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Chinese New Year is never the same without lots of good food, cakes, cookies and snacks. I love making pineapple tarts especially during this the new years because they are so pretty to look at and extremely delicious. I am posting the recipe I found from Ju`s website as it`s one of the best recipes for pineapple tarts. The only problem with this recipe is that it`s so good that I cannot stop popping these baby tarts after baking them! And the smell coming out from your kitchen is guaranteed to make every neighboring housewife green with envy :D
Recipe for Pastry (from Ju`s blog)
(adapted mainly from Delicious Asian Food)
- 400g plain flour*
- 50g corn flour
- 1/4 (heaped) tsp salt
- 280g cold, unsalted butter (do not allow it to soften)
- 3 egg yolks, beaten
- 3 tbsp cold water (or iced water)
- 6 tbsp icing sugar**
- 1/2 tsp cognac or pure vanilla extract
- For glaze, mix 1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water
* Note that the original recipe called for 450g plain flour. I changed it to 400g plain flour + 50g corn flour to make the dough more "melty".
** The recipe called for 4 tsp castor sugar. I used 6 tbsp icing sugar in its stead. I read somewhere that icing sugar helps soft pastry dough keep their shape during baking.
1. Sift the flours, icing sugar and salt. Mix well to combine.
2. Using the pointed ends of a fork, rub the butter into the flour until it looks like fine bread crumbs. If necessary, use fingertips to continue rubbing lightly the bigger pieces into finer pieces. Basically, just scrape / flake the butter with your forks. You essentially want to coat the butter crumbs in flour. Using forks prevents the cold butter from melting since there is no contact with heat. If you want to rub the butter into the flour using your hands, make sure you use only your fingertips.
3. Beat together egg yolks, cold water and cognac (or vanilla extract). Add it into the butter-flour mixture. Using your finger tips, gently coax all the crumbs into one large dough ball. Do not knead. As long as all the crumbs come together, stop. Chill in the fridge for about 10mins, covered.
4. Roll out to desired thickness (mine was about 8mm thick). Cut out dough using cutter. Arrange neatly onto baking tray, with at least 1.5cm apart. Since this is a very buttery, oily pastry, it would be good to use a small portion at a time. Keep the rest covered in the fridge, otherwise it will ooze oil.
5. Once you have arranged the tart shells on your tray, glaze them (the entire surface, not just the rims).
6. Place the pre-rolled pineapple jam balls onto the centre of each tart shell.
7. Bake at 160°C for 20 minutes, turning the tray halfway through baking. According to the original recipe, when placing jam onto the pastry, take caution not to smear jam onto the sides as this will easily burn and render the sides of the pastry (the flowery design) darker. I did not have a problem with this because I used a very sticky, dry jam.
*Note: I used pre-made jam bought from a bakery store.