Monday, January 18, 2016

Searching for More Best Pineapple Tarts

HELP! I can't have enough of pineapple tarts!!!

Yeah. My family and friends who know me well know that I'm totally obsessed with pineapple tarts and I wonder if you notice that too... LOL!

Since the day that I started blogging, I have been baking and exploring different pineapple tarts recipes at here (2011), here (2012), here (2012), here (2013), here (2014) and here (2015). To summarise, my past years of pineapple tarts baking, I like to highly recommend these pineapple tarts recipes that I have baked and tasted and hope that you will like them too:

1. Open faced pineapple tart recipe originated from Little Teochew (Recipe at here)
2. Open faced pineapple tart recipe originated from Fresh from the Oven (Recipe at here)
3. Enclosed pineapple tart recipe originated from Nasi Lemak Lover (Recipe at here) and this recipe can make open faced pineapple tart too.
4. Nastar pineapple tart recipe originated from The Sweet Spot and Food4tots (Recipe at here) and these recipes can make open faced pineapple tart too. The recipe from Nasi Lemak Lover makes slightly firmer Nastar pineapple tart and would say that the other two recipes are better.

How about 2016? Yes!!! ... that I'm exploring a lot MORE pineapple tart recipes today!

Open faced pineapple tarts made with recipe that originates from Fresh from the Oven 

Here, I'm comparing FIVE different open faced pineapple tart recipes and they are:

Recipe One: Recipe originated from Fresh from the Oven (FFTO), Recipe at here.
I called this recipe my golden standard for comparison as it tells me if the other recipes that I tried are as good or even better than these pineapple tarts that we always love.

Recipe Two: Recipe originated from Do What I like (DWIL), published many years ago in 2006.
I remember reading few bloggers saying that it is a great recipe but can't remember who. Nevertheless, I'm giving this recipe a try.

Recipe Three: Recipe originated from Kitchen Capers (KC), published in 2007.
I was attracted to try this recipe after knowing that Gina, the author of this recipe has been using this recipe for years. Instead of using egg yolk, she uses both egg yolk and white and I wonder if this recipe will be better than the whole egg pastry recipes that I have tried at here and here.

Recipe Four: Recipe originated from Table for 2 (TF2), published in 2015
If you are a Malaysian or Singaporean food blogger or read Asian food blogs regularly, I'm sure you will know Wendy from Table for 2. She is always so awesome with her cooking and baking!
When she published this pineapple tart recipe that she used to make pineapple tarts to sell 19 years ago, I told myself that I have to bake this recipe and I did!

Recipe Five: Recipe originated from My Kitchen Snippets (MKS), published in 2008.
Remember that I have baked an open faced pineapple tart recipe with added milk powder at here? And I said that these milky pineapple tarts are not as good as those without the milk powder. Hmmm... I suspect that the recipe might have overloaded the pastry with too much milk powder and love to try this recipe with slightly less milk powder plus additional custard powder. I love to know if these addition will make any differences.

Let's find out...

Open faced pineapple tarts made with recipe that originates from Do What I Like
I have decorated them to look like bears because I can't draw monkey faces on them :p
Open faced pineapple tarts made with recipe that originates from Kitchen Capers
Open faced pineapple tarts made with recipe that originates from Table for 2
Open faced pineapple tarts made with recipe that originates from My Kitchen Snippets

Apart from the fact that these pineapple tarts are made in different shapes, I don't think we can tell if there is any difference in these pineapple tarts visually!

So what are the differences?

Like I have done before at here (2013), here (2014) and here (2015), I have tabulated and compared these 5 pineapple tart recipes by standardising their butter content to 100g in order to have a better understanding their differences. Let's see this table:

From the comparison, I can see that all the recipes uses almost the same proportion of flour per amount of butter used which is typical 155-200g (dry ingredients) in every 100g butter. Well, do you think that the KC recipe that uses the least amount of flour will give us more buttery taste? Not exactly! Keep reading... and you will see what I meant.

After looking at the table closely, I can see 8 clear differences that make these 5 different pineapple tarts taste very different. My husband thinks that I'm crazy but I can see he was choosing a selection of pineapple tarts to eat and left all his not-so-fav ones for me!!! Must hum-tum him!!! Fyi, hum-tum means to hit something in Singlish. LOL!

