Thursday, January 19, 2012

Getting ready for Chinese New Year - Pineapple Tarts (Part two)

This is the sequential part of my pineapple tart baking...

In my previous post, I've made my own pineapple jam and baked two jars of cream-cheese-melt-in-mouth pineapple tarts using both recipes provided by Wendy, Table for 2 or more. Wendy's cream cheese pineapple tarts recipe is really good but I would wish to seek further for an ultimate melting kind of pineapple tarts and wouldn't mind trying out different pineapple tarts recipes to satisfy my curiosity. Since young, I've been extremely good being a pineapple tart critic. LOL! My husband and son loves pineapple tarts too and I think that we all can be "critical" enough to test lots of pineapple tart from different recipes.

There are two recipes that I have tried and tested in this post:

My first recipe is from Jun, Indochine Kitchen. Her nastar (enclosed kind) pineapple tarts are all very uniformly shaped and they look so beaming with their golden glaze! I can't stop admiring the way she shaped and baked the tarts with her detailed step-by-step instructions and thought that I can do that too...or maybe not. Using her recipe, my pastry has turned out to be too crumbly for me to handle. My rolled pastry broke into pieces whenever I tried to roll them to enclose the pineapple filling. Eventually, I thought I can salvage the pastry by adding an additional egg yolk and can only shape the pastry into the open kind of pineapple tarts.

My second recipe is from Ju, The Little Teochew. As I was browsing through most bloggers' pineapple posts, there were a few that mentioned that this recipe by The Little Teochew is really really really good! And it is true! Out of all the recipes that I have tired so far, I would say that this is the best.

For this Chinese New Year, I'm happy and satisfied with the pineapple tarts that I made using the The Little Teochew recipe but wouldn't think that this is the end of my search for the most ideal pineapple tart yet. At this moment, I would love to sit back, relax and enjoy these pineapple tarts first, and will continue my quest probably after this celebration.

best pineapple tarts open face
Melt-in-your-mouth pineapple tarts (Recipe from The Little Teochew)
A closer look of the yummy tart...
best pineapple tarts open face
Another jar of goodies for our Chinese New Year celebration.
Here are the pineapple tart recipes that I've baked:
(with my slight modification and notes in blue)  

Recipe from Indochine Kitchen


200g butter
50g confectioners' sugar
40g powdered milk
280g flour, low gluten or all purpose
20g cornflour
2 egg yolks (plus 1 egg yolk)

500-600g pineapple jam

For egg wash
3 egg yolks
1/4 tsp condensed milk
(Mine is 1 egg yolk + 1 tsp condensed milk + 1 tsp milk)


Preheat oven to 150°C (or 150°C fan forced)

Sift flour, powdered milk and corn flour twice.

In a mixer bowl, combine butter and sugar. Cream till light and fluffy, about 4-5 min, over high speed.

Add egg yolk, one at a time. Beating well.

Add flour mixture into the bowl and beat over low speed using paddle attachment. Do this for 4-5min, until everything is mixed well.

Work with 50 g of dough one at a time. Roll dough between plastic sheet to 0.2cm thickness.

Pipe pineapple jam on top of the dough. Roll the dough to cover up the jam completely.

Use a pair of scissors to cut them up into 4cm log and arrange on greased pan.

Brush with egg wash mixture twice using small pastry brush.

Bake in preheated oven till golden, 15-20min.

Let cool and store in airtight container.

Recipe from The Little Teochew

yields about 96 tarts

400g plain flour
50g corn flour
1/4 (heaped) tsp salt
280g cold, unsalted butter (do not allow it to soften)
3 egg yolks, beaten
3 tbsp cold water (or iced water) (I didn't add that)
6 tbsp icing sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

For glaze, mix 1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water (replace with 1 tsp condensed milk and 1 tsp milk for extra colour)


Sift the flours, icing sugar and salt. Mix well to combine.

