Pineapple tarts have been a firm favourite since I had helped my mum making it as a little girl. I remember rolling the pineapple jam into small marble sizes and placing them on a tray.
My mum is the person who had made such great tarts that many of her friends would come over just to get a tin. My mother never sold any food to anyone, she always gives them. And which I do follow till today. The satisfaction of seeing someone’s joy is just immense.
And I love pineapple tarts so much that I must share this incident that may leave you dumbfounded. It is a true incident.
You should know if you read about me in my home page, that my mum passed away when I was barely 18 years old.
I got married at age 23. I was in the family way at age 27.
And guess what, I craved for my mum’s pineapple tarts, but how?
I had a dream that night, my mum who was dressed so regally knocked on my door and was holding a huge tin of pineapple tarts. I remember the tin so well – it was a 2 kg EveryDay milk powder tin.
She told me this “this is just for you, enjoy it”.
I took the tin and started eating and devouring the pineapple tarts one by one. I was so satisfied. And thanked her profusely. She smiled and went away.
When I woke up that morning, I could sense the taste of pineapple tarts in my mouth and throat. You will understand this when you eat one too many. I was so shocked and do you know, it was the best and till today I don’t crave it that much even though it is my favourite festive treat.
Now to the main tart itself, I have done many variations of this tart but yet to perfect the one that my mum made. She didn’t leave a recipe. So it has always been a trial and each time doing the tarts slightly differently. Yes I did have many successes along the way, and as always never wrote the recipe down. One day, my younger daughter who also loves these tarts told me that she is going to tape me while I am doing it. Which she did. That is the recipe that I have been using to make tarts for her.
As she lives in London, whenever she comes to visit me or when someone goes to London, I will pass 2 jars of pineapple tarts, one for her and another for my best friend’s daughter, Mary Laura who loves these tarts too. Mary Laura has told that my tarts are the best.
Me being always on the look out for a pineapple tart recipe, came to read about pineapple tarts in the Straits Times quite recently and so decided to have a go with this recipe. I found the dough very difficult to handle as it had too much butter to flour ratio. But the taste was good.
Today’s recipe is the adaptation from the article in the Straits times with some modifications and it turned out so well. You will not be disappointed with this recipe of course. So those friends of mine who have requested for the recipe, here it is. Enjoy making it and eating it too.
Both the jam and the pastry are important elements.
But to save time, you may buy the jam from reputed stores. There are some good ones, for today’s recipe I bought the premium jam and I did some modifications to suit my taste.
For the pastry, it depends on your preference, some like it crumbly, some like it crisp and soft, and some like it meltingly smooth.
The pastry that I have in this recipe is slightly crisp on the outside and soft in the inside. If you bake it a little longer maybe another 5 minutes more, it will be crisp crumbly.
My personal preference is a pastry which is crisp on the outside and soft inside, which melts in your mouth but at the same time very flavourful.
210 gm plain flour
20 gm cornflour
30 gm icing sugar
¼ tsp salt
140 gm unsalted butter – must be direct from fridge and cubed
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
I to 2 tbsp ice water if necessary.
Pineapple jam as required
METHOD for Dough
In a food processor, add all the ingredients except the ice water.
Pulse it or use low speed to get the dough together. If it does not form a ball of dough, add 1 tbsp of ice cold water. Repeat if necessary to form a nice soft dough.
Keep aside in the fridge for 15 mins to 30 mins.
Or you may roll the dough to about 0.6 cm if it is not too soft to handle and proceed to use the tart mold to cut into shapes and fill with the jam.
Bake in a preheated oven at 175C for 15 mins or to your preferred pastry texture. Not more than 20 mins or your jam will become too hard. This happens if you use store bought jam.
Remove the baked tarts to a rack to cool.
Once cooled, store in an airight jar.
This recipe makes about 40 tarts.
INGREDIENTS for Pineapple Jam
300 gm store bought premium jam
1 tsp of cinnamon powder or less
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1/2 cup to ¾ cup hot water
Put all ingredients except the water in a pan to heat through till well combined. Add the water if it is too thick and combine until you have the right ball forming consistency. If you like the taste, remove to cool and roll into 6 gm balls. Place in a tray and keep aside to be placed in each tart shell before baking.
If the jam is too tangy, add soft brown sugar, a pinch of salt to counterbalance the taste. This is only necessary if you are using store bought pineapple jam.
Alternatively you can prepare the jam by using fresh ripe pineapples. OR you can use canned pineapples. Reduce the sugar as the canned pineapples are already very sweet, Coarsely pulse the pineapples ,add lime juice and salt , 1 tbsp of butter, cinnamon stick and cloves, cook it till it is jammy and cool to use it. Do it a few days earlier.
For this recipe, I took 8 gm of dough each which I rolled into a ball. Pressed my thumb into the centre and while holding, pinched it with the pinch maker all around with my other hand.
I finished the whole process and placed them in a baking tray.
Then I placed 1 ball of pineapple jam, 6 gm each. Slowly patted the jam onto the tart base.
To make it pretty, I crinkle cut strips of thin dough or just roll strips and put a cross on each.
And some I used a mini star mould to cut the shape of a star to decorate each tart.
You may leave it out if it is too much work but then I love to do them.
For the dough, you may reduce the icing sugar or leave it out completely if your jam is sweet enough.
It is very important to have everything cold, including the flour, butter, eggs etc.
The pastry is a short one, so it has to be cold.