I decided to bake my own Pineapple Tarts for the Chinese Lunar New Year when an Asian restaurant I frequent stopped selling them. Every year at the start of the auspicious lunar celebration, I make sure we have a bounty of these bite-sized pineapple pastries encased in a buttery, flaky dough.
The crust was a winner because it came out delicate and buttery. I cooked the pineapple filling a day before and chilled it to firm up. The crushed pineapple’s natural sweetness was made more amazing by simmering it slowly till it became sticky and had a jam-like consistency. And together, it was a perfect Pineapple Tart just in time to invite prosperity and good luck into our home.
Preparations for Chinese New Year start 14 days and one month before the actual day. Traditionally, it is important the house must be thoroughly cleaned. At times walls are repainted, and drapes are washed. Shopping for new food supplies and lots of cooking are also done.
Asian families get together and celebrate with big feasts. This is a traditional time for Asian families to give thanks for the many blessings received. My niece, Tsui Chern, who lives in the midwest, was excitedly cooking and cleaning when she wrote to me a few weeks ago. Her parents, KL and Catherine were arriving in America, and had come from Singapore to celebrate the Chinese New Year with the rest of the family. Tsui Chern told me they were inviting close family friends for a Chinese New Year feast.
As for Pineapple Tarts , Tsui Chern did confirm they’re a traditional treat in Singapore. Here’s what she said:
” My parents arrived yesterday. And yes, they brought with them pineapple tarts (from Singapore). It is one of the many New Year cookies. Pineapple signifies blooming prosperity so we include it in our cooking or pastries.”
I live far away from my niece, Tsui Chern. But if I was close by, I’d bake these Pineapple Tarts in a jiffy and bring them over, freshly baked, and to wish her many good wishes for prosperity, good fortune and much happiness. Meanwhile, take a bite-sized tart from my newly baked batch … here’s to a fiercely progressive and very lucky Chinese Lunar New Year ![purerecipe]
Pineapple Tarts for Chinese New Year
- 1 cup chilled, for pastry unsalted butter
- 1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2, chilled egg yolks
- 3 Tablespoons powdered confectioner's sugar
- 2 Tablespoons for pastry cornstarch
- 1 whole mixed with 1/4 cup water, for egg wash egg
- 1 large can 20 ounces, drained, but keep syrup for cooking crushed pineapple
- 1/4 cup for filling granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 Tablespoon for filling cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Prepare the filling ahead of time : In a medium-sized heavy stock pot, cook the pineapple and sugar on low heat. Add about 8 tablespoons of the pineapple juice syrup from the can, a little at a time, to prevent pineapple from burning or sticking. Add the lemon juice. Keep stirring few minutes.Add the cornstarch to thicken once the pineapple starts to turn darker. Keep stirring till it thickens. This will take about an hour to make. Cook at very low fire and do not leave the filling unattended or it may burn.Let the filling cool to room temperature. Refrigerate in a covered container overnight so it can firm up.To Assemble and Bake the Pineapple Tarts:Make the dough ahead: mix the flour, salt, confectioners' sugar, cornstarch and butter till it looks like coarse peas. Use a pastry blender and mix by hand or use a food processor for faster results. Add the chilled yolks to the pastry and blend till dough is smooth and pulls away from sides of bowl. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.The next day, roll the dough on floured surface. Cut with a cookie cutter, tiny circles measuring 2 inches in diameter.Fill the center of the dough with 2 teaspoons of pineapple filling. Brush the sides with eggwash.Top with another circle. Seal edges with your thumb by pressing both pastries together.Place tarts on parchment lined baking sheets. Brush tops with egg wash.Bake in preheated oven 350F degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.Then brush the tops of pastry again with more egg wash. Bake for another 5 minutes.When done, cool on racks.*Reference for some Chinese New Year traditions: "Culinaria Southeast Asia" A Journey through Singapore, Malaysia & Indonesia" by H.F.Ullmann Hello, Friends! All the images and content here are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to use my photos or content on your website without my permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write it in your own words and simply link back to this blog to give proper attribution. It’s the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]