Monday, January 23, 2006

Pineapple Tarts

For years I've been wanting to make my aunt's kickass pineapple tarts. Her delicious lightly spiced jam and buttery light shortcrust pastry, in my opinion, are the best in the world! Haha.

So I finally got down to it on Saturday, after running around one bakery supply after another to find the frilly tart mould. One problem with my aunt's tart recipe... there are no 'proper' measurements. Here's her rough recipe guide.

Ku mah, how much sugar to pineapple ah?

"Roughly one cup of sugar to two cups of pineapple. Then you put in cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves."

How many?

"Roughly 1 cinnamon stick, 1 star anise and 2-3 cloves."

Roughly? Er. Ok. The pastry how?

"I don't measure wan la. One block of butter you just put enough flour until the dough doesn't stick to your hand. Make sure you put 1 tsp salt into the egg when you beat it before you mix it with the dough. If too sticky cannot cut with the mould then you add more flour lah. Little bit at a time because too much flour the pastry too hard not nice. So you agak-agak (make a guess) lah."

Er. Ok.

I used one not-too-ripe pineapple, chopped (not too finely) in a food processor and drained the juice. Then I cooked the pineapple pulp with sugar and the spices until dry, but my aunt said not too dry cos baking in the oven will dry up the jam a little as well. I made the jam the night before so I wouldn't have too much to do and clean up the next day. Putting the jam in the fridge made it easier to shape the it later.

The jam was relatively easy.
The pastry, THAT was quite a pain.

Without measurements, I mixed the ingredients, rolled, cut and added more flour at least 5 times before the dough would stop sticking to the mould. But once that was done, and the jam rolled into little balls and put on the pastry, it wasn't long before the tarts were ready. Just 20 minutes in a 180'C oven.

The verdict:

Eaten right after it came out from the oven, the pastry was a bit on the dry side. But eaten next day when it softened a little, it was just nice.

The taste's all there. And the pastry texture was light, though not as light as my aunt's. I think next time I'll use less flour, and let the dough rest in the fridge for abit before I cut the pastry with the mould. That way I won't have to keep adding flour just to prevent it from sticking. AND next time I'll consciously measure the quantities. So I'll know how much flour to use.

In a nutshell, here's the equation:

1 pineapple (made into jam with sugar (2:1 pineapple to sugar), 1 cinnamon stick, 1 star anise and 3 cloves


1 block butter (250gm), enough flour, 1 tsp salt and 1 egg

= Makes about 86 tarts.


Blogger snowdrop said...

haha, isn't that the usual problem with most recipes from old relatives? i have one from my mum for cream puffs... it says 'add eggs'... does not say how many! as expected, mum said 'agak... look at the texture'. soooo not helpful when it's sthg you have not made before!

anyway, the tarts look yummy...i looooove pineapple tarts. i must put more pineapple on mine. i guess if you follow basic shortcrust formula, the ratio is flour to butter 2:1? so i would start with say 450g flour then add more if dough still sticky, but not more than 500g in all.

1:20 PM  

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