Using the pointed ends of a fork, rub the butter into the flour until it looks like fine bread crumbs. If necessary, use fingertips to continue rubbing lightly the bigger pieces into finer pieces. Using forks prevents the cold butter from melting with minimal contact with heat. If you want to rub the butter into the flour using your hands, make sure you use only your fingertips.

Beat together egg yolks, cold water (I didn't use this) and vanilla extract. Add it into the butter-flour mixture. Using your finger tips, gently coax all the crumbs into one large dough ball. Do not knead. As long as all the crumbs come together, stop. Chill in the fridge for about 10 min, covered. (I chilled the pastry overnight)

Roll out to desired thickness (about 8mm thick). Cut out dough using cutter. Arrange neatly onto baking tray, with at least 1.5cm apart. Since this is a very buttery, oily pastry, it would be good to use a small portion at a time and keep the rest covered in the fridge.

Once you have arranged the tart shells on your tray, glaze them on the entire surface (not just the rims).

Place the pre-rolled pineapple jam balls onto the centre of each tart shell.

Bake at 160°C (or 150°C fan forced) for 20 min, turning the tray halfway through baking. According to the original recipe, when placing jam onto the pastry, take caution not to smear jam onto the sides as this will easily “burn” and render the sides of the pastry.

More useful notes from The Little Teochew:
  • Instead of vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp of cognac can be added into this pastry.
  • Egg wash can help to make the pastry "studier" during baking and gives the tarts a better glaze and a nice golden colour.
  • Always pre-roll your pineapple jam before making the pastry.
  • Always keep pastry chilled.
Note: Using half the amount of pineapple jam leftover from my previous pineapple tart bake and 2/3 recipe from The Little Teochew, I've baked 65 pineapple tarts. I had a little left-over jam after all my bakes and can salvage the pastry from Indochine Kitchen to bake at least 15 decent-looking pineapple tarts.

Happy Baking
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  1. These look absolutely delicious!! Wish I could have some now :)

  2. Hi Zoe, sure I'd like to try the 2nd recipe. Do you think blending everything in the mixer to make the dough (like making shortcrust pastry) will have the same effect?

    1. I wouldn't recommend making the pastry from The Little Teochew's recipe by using the mixer because you have keep the butter cold. If the butter is cold and hard, you might over-work and damage your mixer. If the butter is not cold enough, you might have difficulties shaping your pastry or over-work the gluten of your flour. I hope that my opinions might help :D

  3. I must find time to try out this recipe, they look so tempting. Very nicely made, so pretty. I have not been able to make any until now and have been resisting to buy them too so that I will have motivation to make some. Wishing you and family Gong Xi Fa Cai!

  4. Zoe, your pineapple tarts are very nice! And since you highly recommend the 2nd recipe, I will try it next year. I baked over 1000 tarts this year so I'm done! Lol! Have a prosperous and happy lunar new year! ��

  5. Zoe, these look so yummy. These tarts are so pretty besides looking yummy.

  6. Lovely tarts! Do you think that the 2nd recipe will work well for close up tarts?

    1. I have not tried using this recipe making any close-up tarts. Personally, I reckon the softer kind of pastry is easier to use for making the close-up tarts. This pastry is actually too cold and not-flexible enough for wrapping and handling and wouldn't think this recipe is the best choice for making the close-up tarts.

  7. Incredible tarts, simply makes me drool..

  8. These look divine! I can't wait to see what other recipes you find on your quest.

  9. I really love your homemade pineapple jam , it looks pretty on top of that pastry ! It's great that you made different pastry/tart shell , too !

  10. 65 tarts, that is a lot. However, I am sure that they will be gobbled up quickly. These do make for a nice presentation! I hope you do land on the recipe that is perfect for your tastes, however I am sure that the journey has been delicious along the way. Have a great day!

  11. These look so cute. Can't say I've ever had a pineapple tart but they look wonderful. Beautiful picture of the jar with the red bow.

