I sold these 19 years ago for Chinese New Year… when I just completed my SPM (something like high school exam) while waiting for my exam results. My clients were just friends. They asked for more the next Chinese New Year. But I was doing my Form 6 (Pre-U), so, I can’t sell anymore. That was the only time I sold Chinese New Year cookies.
I found this recipe from The Star Newspaper somewhere from 1993-1995, I’m not sure as I had a habit of collecting recipe cuttings. In those days, I can’t afford to buy recipe books and we subscribed The Star, and I only need some effort to cut and collect the free recipes.
This pastry dough is a Pâte sucrée (sweet shortcrust pastry) and I don’t find it pliable for encasing pineapple jam. But it’s nice to work with. I use it without chilling and the dough is easy to handle. My cookie press outs come out clean and neat. And they don’t really get bigger when baked, so I just place them snugly next to each other.
Making the tarts is not hard. But the lattice top kills. You can try doing other forms of deco. I tried the mini flower fondant cutter to make small flowers to decorate, and sadly it was too frustrating. I rather spend more time piping than to waste my temper with fragile stamp outs for decoration.
This dough is nice for other fruity jam tarts. I tried it before with Goiabinhas, and it was lovely to eat, but a pain to roll. This dough is not meant for wrapping.
If you encounter holes in your tart base, just fix it with some dough, it doesn’t matter. This dough will prefer a slightly moist pineapple jam, as the jam dries up further during baking. One of my friend even piped his jam on.
If you want to know how I did the lattice top, here’s how. I mixed some of the dough with egg white and cornstarch to a pipeable consistency. My neighbour used to mix with dough with melted margarine. Many ways, as long as don’t add water.
This cookie can last pretty long. One of my friend kept it for 5 months in 1996 and I kept this batch for almost 8 months. They still looked ok, tasted fine, except the jam has turned darker. No fungus in sight at all. And FYI, my jam is homemade (recipe link). I’m not sure if other jam recipes will keep the same way.
Oh yeah, if you want to know about the texture of this tart, it’s not melt in the mouth. When fresh, it’s crisp but when aged, it turns softer and my clients all age these tarts. And how soft and melty the cookie turns later, depends on how moist your jam is. Some like this tart soft and melty, some prefer it crisp. You can control that with the jam. It won’t turn soft and crumbly, and you can still hold on to it firmly. I know some can be so fragile that sometimes, the cookie turns to crumbs with the slightest shake of the cookie jar.
Pineapple Tarts (Open faced type)
200gm salted butter, softened
125gm icing sugar, sifted
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp milk
400gm plain flour
Filling: Pineapple jam as needed
1. Mix butter and sugar until just combined. Add in egg yolks and mix until smooth. Add in milk and mix until well combined.
2. Pour in flour and mix to form a dough. Do not knead. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
3. Take half the dough and roll out to about 5 or 6 mm thick. Press with preferred cookie cutter. Arrange the cookies neatly next to each other.
4. Fill up the tarts with jam and decorate according to preference, or just leave it bare.
5. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for around 15 minutes or until sides are slightly golden.*
*Time to bake depends on cookie size, thickness and moisture in jam.
I don’t quite remember how much I made this time.
These are not all… there were some not shown.