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Pineapple Tarts- Pastry Treats for Chinese New Year

Pineapple Tarts are traditional tiny sweet pastry treats for the Chinese Lunar New Year. The original ones from Singapore have a pastry that is shaped like a round floral cookie, and the pineapple filling is in the center. I don't have the traditional pastry mold for these tarts, so I baked these shaped like mini, round empanadas or hand pies. These tarts had such an intense buttery aroma, that I won't wait till next year to make them again. My Asian in America recipe version was adapted from the site FreshFromTheOven. Makes about 18 bite-sized pieces.
Prep Time1 d
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Resting Time1 hr
Total Time1 d 2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Dessert, Snacks
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Filipino, Singaporean
Keyword: Chinese Pineapple Tarts
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 286kcal
Author: Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Equipment

  • Stock pot: 6 to 8 quarts
  • Large Baking Sheets
  • Round cookie cutters: 2-inches in diameter
  • Rolling pin

Ingredients

For Pineapple Filling:

  • 1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple drained; reserve syrup
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 Tablespoons pineapple juice from syrup of the canned pineapple
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

For Pastry Dough:

  • 1 cup chilled unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 whole eggs chilled; use straight from the refrigerator
  • 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch

For egg wash:

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

To cook the pineapple filling:

  • In a stockpot, cook the pineapple and sugar together over low heat. Add the pineapple juice from the can, a little at a time to prevent mixture burning or sticking to the bottom.
    Pour the lemon juice. Keep stirring for about 5 minutes.
    Add the cornstarch to thicken once pineapple color starts to become a darker gold. Continue stirring till mixture thickens. This process takes about 1 hour.
    Cook over very low fire. Do not leave the filling unattended or it may burn.
    When filling is golden in color and thick, turn off heat and remove from the stove-top. Allow the filling to cool on the counter till it is room temperature.
    Store in a covered container and keep refrigerated at least overnight. This helps the filling firm up.

To make the pastry dough:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, powdered sugar, cornstarch and butter. Use a pastry blender or 2 butter knives to mix till it looks coarse and is the size of peas. (Note: If in a rush, use a food processor to blend).
    Add the chilled eggs to the pastry. Continue blending till dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
    Shape the dough into round discs. Cover in plastic wrap all around. Refrigerate the dough overnight.

To assemble the pineapple tarts:

  • Roll out the dough on a dry, floured surface.
    Using a round cookie cutter, about 2-inches in diameter, cut the dough into circles. Cut an even number of circles so you have pairs to make the tarts.
    Fill the center of a circle with about 2 teaspoons of the pineapple filling. Brush the sides of the dough with egg wash. Place another dough circle on top of the filled one. Seal the edges with your thumb or a fork by pressing the 2 doughs together. Continue the same process for all the other pieces.

To bake the pineapple tarts:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 F degrees.
    Place the pineapple tarts on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Leave 1-2 inches space between the tarts. Do not overlap them.
    Brush the tops with egg wash.
    Bake at 350 F for 12 to 15 minutes.
    Then, brush the tops again with the remaining egg wash. Bake for 5 minutes more till the top is golden brown.
    Remove tarts from the oven. Cool on baking racks.
    Serve warm with tea and other Chinese Lunar New Year food and treats.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 150mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 2mg