31 January 2011

i HEART pineapple tarts


If there is one thing that I miss about Chinese New Year, its pineapple tarts! Those sweet morsels of spiced pineapple jam sitting on top of buttery, light and slightly crumbly biscuit base.

And not just any pineapple tarts but the good 'ol traditional open-faced sorts. Can't stand those new-fangled ones that have been popping up back home in Singapore and Malaysia. You know the ones - those round ones with the jam completely encased, or the ones that look like rolls or small pillows again with the jam encased. And then there are the awful brick looking things - literally a block of pastry encasing the pineapple jam, which is all a sugary sweet pineapple flavoured mush with gelatine to give it the consistency it needs.

Why go changing something that is perfect?! Why??

The asian stores in Wellington are woefully lacking in decent CNY biscuits and if you look carefully at the date stamps, some even stock expired goods. So after 15 years in NZ, I still get my CNY biscuits sent to me from Singapore. But the quality of the pineapple tarts from 'back home' have seriously taken a dive. To a point that this year, I decided to make my own.

Now expert homebakers will tell you that one needs to be either brave, crazy, bored or desperate to make these tarts at home. For the record - with the exception of bravery, I am 'all of the above'.
So after days (yep - days) of exhaustive searching online for pineapple tart recipes, I found three that I liked. Combining the best bits of the three recipes (and a hurridly bought cookie cutter set - bless Moore Wilsons!), I pressed forward with what I expected to be the worst culinary challenge I would face to-date. Turns out the process was pretty easy, but! Oh yeah...there is a 'but' here...

I have NEVER made (i.e. cooked and baked) anything that took so damn long to put together! Just the pineapple jam alone took like 2 hours cooking time, and that did not include refrigeration time, nor the time required to roll it into balls as pre-prep to place on top of the pastry. Then there's the pastry. And since I could not buy the proper pineapple tart mould, I bought a flutted cookie cutter and manually pressed 'petal' designs with a fork. Talk about long and laborious!!! And all this just for some pineapple tarts.

And what scrumptious tarts they turned out to be... :)))))

(My little pineapple tarts after dinner with a cup of green tea - bliss!)

Maybe I'll make another batch soon. Why wait until the next CNY?


1 comment:

  1. yummy, pastry looks light. i can relate to your craziness of wanting to make your own CNY cookies. The ones in the shop is really adultrated

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