Pineapple Tarts Recipe

Pineapple Tarts Recipe
Staff Writer
Pineapple Tarts
A Tiger in the Kitchen by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

Pineapple Tarts

Quantities aren’t exact. My aunts don’t use a recipe, and they laughed at me the first ten times I asked them for this one. The initial set of instructions they gave me for pineapple jam was “Aiyah, you just juice the pineapple, add sugar, and then boil, boil, boil!”

Adapted from A Tiger in the Kitchen by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

Ingredients

For the jam:

4 pineapples

2 to 3 pandan leaves* knotted together

1 long cinnamon stick, broken in two

At least 2 ½ cups sugar, depending on desired sweetness

For the pastry:

3 sticks plus 2 ½ tablespoons butter at room temperature

About 4 ¾ cups flour

4 egg yolks, plus 1 yolk for brushing onto pastry

*Leaves from the pandan tree, also called screw pine, can be found frozen in some Asian grocery stores.

Directions

For the jam:

Peel the pineapples, dig out the eyes, and chop the fruit into chunks. Run the chunks through a juicer. Place the pulp in a wok or pot with a large surface area and heat it on the stove. Add the juice until the mixture has the consistency of porridge or grits; add the knotted pandan leaves and cinnamon stick.

Bring the mixture to a boil and keep it there for 3 hours, stirring often. Halfway through, taste the jam, and add sugar by the ½ cup until the jam is as sweet as you desire. (Note: The amount of sugar needed will vary greatly depending on how ripe the pineapples are.)

The jam is done when the pineapple mixture has changed from bright yellow to brownish ocher and most of the liquid has evaporated, leaving a dense but moist jam.

For the pastry:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

With a mixer on low speed, combine the butter, flour, and egg yolks, mixing for 3 to 5 minutes.

Place the dough in a cookie press fitted with a disk featuring a circle of diamonds. Press the cookies out onto greased baking sheets. Form small balls of dough and press each one into the hollow of a cookie, forming the base of the tart.

Beat the remaining egg yolk with ½ teaspoon of water. Brush the rim of each tart generously with this mixture. Take a scant teaspoon of jam (more or less, as desired) and form a ball, then press it into the hollow of each tart. Pat the sides of the jam to create a small dome.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees, until golden brown. Remove the cookies from the baking sheets and cool on a rack.

Pineapple Shopping Tip

Buying fruits in season when they are at the peak of their freshness make for great tasting food and can save you money.

Pineapple Cooking Tip

Don’t throw out your overripe fruit – instead blend into a smoothie or salad dressing, add to muffin batter, bake into a cobbler, or boil down with sugar and a little lemon juice to make jam.