I will make pineapple tarts soon and will share recipe soon. I like you, I buy ready-made jam from store too, so is quick and easy to make pineapple tarts.

  4. Great looking tarts, so CNY is around the corner again!
    The last pic is very cute indeed, great imaginations from her part :)

  5. it looks so cute! Glaze or not it looks yummy :)
    I absolutely adore pineapple tarts, Ju!

  6. That looks delicious Ju! I love the way you used the heart shaped pastry and the heart shapped jam. It looks yummy - is this a dish people serve during Chinese New Year?

  7. They look fantastic! Oh what I would do for a little bite of these right now Ju! :D

  8. I don't mind to participate in your experimenting programme, ship me different versions of your pineapple tarts, hahahaha

  9. The pineapple tarts that you made looked lovely, especially the pretty heart-shaped jam one on the rabbit's ear. I saw the photo before reading the caption, so I was thinking about the same thing too - a hair clip! (just like Hello Kitty's bow and My Melody's flower that's on the other ear)

    Looking forward to reading that 'perfect' recipe soon! ^^

  10. aww...those are so cute! I prefer glazed ones, it gives it a nice cooked and golden colour. The unglazed ones do look a bit raw, I'll be wondering if it's's all in the mind you know =P I made some last year and it's a pain I know. I love my mum's version, I think she uses amy beh's nastar rolls recipe.

  11. That cutter is so wonderful, even though the hearts plump out a little it still makes them look adorable- Like little flowers. I've never tried to make my own pineapple jam, although this reminds me to post a recipe for a spiced pineapple chutney. The bunny plate is so cute- I have a tiny bowl with the very same bunny which I bought from Yuan Plaza shopping centre in North London, I just couldn't resist! Your daughter is right, it does look like a little hair clip- very cute!

  12. Una bella idea le tue tortine con l'ananas, io proverei tutto quello che esce dalle tue manine, sei bravissima.Buona domenica Daniela.

  13. Like Mari, I have never thought of making pineapple tarts. I DO love pineapple and I don't think I've noticed pineapple jam in the market either. The hearts are sweet...I love anything with hearts (I'm such a sap!)As for the glazing...the color seems fresher on the unglazed ones, but both are so tasty looking that I'm sure it doesn't matter. About crusts...overworking the dough will make even the best recipe seem tough. I've found as "anonymous" said, lard does make a flakier crust, but I refuse to use it!

    Thanks, Ju.


  14. That's too adorable to be eaten. Feel like framing it up,..hehe

  15. It's so funny Ju I was making hearts yesterday.
    Your cutter is the cutest cutter:)And that leads to the cutest tarts..they could wear pearls too:)
    I favor shortbread crusts..:)

    More than all others !
    I have a rhubarb pineapple jam I make in the microwave..where oh where the recipe is.. is a mystery..But I just googled for you and look what I found..I am saving it also..

    Crock pot..I had checked for my quince jam..but it was looooong..You need short and sweet.I want to experiment w/ agar 2 one day also.

    De belles tartelettes Ju..

  16. I had made these tarts long time ago. It was a real achievement for me at that time. Guess what? I totally can't recall which recipe I had used. LOL! Your tart looks so delicious! And, I love the idea of hair clip. So creative!

  17. they look beautiful though, love the heart shape lol

  18. Hi! For the butter, if you like strong buttery taste then it's Golden Churn followed by SCS. Personally I prefer to use Lurpak which has a more mellow butter taste and fragrant :)

  19. Ju, the pineapple tarts is something which I have yet to try... I admire your attention to detail. You are always very neat and precise. I am, on the other hand, very shoddy in my 'workmanship'.

  20. They look so cute! I think I would go without glaze.

  21. Hi Ju

    To get the buttery, melt in the mouth taste, the ratio of butter and flour has to be more than 60%. This ratio was given by my ex coll's far it works and those who tasted my the buttery and melt in the mouth taste.

    Am trying to put up a baking/cooking blog. Will blog about it after I start my CNY bakes.

    As for butter, I still think SCS is good. Have not tried golden churn. Will try out too.

    : )

  22. Hi Ju,
    I use Lurpak or Elle & Vire - I prefer the subtle rounded butter flavour from these!

    I find it easier to wrap the pineapple jam in the dough... but I guess it is all personal preference!

  23. These cookies / tarts are so cute and perfect!

  24. Ju... I am always amazed at your photographs...

    And I would eat these cast offs any day

  25. They are almost too cute to eat ... I said almost! Those little hearts are too much!! Love it.

  26. Wow these look wonderful Little T...I have only used Pineapple jam for a glaze for a baked I must try these....they look delicious!
    Love the cutter!

  27. Juuuuuuuuuuu, they are so cute!! Where did you get the cutter? I do have a pineapple tarts in my blog and they are melt in your mouth kind. You can have a look at it.

  28. the coloration of the glaze looks pretty good actually and brings out the heart shapes. The heart shaped pineapple is also another nice touch. Again, well done and maybe we'll get to see what you decide on CNY...

  29. My sis-in-law makes very good pineapple tarts. I helped her one of the years when she was doing it. Labour intensive tedious work man! I remember her glazing it. I thought it made the tarts looked more 'finished' and 'baked' with a glisten. :) Cheryl.