  12. wow! you actually made so much pineapple tarts!interesting to see cognac in replacement of vanilla too! love all your pineapple tarts!! very very nice!! Happy chinese new year to you and your family!! gong xi , gong xi!

  13. Love your pinneaple tarts, look delicious! gloria

  14. Yum! Love pineapple tarts, could never stop at only one or two! Your tarts look really good, this recipe sounds interesting! Would probably try this too after CNY! LOL! No time now!

  15. They look super delicious but it is not only the recipe good, I think the baker, in our case you, makes also the big difference!

  16. Yummilicious one,a kids delight!!
    Bookmarking this..
    Happy to follow you :-)
    Hope u'll follow my space too..

    Erivum Puliyum

  17. Good luck in searching your best recipe for this pineapple tart.

  18. These are really cute and they're a little bit different! I've only had pineapple jam on my holidays but it's really tasty so I'm guessing these taste delicious too!

  19. Zoe, you are the baker extraordinaire. Everything you bake I want to eat.

  20. I just read both parts of your post. I love the idea of pineapple jam, unfortunately, here in Canada is very cold now, pineapples are not available. I love the look of both your pineapple tarts. I can grab some and eat a couple of them. Good luck on the search for the perfect tart.

  21. These looks wonderful! wish I could go to your place for Chinese New Years.

  22. This is one of my favorite CNY cookies but I have not made it in a while. I am glad to hear you found a recipe that works for you. Wishing you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!

  23. Beautiful cute little tarts! Looks like they'll disappear really quickly!

  24. Oh, boy, you found a winner! These look just incredible! Brava!

  25. i like that you shared two recipes this gives us lesser guess work haha. i had pineapple tarts as a gift and been wanting to make some. maybe i could give it a try now that i'm into baking zone.
    thanks again,

  26. I love Peranakan Pineapple Tarts the best (not being bias mind look absolutely yummy.

  27. I love your recipes and your photos!!! So good!

  28. This is my must do cookies for this CNY....going to bake this as soon as I am free:)

  29. Hi :) i'm wondering if you're still active in replying comments. i chilled the pastry overnight too. but i'm wondering if you took out the pastry a few hours before you started to knead the dough into form? because it has hardened in the fridge so it's kinda tedious to knead it immediately.

    i really hope for your response. thanks for posting such an amazing recipe.


    1. Hi Chriselle,

      The chilling of pastry help to rest the dough well for a better overall texture. If you are living in tropical countries or down under like me which is summer now at Jan-Feb, you can leave the pastry at room temperature for about 10-15 min before rolling and if you are living in somewhere else which is cold and freezing now, you might need to thaw out your pastry a little longer than 30 min. You can test the pastry by press it lightly with your finger and you will if it is ready to roll. Do not leave pastry to melt too much in room temperature. They will be too difficult to handle.


  30. Hi.. I read all your post on pineapple tarts while looking for the best melt in the mouth pineapple tarts.. I have first tried Sonia's based on your recommendation and it was good. But the reason why I am dropping a comment here is to let you know that Jun's recipe was even better. I know you have failed using her recipe but do give it another try. It is so gentle and just glides and melt on your tongue. I used jumbo eggs (75g) yolks and president salted butter and for each batch I have increase the dough to 60g. Hope you succeed the next time cas it is really really that good. Cheers

    1. Hi Angel,

      Most eggs that I have used for my bakes are typically 75-80g or unless I will state the weight in the recipe.

      Even though this bake was done 2 years ago, I can clearly remember the taste of the tarts made with Jun's recipe. Yes, the tarts are buttery, soft and more cakey kind but still prefer the tarts made with Sonia's recipe with more milky and cookie-kind texture. Sorry! I guess taste and texture preference can be very subjective and my current personal fav are still Little Teochew's and Sonia's. Having said that, I like to explore new recipes. Thanks for letting me know and hope that you have a great experience baking all pineapple tarts. Please feel free to leave me a comment whenever you have found a great recipe. I'm happy to be in touch for all baking info :D Cheers!