The 8 differences are:

One: Caster vs icing sugar and the amount of sugar added

Have you noticed that some pastry recipes uses icing sugar and some uses caster sugar? Do you think that the use of the finely ground icing sugar will make the pastry more melty? I can't help to presume that icing sugar tends to absorb into the flour mixture better, making the pastry finer in its texture. Regardless whether my theory about the use of icing sugar in pastry is right or not, I'm pretty sure that the difference in amount of sugar added will create a different pastry texture.

Out of these five recipes, the KC and MKS pastries contain caster sugar while the rest contain icing sugar. The TF2 pastries contains the highest amount of sugar which is 60g per 100g butter used, followed by my golden standard FFTO pastry which contains only 1/3 of the highest amount, then the rest are slightly lesser than the FFTO pastry which is 10-16g per 100g butter used. So you can see that the TF2 pastry contain a lot more sugar!!!

Icing sugar vs caster sugar

Two: Cornflour

All of these five recipes use all purpose flour and only FFTO and MKS uses cornflour to lower its flour protein content and both uses about the same amount.

I strongly believe that the addition of cornflour or the use of low protein flour can make pineapple tarts with more delicious with extra melty taste but like to emphasise that the incorrect proportion of low protein flour and butter used can cause the pineapple tarts to be extremely not structurally stable. So I don't recommend too much marking around by adding too much cornflour with these recommended recipes!

Some recipes contains these and some don't!

Three: Vanilla extract or paste

You will be surprised that the addition of good vanilla extract and paste can really make a lot of differences. Out of these 5 recipes, only DWIL and MKS uses vanilla and I think they do taste better with the extra fragrance and flavouring.

I have learned that the addition of good vanilla can really enhance the taste of pineapple tarts!

Four: Baking powder

I don't normally add baking powder in pastry but after tasting the DWIL pastry with added baking powder... I realise that this addition is awesome!!! It makes the pineapple tarts extra melty!!!

Surprise! Surprise! The addition of baking powder makes pineapple tarts more melty!

Five: Milk powder and Custard powder

Although I don't prefer the pineapple tarts that are made with milk powder at here, I'm not killing the idea of adding milk powder or custard powder for pineapple tarts yet!!! This MKS recipe that I'm explore uses a moderate amount of milk powder and custard powder and I like to see if this pastry is better than those without milk powder and custard powder.

The milk powder and custard powder that I used for MKS pastry.

Six: Egg yolks vs whole egg

As mentioned at here, I still think the pastries made with whole egg is less melty and less short than those made with egg yolks but since the KC pastry is lower in its flour:butter ratio, I'm sure that the addition of egg white is necessary to keep the flour and butter crumbs together. So this is why I'm still giving this recipe a shot!

Egg yolk vs whole egg for pastry making

Seven: Rubbing vs Creaming method

As mentioned at here, I noticed that the creaming method require an extra 20g of flour to firm up the dough when the butter is creamed at room temperature and for this reason, I like to say that the rubbing method is more my preferred method.

For some reasons, I prefer the rubbing method more... because it require less flour to bind with more butter :)

Eight: SALT!

I'm sure that some of us aren't surprised when I mentioned salt! It's true that adequate amount of salt can makes food taste extra yummy as it triggers our taste buds and bring out the flavours of butter and pineapple jam. Out of these 5 recipes, only DWIL, TF2 and MKS added 1/4-1/2 tsp salt and the rest are stingy and added only pinches of salt. If you like to bake and enjoy real good pineapple tarts, I would strong advise you to forget about being health conscious... There are lots of fats and sugar anyway... so why not add a little bit more salt? :p

Many of us overlook the fact that salt can further enhance the taste of many food.
I must say that it is a magic ingredient that can make pineapple tarts extra extra delicious!!!

Enough of my blah blah blah... Let's start baking some pineapple tarts.