  30. Hi Ju, These look delicious and really perfect for the double celebration of CNY & Valentines :)

  31. Hi Ju,
    I like your mould, swee :) I prefer the ones without glaze for a cleaner look. BTW, I'm also looking for a melt-in-mouth recipe and have shortlisted Florence's, I've not tried though but have heard good reviews.

  32. It doesn't matter to glaze or not, they look absolutely stunning!! I have never seen a heart shaped pineapple tarts! I am falling in <3 with the tarts :)

  33. those pineapple tarts looks so good and cute! I wouldn't mind having some now.

  34. As always it's gorgeous
    It'so beautiful, the color, the texture, how do you do that !
    I am really amazed
    I have a surprise for you on my blog
    Nice day

  35. Oh JU! iam making this tonite!!!!LOLOLOL I have had the jam in the fridge for a week...n tonite m making it ...what a surprise when I cam ehere an saw ur tarts!!! we ave the same same mind Ju!

  36. Those look so cute! I love the moulds and I would op for shop bought pineapple jam if they sold it here!
    Could you send some over?

  37. oh yeah, the heart-shaped ones are really suitable this year. Your experimental pineapple tarts already look very good!

  38. going to have my first go at pineapple tarts this CNY!
    excited much :P
    i know what mean about finding THE recipe.
    especially when pineapple tarts are all over the place..
    its hard to find one that you really love.
    plus this time we're making our own! heh.
    can't wait to find mine and share it with everyone!

  39. Oh In my excitement I forgot to say that ur tarts are adorable Ju...esp the one on the bunny ear. i thought it lookd like a hair clip too. :))

    My tarts are in the oven now but I dont think they wl survive the nite for a camera shoot tomorrow. LOL

  40. wonderful, thanks! can't wait to try this!!

  41. sooo sweet...i love your daughter's favorite plate and i too, would have interpreted it just the same!

  42. I want someone to make heart-shape pineapple tarts for me! :)
    They look delicious, that's for sure.

  43. For the butter, if you like strong buttery taste the it's Golden Churn in the tin. I prefer glazed ones, as it light up the tarts.

  44. My heartfelt thanks to all of you who responded. I feel very fortunate to have so many bighearted friends and readers who come forward and share. Hugs to all of you!

    Mari @ Once Upon a Plate: Thanks! Yes, the pastry is very much like shortbread!

    Anonymous: YES!!! That is so true. Lard always adds the oomph! But I can't bring myself to use it! ;P BTW, could you sign off with your name or initial as part of your comment? It helps me identify one Anon from the other. Thanks!

    Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover): Thanks dear Sonia, for emailing me your recipe so quickly upon request. Unfort, Nastar and I just don't click. Sniff.

    Trissa: Thanks! Yes, pineapple tarts are synonymous with CNY. In chinese, it sounds like "wealth is here" or "wealth beckons". So, it's an extremely auspicious sweet to make.

    pigpigscorner: Thanks, Ann! I tried the Amy Beh recipe. It's a good recipe. Unfort I can't handle Kue Nastar.

    2 Stews: Diane, you hit the nail on the head. Dough must not be overworked! How very true.

    NyonyaChef: You have got to be kidding!!! LOL!

    La Table De Nana: Monique, you are a gem. Thank you so much for googling the link for me! I really appreciate it!

    Elyn: Thanks for the tip! I bought 2 slabs of SCS unsalted butter. Golden Churn doesn't seem to have unsalted butter. And I prefer to work with unsalted ones.

    Irene's Footprints: Irene, please do share your recipe with me!! I am too clueless to figure out ratios! LOL!

    Cookie: Thanks! I will consider those 2 brands too. I used to do the enclosed version (wrapped in a ball), but I am getting a bit more adventurous and want to try the open-faced type. :)

    zurin: We are on the same wavelength!! Hee hee!!

    Ren: Thanks for the tip! :)

  45. Hello so happen to come over ur blog and ur heart shape cookie cutter is so lovely. May i know where do u get it. Is it available in Singapore

  46. How did I not see these? They are too cute!

  47. Hey!

    I read about microwaving pineapple filling. I've not tried it i'll let you know if it is successful enough =p

    I've always been cooking the filling on my own and decided to take a break and be lazy this year. I felt that store bought filling just lacks in the pineapple flavour..

  48. this is so cute, must be hard work...

  49. Hello. May I know how much is the heart shaped mould? Thank you :D

  50. Anon: I believe it was under S$2 or S$3 from Phoon Huat. I can't really remember now! ;P

  51. Hi Ju

    I made some pineapple tarts using your recipe and they were great!! The only thing I have forgotten to add salt in the pastry. My pastry was therefore a bit sweet.

    I made the pineapple filling myself too. I put gula melaka instead of white sugar and regretted it because the gula melaka blackened the filling.

    But all in all, the homemade filling were a lot better than the commercial ones because we can control the sourness we like. I like my filling to be more sour, hence I add in more lemon juice.

    I also grated my pineapple, but I think blending it would be better (and easier) since the pineapple bits would be smoother.