Pineapple tarts are a fixture at Chinese celebrations in Singapore, especially Chinese New Year and Hungry Ghost festivals. For the Chinese, the pineapple is a symbol of good luck, fortune, and wealth. In some Chinese beliefs, pineapple spikes are seen as eyes which see ahead in the future and bring good luck to the keeper.
Singaporean Pineapple Tarts
- Medium saucepan
- Stand Mixer with dough hook attachment
- Food Processor or blender
- Pastry brush
- Large baking pan lined with parchment paper
- 1 whole Pineapple (Sub: one 20 oz. can sliced pineapple per every 10 tarts)
- 2 whole Cloves
- ½ cup Granulated sugar
- 2½ cups All-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp Cornstarch
- 4 tbsp Confectioners or powdered sugar
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 8 oz Unsalted butter, at room temperature.
- 3 large Eggs, yolks only (2 for the dough, 1 beaten with ½ tsp condensed or whole milk)
- Remove skin and core, then cut fresh pineapple into 1-inch chunks. For canned pineapple slices, drain the can and squeeze extra liquid out with hands. With a food processor or blender, blend fresh or canned pineapple for 10 seconds.
- Combine blended pineapple, sugar, and cloves in a saucepan over medium-low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated and the jam turns golden, about 10 minutes. Stir continuously to avoid burning. When jam becomes thick, remove cloves and place in refrigerator to cool. Jam can be made a few days in advance.
- Add the flour, cornstarch, salt, and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook or a bowl if kneading by hand. Add butter and egg yolks. Set mixer to medium speed (if using). Knead for around 5 minutes until a dough is formed. The dough is ready when it doesn't stick to your hands. If the dough seems a bit dry or crumbly, knead in another 1 tbsp of butter. Transfer to a work surface and knead into a ball by hand.
- Divide dough into 30 equal balls. Flatten the dough balls with your palms and place a tbsp of pineapple jam in the middle. Enclose the jam with the dough and roll into an oblong shape about 1½-inches long. Place tarts seam side-down on a parchment-lined baking tray. Space tarts at least 1-inch apart from each other.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Make criss-cross patterns on the top of the tarts with a small paring knife. Brush the tarts with the egg wash. Place tray in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes to become golden brown.