First I transformed these big fat pineapples...
... to only two tubs of pineapple jam!
Then I made these pastries.
And bake the tarts with different shapes to indicate which is which...
More pineapple tarts!
The last recipe that I used contains vanilla paste, custard powder and milk powder
... which I think is very different from the rest.

Here are the recipes.

Homemade Pineapple Jam recipe that is adapted from here and here - updated 
on 3 Jan 2017 plus a video showing how I cooked the jam.

To make your own homemade pineapple jam to fill about 100 pineapple tarts:
2 pineapples, about 1.3-1.6 kg each before peeling and all are about 1.5 kg after peeling
250g caster sugar*
2-3 pandan leaves, briefly shredded and knotted

*IMPORTANT TIP: Depending on the sizes and sweetness of the pineapples that you used, you can adjust the amount of added sugar accordingly. However, please be aware that this recipe has suggested the amount of sugar to ensure the pineapple jam will preserve and store well at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. If you prefer to reduce the amount of added sugar, you will have to either store your jam and tarts in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or consume all within 1-2 weeks if you store the tarts at room temperature. Please be aware that chilling will affect the texture of the pastry too.

Peel the pineapples and cut them into chunks. Do not discard the core as it contains lots of fiber.

Using a blender or processor, process pineapple chunks into purée in small batches. Processing the pineapples in small batches helps by avoiding the addition of water to process the pineapples. Transfer pineapple purée into large cooking pan with wide cooking surface.

Using medium low heat, cook pineapple purée and pandan leaves with occasional stirring until thicken. Beware of the hot splattering pineapple juice while cooking the jam.

When the pineapple purée lose more than 80% of its liquid and becoming like paste, stir in sugar and the jam will look watery again. Reduce cooking heat, and cook until the jam look like a paste and translucent-looking.

IMPORTANT TIP: Pineapple jam can become firmer when it is cooled. Besides, the baking of open-faced pineapple tarts can dry up the jam slightly. Hence, it is better to under-cook the jam rather than over-cooking it. If the jam is still too wet after cooling, you can cook the jam again to reduce the moisture further. If it's too dry, diluting the jam with water will ruin its texture.

Store jam in an airtight container in a fridge for up to 2 weeks or in a freezer for up to 12 months.

What should you do if your pineapple jam is too sweet? Cook another batch of pineapple jam without any sugar. Combine both and adjust the sweetness accordingly.

Too much leftover jam? Place the jam in an airtight container and store it in a freezer for up to 12 months.

On the day of the bake, roll teaspoonful of pineapple jam into balls. Place them on plates or trays to get ready for further shaping.

Recipe One: Recipe originated from Fresh from the Oven (FFTO), mostly adapted from here

Makes about 32
100g unsalted butter at room temperature
22g icing sugar
15g egg yolks
170g all purpose flour
10g cornflour
a pinch of salt

Recipe Two: Recipe originated from Do What I like (DWIL), mostly adapted from here

Makes about 30
100g unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
10g icing sugar
7g egg yolks
1/4 tsp vanilla extract or paste
170g all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp cold water (if required but I didn't use it)

Recipe Three: Recipe originated from Kitchen Capers (KC), mostly adapted from here

Makes about 30
100g unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
16g caster sugar
30g whole egg
154g all purpose flour
a pinch of salt

Recipe Four: Recipe originated from Table for 2 (TF2), mostly adapted from here

Makes about 50
100g unsalted butter at room temperature
60g icing sugar
15g egg yolks
200g all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp milk

Recipe Five: Recipe originated from My Kitchen Snippets (MKS), mostly adapted from here

Makes about 45
100g unsalted butter at room temperature
16g caster sugar
6g egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or paste
166g all purpose flour
9g corn flour
11g custard powder
9g milk powder
1/2 tsp salt

Egg wash: 2 egg yolks plus 2 tbsp of milk to bake about 200 pineapple tarts

Method for Recipe One:

Sift all purpose flour, corn flour, salt and icing sugar into a medium bowl.

Using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add in egg yolk until beat until combined. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until just combined.

No resting or chilling is required and so the pastry can be used for the next assembling step.

Method for Recipe Two:

Lightly beat egg yolk with vanilla extract or paste in a small bowl. Sift flour, baking powder, icing sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl.

