Monday, January 10, 2022

Melt-in-the-mouth Open Faced Gula Melaka Coconut Pineapple Tarts 马六甲椰糖黄梨塔 - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

What is the first thing you think when you are celebrating Chinese New Year?

Hong Bao 紅包? meaning red packet with money $$$ in Chinese
Reunion dinner 團圓飯?
Visiting relatives and friends 拜年?
Yu Sheng 魚生? A Cantonese-style raw fish salad that is often consumed during CNY celebration

For me, it is always PINEAPPLE TARTS! LOL!!!

Pineapple is known as "Ong Lai" in Hokkien and it also means "Good luck arrives". Hence, this is why the Hokkien side of my family love baking and enjoying pineapple tarts (also known as Ong Lai Piah in Hokkien) for all of our Chinese New Year.

Pineapple tarts are also known as Feng Li Su 凤梨酥 and Huang Li Ta 黄梨塔 which are mostly the enclosed type of pineapple tarts.

Feng Li Su is more like the Taiwanese version of pineapple tart, typically larger than the Singaporean / Malaysian pineapple tarts and are made in square or rectangle shapes with pineapple jam encased inside. Wanna to bake Feng Li Su? My Favourite Feng Li Su 凤梨酥 recipe is mentioned at here.

What about Huang Li Ta 黄梨塔? It means "pineapple tower" in Chinese. This name refers to the open-faced type of pineapple tarts that has a generous serve of pineapple jam stacked on top of a buttery pastry. My Best Sturdy Melt-in-your-mouth Open Faced Pineapple Tarts 黄梨塔 is at here

Besides these two versions of pineapple tarts, I have baked many other versions: 
Best Melt-in-the-mouth Enclosed Pineapple Tarts at here
Best Ultimate Melt-in-your-mouth Nastar Pineapple Tarts at here
Ultimate Melt-in-the-mouth Malay Style Condensed Milk Enclosed or Nastar Pineapple Tarts at here
Ultimate Melt-in-the-mouth Salted Egg Yolk Pineapple Tarts that are baked with Salted Egg Yolk Butter Pastry at here
Melt-in-the-mouth Parmesan Cheese Nastar Pineapple Tarts at here
Melt-in-the-mouth Gula Melaka Pineapple Tarts at here

Melt-in-the-mouth Maple Syrup at here
Vegan Coconut Oil Pineapple Tarts at here
Open Faced Egg-less Less Sugar Honey Pineapple Tarts at here

Yes that I have created and baked really gula Melaka pineapple tarts at here but why am I baking another recipe today?

My melt-in-the-mouth gula Melaka pineapple tart pastry at here were previously made with gula Melaka syrup which is made by dissolving gula Melaka in coconut milk.

Don't get me wrong. I love love love those melty buttery gula Melaka pineapple tarts but I want to bake something with MORE coconut and MORE gula Melaka taste!

So this time, 
I added MORE finely chopped gula Melaka and also desiccated coconut, directly into my tart pastry and yield these melt-in-the-mouth gula Melaka coconut Huang Li Ta 黄梨塔. YUM!!!

gula Melaka coconut pineapple tarts 马六甲椰糖黄梨塔  Ong Lai Piah Huang Li ta melt in the mouth open faced
My Melt-in-the-mouth Open Faced Gula Melaka Coconut Pineapple Tarts

Due to addition of desiccated coconut plus slightly more baking powder, these melt-in-the-mouth gula Melaka pastry tends to be rather crumbly and quite fragile to handle and stack after baking.

Unlike my other pineapple tart recipes with no desiccated coconut, I have noticed that this crumbly pastry tends to expand significantly during baking. So please do not cut the tart pastry too big. And you don't have to decorate the edges of the pastry with a pincher as the fine bits of the decorated pastry will break off easily.

Hence, I would strongly recommend using this recipe to make the open faced pineapple tarts with thicker pastry only. Do not use this recipe to make the enclosed pineapple tarts.

I hope that I didn't scare you off with my detailed observations... These melty coconut-y pineapple tarts are actually very nice. I can assure you that it is definitely worthwhile to spend time and effort baking these tasty treats.

You might ask... Which is better? This or the previous recipe? Honestly speaking, both are good in their own ways. I would recommend this recipe if you are after MORE obvious gula Melaka and coconut taste in your tarts. If you prefer the traditional smooth melt-in-the-mouth texture without having bits and pieces of coconut in your taste bud and don't mind the subtle gula Melaka taste, then I would say bake the previous recipe with coconut milk at here .

