Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Open Faced Egg-less Honey Pineapple Tarts - Less sweet with No added cane sugar

Love pineapple tarts but hate the crazy amount of sugar in them? I know... because I feel the same too.

However, do you know that sugar is an excellent natural food preservative? The optimal amount of sugar added can actually prevent your pineapple tarts from getting mouldy for up to 2 months even if the tarts are stored in a warm summery and humid place like Singapore and Malaysia. So... sugar or no sugar???

I’m a sugar-conscious person and not ashamed to say that. Hence, my preferred reduced amount of sugar added into my pineapple jam is about 120g in every 1.5kg uncooked pineapple purée but please be aware that this amount of added sugar is ultimately low! So this means that my sugar-reduced jam is more on the sourish side. Although I have managed to convince my husband and son to be sugar-conscious like me and love my tangy sugar-reduced pineapple tarts, my foodie colleague said that my pineapple tarts are too sour for him. Ops! So... sugar or no sugar???

Due to the extreme low sugar content of our pineapple tarts, we have to consume all within 1 week especially if we are storing them at warm summery Melbourne room temperature.

So, if you wish to keep your tarts a little longer like 2 weeks at room temperature, I would strongly suggest adding more than 250g sugar in every 1.5 kg pineapple purée if you wish to store your jam even longer.

Then, I asked myself... Or can I substitute sugar with another sweetener? Is there a natural sweetener with less sugar content that can make the tarts taste sweeter and store longer?

Yes! It's HONEY!!! That’s my answer!


honey pineapple tarts no egg no sugar eggless
My all-Honey Pineapple Tarts that contains NO added cane sugar!!!

After baking and tasting these honey pineapple tarts, I can safely conclude that honey is an excellent sweetener that can make pineapple jam really really nice and even with its less sugar content.

To test my hypothesis, I made my honey pineapple jam with the same amount of honey that contains the same lowest amount of sugar that I used to make my jam. Considering that most honey contains 80% sugar, I will need to add 75g honey instead of adding 60g sugar in every 750g uncooked pineapple purée. Surprise surprise! These jam tarts with the same lowest amount of sugar actually taste sweeter than the ones that were made with the same amount of sugar! Perhaps, the additional hint of honey fragrance does make the jam taste nicer. Or the pineapples that I used were different in their sweetness and sugar content, resulting my honey pineapple tarts to be sweeter than the non-honey ones. Due doubtful reasons, I can't deny nor confirm.

Anyway, honey is sometimes consumed for its remarkable antibacterial and antifungal properties and I guess it will help to preserve the jam even better than the plain sugar.

Apart from making my pineapple jam with honey, I have also created a new honey pineapple tart pastry recipe that contains no cane sugar and egg. Instead of using the traditional egg wash, these honey tarts were brushed with an egg-less honey-oil wash, resulting the pastry to brown really well into a nice golden brown colour.

honey pineapple tarts no egg no sugar eggless
So pretty! Happy that my all-honey pineapple tarts turned to be so nice!
honey pineapple tarts no egg no sugar eggless
And they actually taste sweeter than the tarts that were made with the same amount of cane sugar!

These eggless honey pineapple tarts had a buttery crisp with a nice hint of honey when they were freshly baked. On the next day, the pastry tends to absorb the moisture from the jam, losing its crisp and becoming more tender and melty with more obvious honey fragrance. Nice!

Want to know how I baked my less-guilty yummy honey pineapple tarts? Here’s my overview video... Enjoy!

Music: Bensound

Want more pineapple tarts recipes? I have heaps, listed at HERE.

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Here's the recipe.

For the honey pineapple jam:
Makes enough to fill about 25-27 pineapple tarts:
1 kg pineapple, before peeling, about 750g after peeling
75g honey* or more accordingly to your taste and preference

*IMPORTANT TIP: Depending on the sizes and sweetness of the pineapples that you used, you can adjust the amount of added honey accordingly.

Please be aware that this jam recipe contains a minimal REDUCED amount of honey and this sugar-reduced pineapple jam will preserve and store well at dry (not humid) cool room temperature for about 1 week. Otherwise, please store the low-sugar pineapple jam and tarts in the fridge for up to 2 weeks if they are not consumed within less than a week but please be aware that chilling will affect the texture of the pastry.

If you prefer to store your tarts in a warm and humid place for more than 2 weeks, I would highly recommend adding more sugar (up to 150g honey or 120g caster sugar per 750g pineapple purée used) because sugar even in the form of honey is a great preservative.

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 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 honey. Reduce cooking heat, and cook until the jam looks like a firm thick paste that can be rolled into balls. WARNING: Honey burns quicker than sugar. If you are using the darker type of honey like mine, it will brown even faster! The added honey will make the jam look a lot wetter, please continue to cook the paste with low heat and occasion stirring. Cooking pineapple jam needs time and patience! ^-^

IMPORTANT TIP: Pineapple jam can become firmer when it is completely 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 the jam is too wet, your pineapple tart pastry with the wet paste will turn out to be soggy eventually. If it's too dry, diluting the jam with water will ruin its texture.

Store this reduced-sugar honey jam in an airtight container in a fridge for up to 2 weeks or in a freezer for up to 12 months.

For the honey tart pastry:
Makes about 25-27
130g all purpose / plain flour with 10% protein
40g cornflour
1/8 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
100g unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
40g honey

For the eggless honey-oil wash:
2 tsp warm runny honey
1 tsp vegetable oil

Preheat oven at 180°C / 350°F. Line baking trays with baking papers.

Sift flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Rub cold butter into the flour mixture until it forms coarse pea-size crumbs. Add honey and use your hands to gather all crumbs to form a smooth dough. Do not over-work the dough. 

Wrap dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest at a fridge for about 30 mins. Do not over-chill the dough.

To shape the open faced pineapple tarts:
On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll dough into 0.5 cm thickness (do not roll the pastry thinner than this thickness) and cut them into shapes with preferred cookie cutter (preferably a small cutter) and decorated the edge with a pincher if desired but please be aware that the pinched-decorated part of the baked pastry can be quite tender to handle.

Arrange the cut pastry onto the prepared tray and use a fine brush to brush the edges lightly with honey-oil wash. Place about 10g (more or less according to the size of your tarts) pineapple jam to fill the center of each pastry (each pastry should weigh about 12g).

Bake for 15 mins or until the pastry are firm and golden brown at their sides and base, swapping the trays around halfway through baking. Please note that the baking time and temperature may vary a little if you use make your pineapple tarts in different shapes or sizes.

Allow the tarts to cool slightly on the baking trays for about 10 mins and transfer them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: These honey pineapple tarts are slightly crisp with a subtle hint of honey when they were freshly baked. On the next day, the pastry will absorb the moisture from the jam resulting the pastry to lose its crisp and becoming more tender and melty with more obvious honey fragrance.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature and storage duration can vary according to the type (with or without preservative, with full amount of sugar or sugar reduced) of pineapple jam that you used.

Happy CNY Baking
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