Pineapple Tart

Guest post by Megha from Me in Blogland.

My husband once got some sweets from China which was packed beautifully in a box. It had a filling inside and tasted very yummy and different from the other sweets. I was wondering what the filling could be and how it is made until Megha from Me in Blogland sent me this post about Pineapple tart. The moment I saw her pictures I realized it was the same sweet that my husband got.

As I will be moving to India soon I will be bit away from blogging. So I asked Megha to do a guest post and she immediately agreed for not one but two posts. I was so happy and also appreciate the time she gave for writing the two posts between her busy life. Thank you Megha for doing a guest post and sharing this yummy tart with me and my readers. Megha has been blogging for quite some years now and I enjoy reading all her post. So my readers visit her blog Me in Blogland, I am sure you will like it. You can also follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

A big hello to the readers of ‘Like a lavendeR’!
 My name is Megha and I blog from sunny Singapore. Originally from the charming heritage city of Mysore in South India, I’ve been in Singapore since 2006 and consider it my second home. I am a dentist turned biomedical researcher by profession (that’s a long story!) but have currently taken a temporary break from my career to be a stay-at-home-mum to my twin daughters.
Writing has always been a hobby of mine so blogging naturally came as an extension of that. I blog about the four biggest passions in my life – food, travel, movies and books. And after becoming a mother in 2014, I also blog about my two munchkins who obviously are a big part of my life!
I knew that Reshma would ask me to write a guest post for her blog. She did a lovely piece on ‘German Christmas Markets‘ for blog back in December while I was vacationing in India (and too busy to post any content of my own). I knew she would be relocating to India during the middle of this year and it would be the best time to return the favour. It felt a teeny bit intimidating doing this post because Reshma is regarded as a great cook, creative artist and a bundle of talent among our close circles so I didn’t want to let her down. Her blog although new has all the trappings of being a grand success in the long run and I consider it an honor to be a small part of it through this collaboration. My guest post will be a two-part series featuring one sweet and one savoury local (Singaporean) dish. I sincerely hope it will appeal to all of you!
I’d like to extend my appreciation to Reshma for welcoming me into her virtual home. As we would say in this part of the world – xièxie (thank you). I had a lot of fun doing this guest post ☺

Pineapple tarts (or cookies) refers to small, bite-sized pastries filled with or topped with pineapple jam found in different parts of Asia. Pineapple tarts are one of the most popular Chinese New Year (CNY) delicacies of which almost every household that celebrates this festival considers a must-have. Just like the turkey is to Thanksgiving, no CNY is complete without pineapple tarts.

 In Hokkien and Cantonese families, pineapple translates to “Ong Lai” which means “Prosperity Come” and to add, pineapple is golden in its rawest form, therefore giving these tarts to your loved ones signify the Gift of Gold and wishes of prosperity. Be it in the form of balls, rolls or open-faced pastries, everyone looks forward to these dainty little treats.
The filling is from fresh and juicy pineapple, which is cooked and reduced to a golden-color pineapple jam. The pastry is made of four basic ingredients: flour, butter, egg yolk, and condensed milk which results in a perfect melt-in-your mouth pastry.
This is the first time I have made pineapple tarts from scratch at home. Having lived in Singapore for more than a decade now, I have always resorted to the easy way out by buying store-bought pineapple tarts during CNY (I love them by the way). As a guest post, I thought it would be nice to feature a local speciality. And I was confident of doing so assuming the audience reading this post would be mostly non-Chinese (so I don’t get lynched for any mistakes I may have inadvertently made!). I thought the pineapple tarts turned out great but I needed a more credible source to validate my effort. My husband passed a tart to his Indonesian colleague whose mother makes thousands of incredible pineapple tarts every year for CNY and he said they were “a little sweet but amazing”. Hey, considering I’m a pineapple tart noob, that works for me!
Although the ingredients are basic and the recipe easy to follow, the procedure is labour intensive. But don’t be intimidated because it is totally worth the time and effort. If you live with a large family and/or have kids who are eager to help, this could actually be a fun project. These lovely looking fragrant, buttery, crumbly pastries with sweet pineapple filling will blow you away! Promise!

Pineapple Tarts

Filling closeup photo
Preparation time: 90 minutes; Baking time: 20 minutes
Total time: ~2 hours
Recipe category: Dessert (Southeast Asian)
Recipe level: Moderate
Yield: 20 pineapple tarts
Adapted from: Rasa Malaysia
For the pineapple jam filling:
600gm pineapple flesh
3-4 cloves
75 gm coarse-grain sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
For the pastry dough:
90gm unsalted butter, at room temperature
1.5 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
1 egg yolk
130gm all-purpose flour or plain flour
For the egg wash:
1 egg yolk
a dash of condensed milk
a dash of oil
For the pineapple jam filling:
1. Cut the stalk off the pineapple and cut away the skin. Make sure all divits are removed. I took a shortcut and bought already de-skinned and cored fresh pineapple chunks. Slice the pineapple flesh into pieces and blend in a blender until it becomes a smooth puree (do not add water).
2. Add the pineapple puree and cloves to a non-stick pot and cook on medium heat, stirring every now and then to avoid burning.
3. When the pineapple is almost dry, add the sugar and lemon juice, stir to combine well. Lower the heat to simmer and continue to stir until the pineapple filling turns golden in color and becomes very sticky.
4. Transfer the pineapple jam filling out, remove the cloves and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes (I made it the previous day and kept it overnight in the fridge).
Pineapple jam filling
For the pastry dough: (you can do this manually or with a stand mixer)
1. Cream the butter and condensed milk until light and fluffy.
2. Add in the egg yolk one at a time, and beat until well combined.
3. Mix in the flour slowly to form the pastry dough. The dough is ready when it no longer sticks to your hands.
Prepare the egg wash by whisking all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
Pastry dough
To assemble and bake the pineapple tarts:
1. Divide the pineapple jam filling and dough into 20 portions each. Roll them both into balls. With the palms of your hand, flatten the pastry dough.
2. Add a pineapple jam ball in the middle and fold the edges of the dough up to cover the filling.
3. Finish it off by rolling it into a round ball.
4. Place the pineapple cookie on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
5. Using the back of a paring knife, cut the criss-cross shape on the cookie, and brush the top of the cookie with the egg wash.
6. Bake in a preheated oven at 330F (165C) for about 20-22 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
7. Transfer them out and cool on a wire crack before storing in an airtight container.
Assembling and baking
Tart closeup photo1
  • Use ripe fresh pineapples for best results
  • You can make these pineapple tarts with canned pineapple (in case fresh pineapple is not available). Drain out all the liquid before blending. Also, canned pineapple maybe sweeter than the fresh counterpart so you may need to add less sugar than what is stated in the recipe.Taste and adjust accordingly
  • If available, you can use readymade pineapple paste in this recipe
  • You can store the pineapple jam filling in the fridge for upto 2 weeks
  • You can cling wrap the pastry dough and stash it in the fridge overnight
  • It is much easier to shape the tarts when both the filling and the pastry dough are cold
  • You can make the size of the tarts smaller (and increase them in number) by making the pineapple filling and pastry dough balls smaller
  • You can make the shape of the tarts round or like a roll
  • This recipe easily doubles or even triples to yield more tarts
  • Store the pineapple tarts in an airtight container. Refrigeration is not required (they’ll disappear before you know it!)