Here's a video showing how I baked these tarts. You will realise that it's exactly how I made my other pineapple tarts but just with different recipe ^-^

Music: Bensound

gula Melaka coconut pineapple tarts 马六甲椰糖黄梨塔 melt in the mouth open faced
This recipe is good for baking small and standard-sized open faced pineapple tarts.
No enclosed tarts and large open faced tarts, please!
gula Melaka coconut pineapple tarts 马六甲椰糖黄梨塔 melt in the mouth open faced
It melts in my mouth. It's crumbly with bits of desiccated coconut in the buttery pastry.
And I can taste MORE gula Melaka!

Another thing... We noticed that we can taste the gula Melaka and coconut more when the tarts are completely cooled. Simply because our taste bud are more sensitive and can detect more at milder temperature. So don't gobble up these tarts when they are hot and freshly baked. LOL!

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How about baking other CNY goodies? I would also highly recommend baking these recipes:

My BEST Kek Lapis recipe - Super Moist like Bengawan Solo at here
Easy Fail Proof Strawberry Jam Butter Cookies at here
Parmesan Cheese Butter Cookies at here
Best Nyonya Butter Cookies / Biscuit Samprit at here
4 Different Chinese Almond Cookies recipes at here
Ultimate Melt in the Mouth Chinese Cashew Cookies 腰果酥 at here
Melt in the Mouth Crispy Chinese Butter Cashew Cookies 香脆牛油腰果酥 at here
Melt-in-your-mouth Pork Floss Chinese Cookies at here
Melt-in-your-mouth Salted Egg Yolk Cookies at here
Crispy Nestum Cereal Cookies at here
Extra Crispy Nestum loaded Cookies at here - extra crispy with twice amount of Nestum!
Buttery Crispy Nestum cookies (with NO egg and a subtle melty texture) at here
Ultra Soft Pineapple Chiffon Cake at here
Low Sugar Egg-less Melt-in-the-mouth Black Sesame Butter Cookies at here
Quick Easy Milky Yummy Mini Honey Cranberry Cookies with NO added Cane Sugar (with or without egg) at here
The Ultimate Smooth Melt-in-the-mouth Peanut Butter Cookies - Low Sugar and Egg-less! at here
My Best Coffee Butter Cookies (made with real coffee) at here

Here's the recipe.

For the gula Melaka pineapple jam:
Makes enough to fill about 25-30 pineapple tarts:
1 kg pineapple, before peeling, about 700g after peeling
3 pandan leaves, briefly shredded and knotted, or more if desired
60g gula Melaka, briefly chopped*

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

Please be aware that this jam recipe contains a minimal REDUCED amount of gula Melaka and this sugar-reduced pineapple jam will preserve and store well at dry (not humid) cool room temperature for less than 1 week.

If you prefer to reduce the amount of added gula Melaka even further, you will have to either store your jam and tarts in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or consume all within less than 1 week if you store the tarts at cool and dry room temperature. Please be aware that chilling will affect the texture of the pastry too.

If you prefer to store your tarts in a warm and humid place for more than 2 weeks, you will have to add more sugar (up to 150g gula Melaka or 120g caster sugar per 700g pineapple purée used) because sugar is a 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 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 gula Melaka. Reduce cooking heat, and cook until the sugar has fully dissolved into the jam and the jam looks like a paste.

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.

For the crispy coconut tart pastry:

Makes about 25-30
50g fine desiccated coconut
100g unsalted butter, soften at room temperature
50g finely chopped gula Melaka
1 large egg yolk, 17g at room temperature
100g plain / all purpose flour with 10% protein
30g cornflour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

For the egg wash:
1 egg yolk
1 tsp milk

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

Spread desiccated coconut on one baking tray and bake for 3 mins or until fragrant and the edges of the desiccated coconut are golden. Set aside to cool slightly.

Reduce oven temperature to 170°C / 340°F.

Combine butter and the finely chopped gula Melaka in a large mixing bowl and beat until fluffy and mostly combined. It's ok if small bits and pieces of the gula Melaka are not completely incorporated into the mixture. Add egg yolk and beat until combined.

Sift flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt into the butter mixture. Use a spoon or spatula to mix until just combined. Add the toasted desiccated coconut and mix gently until mixture forms a pliable dough. Do not knead or over-handle the mixture. Wrap dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest at a fridge for about 30 mins. Do not over-chill the dough.

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, about 2.5 to 4cm). Note: You don't have to decorate the edges of the pastry with a pincher as the fine bits of the decorated pastry will break off easily.

Arrange the cut pastry onto the prepared tray. Combine egg yolk and milk to make an egg wash. Use a fine brush to brush the edges lightly with egg wash. Place rolled gula Melaka pineapple jam (about 10g for standard size 4 cm tarts or 5g for small 2.5 cm tarts) on the center of each pastry.

Bake at 170°C for 15 mins or until the pastry are firm and light 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.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Please note that the 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 Baking
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