Makes 180-200 tartlets.
Chara's StoryThe Lunar New Year is probably my favourite festive season of the year. The whole extended family comes together...and then there are all the preparations that need to be made. There's the cleaning, repainting (which we usually leave to the guys in my family), then there's the baking of treats that we serve during the open house on the second and third days of the celebration, when we invite friends and their families. What is fellowship without food?
This is a recipe my aunt and I worked on and altered. Pineapple tarts are my favourite beside my dad's peanut cookies (that's another story).
sweet, medium-sized pineapples
large cinnamon stick
unsalted butter, cold and cubed
*for a firmer pastry, replace yolks with 2 eggs (total 3 eggs), or for a more tender pastry, use 6 egg yolks.
1For the jam:
Blend or process pineapple. Drain excess juice by placing blended fruit onto a strainer. Do not drain completely.
2Cook the pineapple, sugar, cloves and cinnamon over slow fire, stirring from time to time to prevent sticking and burning. Cook until mixture thickens and become slightly glossy. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Once cool, start rolling into little balls.
3For the pastry:
Use pastry cutter, food processor or rubbing in method to combine cold, cubed butter, flour, sugar and salt. Add in egg and then cold water. When dough forms, turn out onto flat surface and pat together to form a dough ball (I usually divide into 4 and wrap individually), then wrap with plastic wrap or put in ziplock bag to chill for 15 minutes.
4Preheat oven to 180C (355F). Prepare baking sheets.
5Lightly flour a flat surface and roll pastry out. Don't use too much flour as this can toughen the pastry. You may cut shapes using cookie cutters or press into little tartlet moulds. Make a little indent on the pastry (if you're cutting shapes) and then place one ball of the pineapple jam in the centre.
6Place on baking sheets and glaze with egg yolk mixed with milk (optional), then bake for 15 to 20 minutes. The pastry will have a nice golden brown hue.
7Remove from oven and transfer to wire racks to cool.
*I usually work with quarters of the portion at a time as it is humid here and I find smaller portions easier to handle and I like these fresh. Dough can be frozen and jam can be refrigerated. When thawing, dough, never unwrap to thaw as condensation will form on the dough. Only unwrap when dough is soft enough to use.
*These have never lasted more than a few days but if making for home then I suggest dividing the jam recipe by three and so on. They are best when fresh. We make new batches every morning when we have an open house.