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Pineapple Tarts – Pastry Treats for Chinese New Year

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I decided to bake my own Pineapple Tarts- Pastry Treats for the Chinese Lunar New Year when an Asian restaurant I frequent stopped selling them. Every year at the start of the auspicious lunar celebration, I make sure we have a bounty of these bite-sized pineapple pastries encased in a buttery, flaky dough — paired with Tikoy or Nian Gao  and other Chinese food for good luck and prosperity.

The crust was a winner because it came out delicate and buttery.  I cooked the pineapple filling a day before and chilled it to firm up. The crushed pineapple’s  natural sweetness was made more amazing by simmering it slowly till it became sticky and had a jam-like consistency. And together, it was a perfect Pineapple Tart just in time to invite prosperity and good luck into our home.

Preparations for Chinese New Year start 14 days and one month before the actual day.  Traditionally, it is important the house must be thoroughly cleaned. At times walls are repainted, and  drapes are washed. Shopping for new food supplies and lots of cooking are also done.

Asian families get together and celebrate with big feasts. This is a traditional time for Asian families to give thanks for the many blessings received. My niece, Tsui Chern, who lives in the midwest,  was excitedly cooking and cleaning when she wrote to me a few weeks ago. Her parents, KL and Catherine were arriving in America, and had come from Singapore to celebrate the Chinese New Year with  the rest of the family. Tsui Chern told me they were inviting  close family friends for a  Chinese New Year feast.

As for Pineapple Tarts , Tsui Chern did confirm they’re a traditional treat in Singapore. Here’s what she said:

” My parents arrived yesterday. And yes, they brought with them pineapple tarts (from Singapore). It is one of the many New Year cookies. Pineapple signifies blooming prosperity so we include it in our cooking or pastries.”

I live far away from my niece, Tsui Chern. But if I was close by, I’d bake these Pineapple Tarts in a jiffy and bring them over, freshly baked, and to  wish her many good wishes for prosperity, good fortune and much happiness. Meanwhile, take a bite-sized tart from my newly baked batch … here’s to a fiercely progressive and very lucky Chinese Lunar New Year !

 

Pineapple Tarts- Pastry Treats for Chinese New Year

Pineapple Tarts are traditional tiny sweet pastry treats for the Chinese Lunar New Year. The original ones from Singapore have a pastry that is shaped like a round floral cookie, and the pineapple filling is in the center. I don't have the traditional pastry mold for these tarts, so I baked these shaped like mini, round empanadas or hand pies. These tarts had such an intense buttery aroma, that I won't wait till next year to make them again. My Asian in America recipe version was adapted from the site FreshFromTheOven. Makes about 18 bite-sized pieces.
Prep Time1 d
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Resting Time1 hr
Total Time1 d 2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Dessert, Snacks
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Filipino, Singaporean
Keyword: Chinese Pineapple Tarts
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 286kcal
Author: Elizabeth Ann Quirino

Equipment

  • Stock pot: 6 to 8 quarts
  • Large Baking Sheets
  • Round cookie cutters: 2-inches in diameter
  • Rolling pin

Ingredients

For Pineapple Filling:

  • 1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple drained; reserve syrup
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 Tablespoons pineapple juice from syrup of the canned pineapple
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

For Pastry Dough:

  • 1 cup chilled unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 whole eggs chilled; use straight from the refrigerator
  • 3 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch

For egg wash:

  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/4 cup water

Instructions

To cook the pineapple filling:

  • In a stockpot, cook the pineapple and sugar together over low heat. Add the pineapple juice from the can, a little at a time to prevent mixture burning or sticking to the bottom.
    Pour the lemon juice. Keep stirring for about 5 minutes.
    Add the cornstarch to thicken once pineapple color starts to become a darker gold. Continue stirring till mixture thickens. This process takes about 1 hour.
    Cook over very low fire. Do not leave the filling unattended or it may burn.
    When filling is golden in color and thick, turn off heat and remove from the stove-top. Allow the filling to cool on the counter till it is room temperature.
    Store in a covered container and keep refrigerated at least overnight. This helps the filling firm up.

To make the pastry dough:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, powdered sugar, cornstarch and butter. Use a pastry blender or 2 butter knives to mix till it looks coarse and is the size of peas. (Note: If in a rush, use a food processor to blend).
    Add the chilled eggs to the pastry. Continue blending till dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
    Shape the dough into round discs. Cover in plastic wrap all around. Refrigerate the dough overnight.

To assemble the pineapple tarts:

  • Roll out the dough on a dry, floured surface.
    Using a round cookie cutter, about 2-inches in diameter, cut the dough into circles. Cut an even number of circles so you have pairs to make the tarts.
    Fill the center of a circle with about 2 teaspoons of the pineapple filling. Brush the sides of the dough with egg wash. Place another dough circle on top of the filled one. Seal the edges with your thumb or a fork by pressing the 2 doughs together. Continue the same process for all the other pieces.

To bake the pineapple tarts:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 F degrees.
    Place the pineapple tarts on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Leave 1-2 inches space between the tarts. Do not overlap them.
    Brush the tops with egg wash.
    Bake at 350 F for 12 to 15 minutes.
    Then, brush the tops again with the remaining egg wash. Bake for 5 minutes more till the top is golden brown.
    Remove tarts from the oven. Cool on baking racks.
    Serve warm with tea and other Chinese Lunar New Year food and treats.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 150mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition Notes: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking or baking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Did you love this recipe? I have more Philippine dessert recipes in my popular cookbook How to Cook Philippine Desserts, Cakes and Snacks.

If you need Filipino Instant Pot recipes, find more in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker PotBuy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.

Copyright Notice: Hello, Friends! Please DO NOT LIFT OR PLAGIARIZE my original recipe, stories, photos or videos. All the images and content on this blog are COPYRIGHT PROTECTED and owned by my media company Besa-Quirino LLC. This means BY LAW you are NOT allowed to copy, scrape, lift, frame, plagiarize or use my photos, essays, stories and recipe content on your websites, books, films, television shows, videos, without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe or content on media outlets mentioned above, please ASK MY PERMISSION, or re-write it in your own words and link back to my blog AsianInAmericaMag.com to give proper attribution. It is the legal thing to do. Thank you. Email me at [email protected]

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21 Comments

  1. Your tart crust does look very buttery! Hope you enjoy your upcoming New Year celebrations (and food) and may the year of the dragon bring much good luck to your family.

  2. Ohh this is interesting! These tarts reminded me of Taiwanese pineapple cake! Have you had it before? The tart part is more like short bread for Taiwanese pineapple cake but the filling reminds me of that. Looks really delicious!

  3. hello i really like all your recipe! thanks for sharing:) i actually made pineapple tart using your recipe and we really enjoyed! can’t even remember how many i had eaten 🙂 so good!

    1. Hi Maruh! Thanks for your kind comments. Glad you liked these pineapple tarts! I made them out of necessity, because my regular supplier ran out. Enjoy! Nice of you to stop by.

  4. They look really great! It’s amazing how we make things out of necessity and then wonder why we weren’t doing it from the word go!
    The G+ page is for everyone to contribute, so if you have any Singaporean and Malaysian recipes, we’d love to see them! xx

    1. Hi Lins! Thanks for the kind comments on my version of pineapple tarts.Coming from you, I’m honored you like them. Yes,I have some Singapore and Malaysian recipes. I’ll dig up the photos and links and share them on the Google+ community page. Thanks for the invite & the blog-visit. Kung Hai Fat Choy! 🙂

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