Every year, just before Chinese New Year, i will order my fave pineapple tarts from a friend's friend who makes the most amazing melt-in-the-mouth pineapple tarts ever. However, this year she stopped baking them..and i am left with no pineapple tarts for Chinese New Year! Arggh...! Pineapple tarts is my all time favorite goodies during Chinese New Year among others like 'bak-kwa' (..like beef jerky..but it's pork and sweeter and juicer), love letters (almost like tuiles and traditionally done under charcoal fire with a patterned metal clamp..which i remembered i did help out when i was a little kid..), Lapis cake, Suji cookies, Bangkit, etc.. I wanted to give pineapple tarts a miss this year but one of my amazingly talented flickr friend, "Sweet-Tooth-Fairy" had to tempt me with her recipe and her pineapple tarts that i am left with no choice but to bake some for myself. And so my quest for the perfect pineapple tarts (to my tastebuds that is..lol!) began...
My first batch of pineapple jam was a bit too moist (4 pineapples in total). But nonetheless was still ok but a bit more difficult to handle so the shaping of the soft pastry was a bit difficult. So instead of round, it was a bit 'dome' shape - see photo below..supposedly to be a bit round..but ended up dome..lol! It's sweeter but the pastry does have the melt in the mouth texture. Overall, it was good but still room for improvement. My husband said the pineapple jam was a bit sweet and has no tangy flavor.
For experiment no. 2, I actually wanted to buy store-bought pineapple jam at the speciality bake-store but last minute all the ready-made jam were sold out..so i had no choice but to cook my own jam again! This time, i bought 6 pineapples (not totally ripe) and grated them all together and cooked them in a non-stick wok and till dry. I'm not too sure if it is because i had more experience or what, but i shaped the pastry much neater this time and faster too. See the pastry below is more compact and neater..and the jam inside is drier too.
My husband likes the 2nd batch better as the pineapple jam has a bit of sourness/tangy taste and the pastry is not as sweet, has more texture but still maintaining the melt-in-mouth quality..except he thinks the pastry is a tad too buttery. He said if i cut down on the butter a bit more would be perfect....but that would be experiment no. 3..after Chinese New Year... Although i still have pineapple jam stored away in the freezer..:)..but i need a break from pineapple tarts..LOL!
Wishing all a Happy & Prosperous Chinese New Year!
And May the Year be Tigerrific! :)