Place butter into flour mixture and cut up butter into small pieces with a knife in the flour. Use your fingertips to rub in butter into the flour until resembles bread crumbs.

Add egg yolk and ice water (optional) into flour and use a fork to blend well to form a dough. Wrap dough in cling wrap and allow it to chill and rest in the fridge for at least 1 hr.

Method for Recipe Three:

Sift flour, salt and sugar into a large mixing bowl.

Place butter into flour mixture. Use your fingertips to rub in butter into the flour until resembles bread crumbs.

Use a fork to beat egg lightly and add to the flour mixture. Knead gently into a soft, sticky dough. Wrap dough in cling wrap and allow it to chill and rest in the fridge for at least 1 hr.

Method for Recipe Four:

Using a wooden spoon, cream butter and sugar until just combined. Add in egg yolks and mix until smooth. Add in milk and mix until well combined.

Sift flour into the butter mixture and mix enough to form a dough. Do not knead. Allow dough to rest at room temperature for about 10 mins.

Method for Recipe Five:

Using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in egg yolk and vanilla until beat until combined.

Sift all purpose flour, custard powder, cornstarch, milk powder and salt into the butter mixture and fold in the dry ingredients gently to form a smooth dough.

Allow dough to rest at room temperature at least 30 mins.

To assemble (standardised for all recipes):

Line baking trays with baking papers. Preheat oven at 350ºF or 180ºC.

On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll portions of dough into 0.5 cm thickness and cut them into shapes with preferred cookie cutter and decorated the edge with a pincher if desired. Arrange the cut pastry onto the prepared tray and use a fine brush to brush the edges lightly with egg wash.

Place rolled teaspoonful of pineapple jam to fill the center of each pastry* - I prefer to apply egg wash on just the pastry edges and not on the pineapple jam. Bake for 10-15 mins or until sides are slightly golden. Please note that the baking time and temperature may vary a little if you use make your pineapple tarts in different shapes or sizes. Mine are all baked at 180ºC for 10 mins.

*The original recipe two bakes the pineapple tart pastry first, then lightly press the filling onto the indentations as it claims that baking will dry out the jam. To standardise, I prefer not to follow this method. To me, as long as the jam is cooked properly with a good amount of moisture, baking them for 10 mins will not dry too much.

Allow the tarts to cool slightly on the baking trays for about 10 mins and transfer them onto a wire rack to cool completely. Some of the pineapple tarts can be a little firmer when they are freshly baked but all will become more melty on the next day of bake... but if you are fussy like me, you can tell that only those which are made with the right recipes are extra nice!

Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Happy Baking

It's our nom nom nom time!!!
Do you want to know which is our favourite recipe?
Are the 4 new recipes that I'm testing going to be better than my golden standard?

Tasting time!!!

The winner is Recipe Five from My Kitchen Snippets!!!
The second winner is Recipe Two from Do What I Like!!!

Now our newly preferred pineapple tart recipes are...
these two recipes from either My Kitchen Snippets or Do What I Like!

Both my husband and I have unanimously agreed that our most preferred choice to the least is MKS, DWIL (equally good), FFTO, TF2 and KC but my sweet tooth son can clearly detect the sweetness of the tarts and said that TF2 pineapple tarts is the best and his most preferred choice to the least is TF2, MKS, DWIL, FFTO and KC.

Why? Why? Why?

If you are not fussy with the pineapple tarts that you are eating, I'm sure you will think all of these pineapple tarts are delicious! Yes that these pineapple tarts are delicious but if you are fussy with details like us, I'm sure that you can taste the differences.

It is kind of obvious here that the addition of the appropriate amount of custard powder, milk powder, salt and vanilla have made the MKS pineapple tarts extra tasty and melty. Plus we have also discovered that the least amount of sugar added (especially DWIL) can make pineapple tarts pastry extra melty too with a lesser firm pastry texture. Furthermore, the addition of baking powder in DWIL pastry has made it extra fluffy as the pastry literally melt into your mouth. However, if you have a sweet tooth like my son, you might like TF2 recipe more than others.

