Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's and Chinese New Year!

Happy Valunar New Year!
Happy "Valunar" New Year! Valentine and Chinese New Year both fall on the same date this year! I thought I'd bake some heart-shaped pineapple tarts to celebrate both. Anyway, it is my first attempt at making pineapple tarts, and I'm glad I had Ju's very easy recipe to follow. When I read the "buttery, melt-in-your-mouth pastry" description, I knew I had to make these!

Funky flower or figures? Just pineapple tarts
You can make them in all shapes and sizes. Have fun testing! The dough is so good, I think I am going to use it as a base to make many other cookies!

Here's a summarised recipe for my own reference. The only permanent change I made was an increase in salt (my family likes it that way). I encourage you visit her recipe page to see the lovingly detailed instructions, explanations and step-by-step photos.

- 1kg pineapple jam (readymade)
- 400g plain flour
- 50g corn flour (helps pastry become more "melty")
- 280g cold, unsalted butter (do not allow it to soften)
- 3 egg yolks, beaten
- 3 tbsp cold water
- 6 tbsp icing sugar (helps soft pastry keep shape during baking)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (I used 1 tsp vanilla essence as I didn't have extract around)
- For glaze, mix 1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water

1. Pre-roll pineapple jam into little balls. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C if necessary.
2. Sift flours, icing sugar and salt.
3. Cut butter into flour mixture using a fork. Flake the butter until you get a breadcrumb texture.
4. Beat egg yolks, cold water and vanilla extract.
5. Add it to the butter-flour mixture. Gently coax all crumbs into one large dough ball, then stop. Do not knead.
6. Chill dough in fridge for 10 mins or longer, covered.
7. Roll out to desired thickness (about 8mm). Dust flour liberally on rolling pin as this is an oily pastry.
8. Cut out shapes using cookie/pastry cutter.
9. Arrange shapes on baking tray and glaze the entire surface.
10. Place pineapple jam balls on centre of each pastry shape.
11. Bake at 160 degrees C for 20 minutes.

Depending on the size of your cookies, this may yield about 100 tarts.

This is what happens when you have a three-year old with itchy fingers
And this what happens when you have a three-year old with itchy fingers. But I can't blame her!

Hope you all are having a great time with friends, loved ones and family!


  1. Gong Hei! Gong Hei! Gong Hei Fatt Choy!
    Wish you a great year to start with! . . ..from Sunny & Sid

  2. Wishing you a happy Chinese New Year too!
    Huat ah!

  3. happy chinese new year and ...happy valentine ...well it is time we meet and taste your food real i really like to see sense and taste your own ...Cook ing Hugs from paris miki

  4. Gong Xi Fa Cai and a Happy Valentine's Day to you, Camemberu. Those are very cute cookies. Thanks for the tip about using cornflour. I will try that the nice time I bake them. Have a great year ahead!

  5. Camemberu, I was wondering if you know anything about how a traditional malay sweet became a must-have at chinese new year? Are there differences between malay recipes and chinese ones?

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  7. Happy New Year!!! The tarts look awesome! Glad you found the recipe easy ... and more importantly, yummy! :)

  8. Gong Xi Fa Chai to you n your family! Wishing you all great health so u can enjoy ur bountiful wealth! Wish my family wld ship me some tarts! Guess i'd hav 2 try this yummy looking recipe of yours! Thks :p

  9. happy chinese new year (and Valentine's Day!) your pineapple tarts look delish! mmm.. i miss chinese new year food sooo much :( xx

  10. Hi everyone! Gong xi fa cai to all celebrating! Just got back from Malaysia this week. Thank you for all your warm wishes and comments!

    Stinky: you know what - I asked that exact same question when I was a kid. My first pineapple tarts were given to me by Malay neighbours. I was then puzzled why the Chinese made it such a big thing for CNY but accepted that pineapples are significant as a homonym for prosperity. Auspicious sounding snack. OK, fine.

    But the Peranakans also claim the tart is their creation. And then recently I read that there might be Portuguese origins or influences. And the pineapple itself is from South America, with various ancient recipes.

    Is there any difference between the Malay and Chinese recipes? Of course, besides the obvious fact that the Malay ones will not have lard. Not that I can tell, really (but then I am new to baking recipes). Perhaps the baking experts out there can enlighten.

  11. gong xi fa cai! so pretty the cookies!

  12. I am attempting to bake some this year. Any good recommendations on where I can get the readymade pineapple jam similar to the ones that is on Glory's famous pineapple tarts?

  13. It's very simple to make and it looks delicious. I has a major effect o lovers. My boyfriend was enchanted.


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