Monday, February 11, 2013

Pineapple Tarts Again! (Part One)

I can't believe that it's Chinese new year soon again...

At about same time last year, I was committing myself to search for my most ideal pineapple tart recipe but tested only three recipes and prefer this one (by The Little Teochew) the most.
Afterwards, I got carried away and didn't continue my quest for more delicious pineapple tart recipes - Oopsie!

Wake up, Zoe! Got to get back to my pineapple tart experimental mood again...

To start off, I need to make my pineapple jam from scratch. Last year, I have used this recipe from Wendy, Table for 2 or more and really love using this super-reliable and effective method. I reckon I don't have to test any other pineapple jam recipe further and happy to stick on this recipe for the rest of my life - LOL!

For the pastry, I'm testing out three different recipes from three different bloggers:

One is a popular recipe from a popular Malaysian blogger, Mandy of Fresh from the Oven
who resides in the United States since 2005. Unfortunately, Mandy has stopped blogging since June 2011.

Two is from Alvina of Alvina's Baking Journey. This pastry recipe contains milk powder which create a nice melt-in-the mouth effect.

is from a Singapore blogger, Sugahmommy of A Spoonful of Sugah who claimed that this is THE pineapple tart recipe. In her post, she described that her best pineapple tarts are the ones with moist and caramelized jam with melt-in-the-mouth but firm biscuit-like pastry

For a better comparison, I have converted three of these recipes by standardising the amount of butter to 100g and list all the ingredients in a table for a better understanding of the recipes' differences. Before proceeding onto my pineapple tart pastry comparison, I would like to show the reliability of Wendy's pineapple jam recipe again... It's like watching a giant pineapple transforming itself into a container of pineapple jam... Magic - LOL!

Please stay tune for part two to see which is my preferred pineapple tart pastry recipe.

Pineapple tarts made with homemade pineapple jam
Here's my star ingredient - PINEAPPLE!
Making the jam using Wendy's recipe
From one giant pineapple to one small container of pineapple jam...
... jam used to make these lovely pineapple tarts

Here is the pineapple jam recipe from Table for 2 or more
(with my notes and modification in blue)

2 Morris pineapples
(about 1.6kg each before peeling, after peeling it’s about 900g each)
(I used one giant pineapple only. It is 2.5kg before peeling, after peeling is about 1.2kg)
2 cups sugar (400g)

(I used 200g for 1.2kg of peeled pineapples - please see note*)
1 cinnamon stick (I didn't add this) 

1. Peel the pineapples.

2. Cut pineapples into chunks. Do not discard the core which contains most of the precious fiber.

3. Put half the pineapple chunks into a blender, add 1/3 cup of water and blitz away. Pour 80% of the blended stuff into a pan or wok. (Tip: Wendy recommends pan or wok with large evaporation surface)

(I didn't add any water while blending the pineapples. I blended the pineapples in 4-5 batches and didn't need any water to blend the smaller batches of pineapples)

4. With some remaining blended pineapple in the blender, repeat blending process with the rest of the pineapples, always leaving some blended stuff in the blender if you need to blend more chunks and you won't need more water.

5. Cook pineapple paste with cinnamon stick (I didn't add this) on medium heat until it's very pasty, like thick oatmeal. Do not stir it all the time.

6. Add in sugar and the jam will turn "watery" again. Turn to lower medium heat, and cook until it is very pasty. Stir once a while only, but keep an eye on it.

7. Increase the heat to high. Do not stir to allow the base jam to develop its caramelized colour. Stir once a while to check on the colour. Stop when it almost reaches your preferred colour. Take note that some pans will continue to caramelize even when the heat is off.

Wendy's important tips:
  • Add sugar after the pineapple paste has lost more than 80% of its water. It reduces the risk of burnt jam and the most importantly, it splatters horribly when there is a lot of water with the large amount of sugar.
  • Do not stir often when you reduce the pineapple paste. Once you stir, it starts splattering again, even with no sugar.
  • Use a heavy based pan, if possible. It reduces the risk of burning the jam.
  • Wear kitchen mittens to protect lower arms and hands from hot splattering jam.
  • It's better to under-cook the jam rather than to overcook it. The jam will thicken further when it is cooled. If the jam is too wet after cooling, the jam can be cooked it again to reduce the moisture further. If it's too dry, diluting the jam with water may ruin its texture.
  • If need to cook more than 2 pineapples, do not cook all at once. Pour in paste from one fruit into the pan/wok and let it reduce. While it reduces, prepare the next fruit and pour in when it is drying.
  • Turn on exhaust hood to aid the evaporation of moisture
* Please note that Wendy has suggested this amount of sugar to ensure that the pineapple jam will preserve and store well at room temperature. With my reduced amount of added sugar, the sweetness of my jam is just right for us. My pineapple jam was stored in the fridge and made into pineapple tarts on the next day. Eventually, we finished all our pineapple tarts in less than two weeks which means storage and shelf-life of these tarts is never a problem for us. Cheers!

Here's the comparison table containing three of the chosen pineapple tart pastry recipes :

* Number of pineapple tarts made can vary with the sizes of mould used.