Now back to the question, do you think that the KC recipe that uses the least amount of flour will give us more buttery taste? No!!! Due to the fact that KC pastry is lowest in its flour:butter ratio, I'm sure that the addition of whole egg with egg white is necessary to keep the flour and butter crumbs together but the addition of egg white has subdued its rich buttery taste!!! Based on this observation, I can't help to conclude that the addition of whole egg into pineapple tart pastries 
can make the pastry firm and biscuity but make the pastry less buttery and metly!!! So no more whole egg to make pineapple tart pastry? Maybe. Sorry!

Well, you might ask if the use of different cutters will make any differences? I have thought of this too but I reckon that it is too difficult for me to differentiate the recipes by baking all into the same shape and so I have to rule out this possibility in my baking experiment... Sorry again that I can't address this point of concern.

To conclude... Based on what I have baked here, I'm surprised that I have found two more better pineapple tart recipes than my golden standard FFTO recipe. And I'm very happy that I've been exploring and experimenting...

Just before ending my post, I like to emphasize again that we are not significant enough to represent everyone's opinion. You know... Statistically, the opinions from the three person is never a representative number to make any significant conclusion!!! This is only a fun and silly thing for us to do for our Chinese new year and we hope that what we did here can help you to find your best pineapple tarts too. Cheers!

Happy pineapple-tarts nom nom noming...
Please support me and like me at Facebook...


  1. Zoe, I love how you painstakingly try the various openfaced pineapple tart recipes frm various sources and observe what is the difference to the tastes of them. Gives me a clearer overview of what to look out for as well. Thanks for the informative post! I'll try the one I like soon :)

  2. I've always used Nasi Lemak Lover's recipe for pineapple tarts. I shall try Kitchen Snippet's year based on what you have written above.
    Fyi, a sampling of 12 will be able to represent majority. haha

  3. Hi Zoe,may i ask which is ur fav enclosed tarts recipe among the 5 and previous years recipe?


    1. Hi Shelene,

      Sorry that I have not tried using these recipes to make enclosed pineapple tarts in this baking experiment. Based on the recipes that I have tried in 2015 and 2014, I would say the recipes from The Sweet Spot, Food4tots and Nasi Lemak Lover are good for making melty enclosed tarts. NLL is the firmest and SS and F4T are more melty. These recipes are at:



  4. Hi Zoe, it is a delight to see the little cute pineapple tarts. Mouth watering tarts!

  5. Well Zoe, I'm not that fussy over pineapple tarts. Having said that I don't mind to explore baking the best pineapple tarts that you have recommended. Thanks so much for the info. Oh! I like the cute bear design :)

  6. Hi Zoe may I know if I can prepare the dough a day before baking the tarts?

    1. Hi Evelyn,

      Yes that you can prepare the dough a day ahead and store them in the fridge for those that requires resting but not this doing ahead step is not very helpful for those that don't require resting as you will need extra time to thaw the dough to room temperature. Cheers!


  7. I really can't believe you actually made five different types of pineapple tarts for testing! Hats off to your patience and effort... even for the time spend to do the comparison as well... I wish I was your taster... :)

  8. Zoe!!!! I can see that you are the pineapple tarts scientist hah..hah... You can even write a thesis on pineapple tarts and get a PHD :D

  9. Hi Zoe. Thanksfor your unwaivering search and methodical analysis. Simply awesome. Just wondering can I use the mks recipie to make nastar tarts also. Thanks for making my choice much easier now. Chloe

    1. Hi Zoe,

      I have not try using MKS recipe to make any nastar or enclosed tarts. Sorry that I can't tell you if it works or not.



  10. Hi Zoe , I can see the struggle is real find the perfect recipe ! LOL Just kidding ! Love how you've decorated these cookies especailly the bear looking ones ! hehehehe Now you're making me wanna try some pineapple tart recipe as well ! LOL

  11. 哇! 全都是我的最爱。您真的好棒! 谢谢您仔细的分享。

  12. Suddenly, I have this incredible urge to rush out to the grocery store and buy some pineapples. Many pineapples, so I can make many tarts. :-) Fun post -- thanks!

  13. Wow Zoe, I am totally impressed! I cannot imagine the time and effort it must have taken you to make all these different tarts. I salute you, my friend!

