June 22, 2008

Pineapple Tarts Recipe

After learning how to bake pineapple tarts the last time, I thought I would try it myself this time.

Pineapples were a bit expensive here and I thought I'd try using the canned pineapples to see if it will work out. It turned out to be not too bad. It seems canned pineapples have more water in them and hence you should drain as much of the liquid away as possible before you puree it and cook it. But one thing good is that you can save the time to cut up the real pineapple fruit into smaller pieces before you puree the fruit.

Here is the recipe: (makes between 100-150 tarts, depend on the size of the mould you use)
1.2kg of canned pineapples or perhaps about 5-6 small pineapples
caster sugar (to your taste)
2 cinnamon sticks
600g plain flour
400g butter
pinch of salt
2 tbsps cold water
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 extra egg to glaze

To cook pineapple jam/paste: Cut up the pineapples into smaller pieces, enough to put them into the food processor or blender. Depending how juicy the pineapples are, it may be good to strain the juice off before you blend it and after you blend it. Together with the cinnamon sticks, place the pineapples into a pot/wok/pan and cook it over medium heat. Stir the pineapples frequently, not allowing it to stick to the pot. When the mixture appears dry (you don't want it too dry) and golden brown, add sugar to your taste and mix it. There may be more moisture after you add the sugar. In that case, continue to cook it. In my attempt last week, it took me 2.5 hours to cook the entire lot. After cooking, cool the pineapple jam and you may store it in fridge/freezer for future use or use it immediately. For me, I stored it and used only 3 days after.

Pastry: Place the flour into a large mixing bowl. Cut the softened butter into small cubes. Using your fingers, rub the butter with the flour and mix well. Add a pinch of salt, all the eggs and cold water. If the dough appears to be dry, add more cold water until it is enough to get a good block of dough. In the drier Australia, more water is required. But in a more humid place, you may get away with just 2 tbsps of cold water. Divide up the dough into 4 portions (it is easier to work with smaller portions of dough). If you are making this in a colder climate, leave the rest of the 3 pieces of dough in room temperature. If in a hotter climate, leave the them in the fridge until you need them. Using a rolling pin, row out the dough until about 2-3mm thick. Using a tart mould, shape out the tarts. Place them on a greased cookie sheet.

Putting it together: Glaze the tarts with the extra egg. Roll out small balls of pineapple jam, enough to fit the cavity on the tarts. Gently flatten the top of the ball of jam onto the tart. Bake the tarts for about 30-40 mins at 180 degree celsius, until golden brown. Enjoy!

The process is tedious and time-consuming. But the reward is great!

(Forgot to take photos :p)
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