Pineapple tarts are commonly baked for the celebration of Chinese New Year festival in Malaysia and Singapore. In Taiwan, pineapple tarts or are exceedingly popular but their pineapple tarts recipe calls for shortening and milk powder and taste slightly different. Because shortening is used in the Taiwanese version, they are also called pineapple shortcakes.
Adapted from rasamalaysia.com
For the pasty filling:
cups all-purpose flour
sticks butter/8 oz./1 cup/225 grams (I used Challenge brand, which is recommended by Saveur magazine as one of the best butter brands in the US)
tablespoons confectioners’ sugar/icing sugar
tablespoon vegetable shortening (optional but it will make the tarts extra crumbly)
egg yolk (lightly beaten for egg wash)
For the pineapple filling:
cans (20 oz can) sliced pineapples
tablespoons sugar (more or less to taste)
teaspoon cornstarch (mixed with 1 teaspoon water)
Using low to medium heat, cook the drained crushed pineapple and sugar until most liquid has evaporated, and the filling turned golden. Stirring constantly using a wooden spoon to avoid burning. Taste, and add more sugar when needed. Add in the cornstarch to thicken the mixture. Set aside and let it cool in the fridge. Sieve the flour, corn flour, salt and sugar into a medium bowl. Beat butter in a mixer until it turns light in color and fluffy. Add in egg yolks until well combined. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Divide the pastry dough and pineapple filling each into 24 equal rounds. Flatten the pastry dough with the palms and put the pineapple filling in the middle and use the dough to cover the filling. Use your palms to round it up and then shape it into a roll about 1.5 inch long. Use a fork to make criss-cross patterns on the tart and then brush it with the egg wash. Preheat the oven for 350F and bake for 20-25 minutes or until light brown. My shortcuts: 1.For the butter, I didn’t cream it with the electronic hand mixer. I nuked it in the microwave for 10 seconds and then mix everything together with hands. I know this is not the best shortcut because the heat in the butter might “cook” the flour. 2.For the pineapple filling, drain the pineapple slices and then squeeze the extra water/juice with your hands. If you don’t, it’s going to take you an hour or more to make the pineapple filling. 3.I didn’t crush the pineapple slices manually, I dropped them into a mini food processor and blend them for 10 seconds. 4.I didn’t use low to medium heat to cook the pineapple fillings. I use high heat (but stir continuously) and then lower to medium heat. I don’t have patience for low heat. Note: Please use the shortcuts above with caution. It worked out for me, but I would advise you to follow the proper instructions instead of cheating like I did.