Dong dong dong chiang, dong dong dong chiang, dong dong dong chiang dong chiang dong chiang
Now that I have set the scene, you probably realise that this is a post related to Chinese New Year. And yes, it is coming and to be more exact, there are 8 more days to go.
To me CNY is all about the food. This is the only time in the year where I forget my waist-line and just eat (and eat and eat and eat). There is your traditional steamboat, Pen Cai (盆菜)... and definitely plenty of baked treats. Pineapple tarts, almond biscuits, peanut biscuits, etc.
You see, I live with pretty opinionated people, and I always say having opinions is better then having none at all. With criticism, we improve and do things better the next time round. So whilst it stings to have someone say that hey, I don't like this because it's too soft, it's too sweet, it's not buttery, etc...
I am a home-baker, not a professional one. I don't use preservatives, I don't like to use artificial agents. What I make is surely different in taste and texture with the one you buy at professional bakeries. Everyone has their own preferences and I can't please all. It is sad when you get disheartening comments, especially when you look back to the hours of hard work put in.
That said, on the flip side, there are others who offer great words. And these are the people we bake for.
After my elaborate and lengthy intro, I will jump straight to the post - closed pineapple tarts recipe. This recipe is tried and tested and the creation of one of my favourite food bloggers, Sonia from Nasilemaklover.
The pastry dough is soft and easy to handle and it produces amazing results - delicate and melt-in-the-mouth. For the pineapple filling, I used the meat of 2 Malaysian honey pineapples ($1.50 from NTUC). I have been told to avoid the SW brand, which are from the Philippines. Reason being that they tend to be more sour and are more juicy, aka a longer cooking time is required. Plus they are slightly pricer than the Malaysia variety.
When cutting the pineapples, try to wear gloves. Otherwise, you would be suffering from itching hands as I did after cutting my first pineapple (FYI, pineapples are often use to tenderise meat). I used pineapples which are rather ripe and they were extremely sweet - I did not add sugar at all to my pineapple paste. When cooking the pineapples, use a big flat pan/pan with bigger surface area. I used a small saucepan and had pineapple juice spluttering all around - not a pretty sight and definitely not fun to clean up.
(makes 48 pieces)
For pineapple paste
sugar (to taste, or in my case, not needed)
For pastry skin
50g condensed milk (sweetened)
255g plain flour
1 egg yolk
For egg wash
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp of milk
1. Cut up pineapples into small pieces and blend. Do not blend too thoroughly so as to retain some fibre in the paste
2. Cook till dry. This takes about 1h. Leave to cool and shape into smaller balls, weighing 8g each
4. Flatten dough balls and place pineapple balls in centre. Pinch ends together and shape into a small ball. Coat pineapple tarts with egg wash (mix 1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp of milk together)
5. Bake in pre-heated oven, 180 degrees for 30-40mins till golden brown