  14. The only thing that I hate in making pineapple tart is cooking the jam :P Been eyeing the prepared jam at the baking supplies shops but I don't like the look of it . Hopefully , I won't be too lazy to try your fave tart this time :D

  15. Hi Zoe, I intend to try recipe 2-DWIL. Since the recipe only used 7g of egg yolk, can i omit it so that i can serve them to friends who are vegetarian? Appreciate your prompt advice. Thanks:) Yan

    1. Hi,

      I have not tried baking DWIL pineapple tarts without the addition of egg yolks and so I can't tell you if it works or not. Sorry!


  16. I was craving for pineapple tarts and made some today! Made the jam yesterday and after it was cooked, turned out to fill only one small container. And then made the tarts today, and half the batch already eaten! LOL
    Great post on the five different recipes and they all look good!

  17. Hi Zoe, many thanks for the recipe comparison.
    May I ask whether recipe 2 (from DWFY) can be made into enclosed tarts/balls. I clicked on the link to DWFY website & saw pictures of enclosed tarts featured, although the method only points to open-faced tarts.

    1. Hi Bee,

      I have not tried using all of these recipes to make enclosed tarts and so I can't say if they work or not. Sorry!


  18. I made the pineapple and also mandarin orange jem tart today using MKS's recipe. I followed to the dot (except for the egg yolk, I use a C grade egg). The dough was a bit too dry to pump out using the plastic nastar plunger. I ended up with rolling into log instead. Texture wise is melty and soft. However, I will omit the vanilla essence in the future as it really covers up the Churned butter fragrance.

    1. Hi, Nice to know that you like MKS's recipe. I have not tried using MKS's recipe to make nastar tarts and wouldn't know if it works well with the naster plunger. If you want the pastry to be as buttery, fragrant and smooth as what I have tested, I suggest that you should weigh the amount of egg yolk and I wouldn't use vanilla essence at all and would insist to use good quality vanilla extract or paste instead. Cheers!


  19. Hi Zoe

    Could i clarify with you:

    You stated in MKS recipe in the ingredients part to use 16g caster sugar, however, in the method for the recipe you stated: Sift all purpose flour, corn flour, salt and icing sugar into a medium bowl.

    May I know whether it should be caster sugar or icing sugar?

    Priscilla Poh

    1. Hi Priscilla,

      I'm sorry that you must have been confused. I have labelled MKS recipe as recipe 5 and so please refer to the method for recipe 5. You should beat butter and sugar for this recipe. Cheers!


  20. Hi Zoe,
    I like my tarts less buttery and melty with more bite. Which recipe should I choose?


    1. Hi Kat,

      Hope that you don't mind that I say this... To me, all melty pineapple tarts are buttery... LOL!!! Can't have tarts that are melty and not buttery!!!! Agree???

      I have tried my best to illustrate all that I know in this post. Please read the post and see which recipe works the best for you. Try baking it and see if you like the pineapple tarts. Not melty enough and too buttery... You will adjust accordingly!!! And I sincerely hope that you will find your ideal recipe soon.


    2. Haha, I do get what you mean!
      Will be trying one of the recipe soon, my very first pineapple tarts, wish me luck!


  21. Hi, is the MKS recipe you typed accurate? I followed the recipe to the T, but it resulted in a very dry crumbly dough which does not hold shape. I clicked the MKS link and the ratio of butter and yolk to dry ingredients is very far off from the MKS recipe in your blog. It got me really confused

    1. Hi,

      I'm sorry that I have confused you with these recipes and please allow me to clarify my post... To be able to compare and understand these recipes, I have to normalize, ADAPT and standardise content of these recipes to see any differences. Thus, I have mentioned in the above recipes that all are "mostly adapted" from the various sources and so they are NOT exactly the SAME!!!

      Besides, MKS recipe uses American cup measurement and by weight wise, it can be very very very different!!! And so I have to standardise everything in grams!!! I had a look again at the ingredients and they look ok. Have you ask yourself... Did you weigh your ingredients correctly? Or did you use the correct recipe and follow the steps correctly?