Pineapple tarts

Pineapple tarts can be addictive!

Pineapple tarts can be addictive!

Every year I’ve made my way through my more-than-fair share of pineapple tarts, often at my mother’s expense. She would order them from her neighbour/friend. One year I ate so many my masseur told me I’d grown a little “fleshy”.

Every year they also get more expensive and one day I woke up and decided I would make my own, no more sucking off my mother. I tend to eat only pineapple tarts for Chinese New Year, I turn my nose up at other goodies such as peanut cookies etc. But with no tradition of making them I had to trawl the Internet to look for a recipe. What would we do without the wonderful world of web.

I rejected recipes that used canned pineapples or horrors! store bought jam. I also wanted the ones with the pastry wrapped around the jam, not open faced, because I didn’t want to buy the mould. Finally I came upon one recipe which I thought met my conditions. It gave me lovely jam, although in copious amounts, but the pastry was as my son called it “sandy”. So I’ve combined the jam from the first recipe with a much nicer pastry from a second one.

Here goes:

For the jam:

  • 1 pineapple, peeled and grated.
  • 75 gms castor sugar/1/3 cup
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter

Grate the pineapple and put it into a pot with the sugar and basically boil it until all the liquid is gone and it’s turned into a brownish mush. It takes an awfully long time because you have to put it on low heat and stir it occasionally so that it doesn’t burn. It’s not difficult, just time consuming so I suggest making the jam a day in advance. You can add more sugar if you’d like it sweeter. The jam is delicious on its own as well.

For the pastry:

  • 400 g (14 oz/3 1/5 cups) plain flour, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 2/3 teaspoon salt
  • 250 g (9 oz) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 50 ml (1/4 cup) iced water

For the glaze:

1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together in a large mixing bowl until well blended. Add butter cubes and rub them in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Whisk egg yolks, vanilla, and water together and drizzle over flour mixture. Stir with a fork to bring dough together into a ball. Knead lightly for 5 seconds, then divide into three portions. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

To make the tarts, work with and bake one third of a pastry batch at a time. Pinch off one tablespoon of pastry and flatten it about 4 mm thick with your fingers. Place 1 teaspoon of jam on pastry and bring up edges to enclose. Roll the ball between palms to make it evenly round. Brush tart with beaten egg to glaze and stick a clove into it. Instead of a round, you can choose to make the shape long.

To bake, preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Grease a cookie sheet and lay the tarts out. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Take out and cool. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

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