This weekend, I decided my hand on making pineapple tarts, all time favorite for reminding me that it's Lunar New Year round the corner. We usually eat this once a year, although it seems to have gotten much popular. However, I love to create that buttery pastry, and the not too sweet pineapple jam that my ex-neighbour used to make about 30 years back. My mom had done them before, and I had relied on her for my supplies yearly, however, as she get on with years, the standard had somewhat dropped a little, the taste is good, just the lack of consistency.
Here I am, trying to recreate this delicacy. Bought my 1 kg of flour, 2 pineapples, checked that I have my baking powder, and I was ready to go.
Adapted from Female Cookbook that I got many years ago.
250 gram of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
This was cooked for about 3 hours. I started out with slow fire and decided that the colour just didn't turn out right, after 1 1/2 hours, and I decided to turn the heat up, and it started to look really good, until I decided to let it cook on small fire for about 20 minutes, I burnt some sugar, well, the colour turned out to be even better when it's a little burnt. Thank goodness there was not burnt smell.
400 gram of plain four
1 tsp of baking powder
250 gram of butter
2 egg yolk
1 egg white
I did 2 batches of the pastry. 1st batch, I was trying to cream my butter, but my electric whisk didn't work, no matter I used my hand, it just didn't work. I just decided to throw in the flour mixed with baking powder and do the best I can. Well, the butter didn't go in as well as I like. I had a lot of difficult mixing them, and rolling out the pastry.
For the 2nd batch, I decided to follow my Cordon Bleu cook book way, rub the butter into the flour, and add the eggs later. This turn out so very well. The butter smells was fantastic. The dough was smooth and when I roll it out, it was so much easier than the 1st batch.
For the 1st batch, the funny thing was I didn't have the right equipment to make the dough. I looked high and low for something round, and decided on 2 things - 1 plastic container and a champagne flute - 1 is too big, the other is a little small. It'll have to do. To make the centre dip a little, I used the back of the plastic container which is also round, and smaller in size, press down the centre of the dough. And I needed something to clip the patterns around the sides, I finally settled on a pair of tweezers that I found, washed it, and it turned out to be such a piece of gem for this. I even used it to pick the small pieces of pastry for decoration. When you're desperate, anything goes, or rather, you got to be innovative. I even attempted some other shapes, round, long, but just didn't hold enough pineapple, well, the traditional "sunny side up" for pineapple tart, is definitely the way to go.
For the 2nd batch, I decided that ehm....since I can't seem to get the right size, why should pineapple tart be round, I do have other cutters that provided the right size. Wow, they turned out much better than the 1st batch, the right size, with the right pastry, I even brushed them with a little egg yolk to get that orangy look. Bake at 180 degrees celcius and just for a meer 20 mins is all it takes. And the taste....yum yum...the buttery pastry that melts in my mouth.....