All of the above standardised recipes do not contain any vanilla extract or iced water for fair comparison

Please remember to visit part two of this post to see the baking of these tarts and details of these recipes. My sequential post will also reveal which will be my preferred pineapple tart pastry recipe... So stay tune!

Happy Baking

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  1. You are a pineapple tarts lover huh.. Gong Xi Fa Cai and Happy Lunar New Year !

  2. Oh how nice. I somehow never though of making pineapple jam at home, but that is such a great and delicious idea! :)

  3. I love pineapple and these look delicious!!

  4. Gong Hei Fatt Choi, Zoe!! Hope you and your family had a wonderful celebration over the weekend! Your pineapple jam looks amazing! I love pineapple tarts but don't really have time to make them =( Looking forward to your next post on the pastry!

  5. Happy Lunar New Year! These look wonderful, and I really like the table you made comparing different recipes - very useful and instructive. Looking forward to Part 2!

  6. I love the little dollop of pineapple in the middle! Happy Lunar New Year!

  7. Hi Zoe, happy new year to you and family. Gong Xi Fa Cai.

    Very inviting pineapple tarts. Lovely heart shape, look so cute.
    Have a great week ahead.

  8. Hi Zoe,
    I love pineapple tarts too, especially the opened tart....heehee!
    Your pineapple paste looks so delicious and yummy! Looking forward to your Part 2 ^_^.

  9. Happy Lunar New Year! These pineapple treats look amazing, I love fresh pineapples, amazing flavour always.

  10. After reading this post, you inspired me to pick up a pineapple at the store! :)

  11. That homemade pineapple jam and pineapple tart is delicious, Love the way you carved pineapple

  12. Hi Zoe, Gong Xi Fa Cai. The heart-shaped pineapple tarts look very nice

  13. Hi Zoe, thank you so much for all those lovely words of appreciation :).Glad to be your new follower.Keep up the good work !!

  14. Zoe, it's wonderful that you have done an analysis of the three recipes for comparison. Just like a CSI hah! hah! Will be trying out these tarts later on. Too many things to do right now :)

  15. Oh the pineapple tart looks so delicious. and the way u have carced the pineapple is a beauty. I can never do it ur way.

  16. I made my pineapple tarts based on smallsmallbaker 's recipe which she got from Mandy of Fresh from the Oven, so I can attest to how good Mandy's recipe is. It is good that you are doing a comparison between different recipes, that will help other bloggers in deciding which to choose.

    Btw, Happy Chinese New Year!

  17. Awesome round-up, dear! Dropping by to wish you Happy CNY!!

  18. I've been eyeing Sonia's pineapple tart recipe :D Hopefully , I can buy some fresh pineapple before the month of February ends lol Love your comparison chart . Looking forward for your ULTIMATE pineapple tart recipe ;D

  19. So cute! It's a good idea to eat pineapple differently!!

  20. I have to make this pineapple jam asap. It looks delicious! And these pineapple tarts are so adorable! They would be perfect for Valentine's Day :)

  21. What beautiful little tarts my friend :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  22. Th pineapple jam is something I have never seen before - they look delicious.

  23. Hi Zoe, I'm following you back *_*. I love making new friends. Your pineapple tarts are adorable and the jam...mmmmmm!

  24. Gong Xi Faa Chai, Zoe! I Just wanna say ' I LOVE, love, love these heart shape pineapple tarts that truly melts my heart! LOL Seriously I've been meaning to make pineapple tarts but they're so many recipes out there that making me go Ga-ga ! hahaha But thanks to your post I know which one to try out now! ;)

  25. Zoe, I love how you're comparing and contrasting 3 different recipes. The photos you shared ar just gorgeous! Wish my hubby would eat pineapple, then I could bake something sweet and join the party.

  26. Hi Zoe, Gong Xi Fa Cai to you & family!
    I love pineapple tart very much lor, haha!

  27. That pineapple jam would be so great for so many things!

  28. Happy New Year! Love the heart-shaped tarts, very pretty. The jam looks fantastic too - yum!!! Pineapple tarts are one of the things I look forward to during CNY :)

  29. This is fun post! And busy one too I went all over from here to check others pineapple recipes. I love the hart shape cookie cutter. Sooo cute! I have been in Australia and it was most amazing vacation ever!

    Thank you so much for your comment in my blog.

  30. now i know you must be a lover of pineapple tarts..i hv yet to make my own pineapple tarts and jam :)

  31. Hi, I just try making the pineapple jam today. But as I am using honey pineapples, I realised that it is too sweet after it had cool down. What can I do now?


    1. Gosh! So sorry that I have missed out replying your query more than a year ago!!! I was going through my blog and I saw this question!!!

      Here are my suggestion to fix your problem:

      1) You can make another batch of pineapple jam with less sugar and combine them together.

      2) Reducing too much sugar in your pineapple jam can cause it to go off or mouldy easily. You can make the tarts with lesser jam and more pastry to get an overall less sweeter taste.

      Please do not add water or try to dilute the jam. Even if you cook the dilute jam again, the sugar content remain.