Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pineapple Tarts

Tomorrow is Chinese New Year! While I know there will be plenty of food at the dinner my parents have planned, I decided to make pineapple tarts, a traditional Singaporean cookie. Their appearance varies, but I've always found the prettiest ones are the ones with a lattice on top and crimped edges. I had hoped to do that with mine, but the dough was too crumbly.

Here's the recipe. You'll notice she makes the other variety, which is completely enclosed in the crust. The recipe says it yields 25 cookies, but I managed to get 70 out of it, using the same quantities. My only variations were using crushed canned pineapple (versus rings, which need to be put through a food processor or blender). And I didn't add cornstarch to the pineapple.

This recipe take a while, so make sure you have time to kill!

Use a heavy bottom pan to cook the pineapple, or it will start to burn. You will need to cook it for at least 20 minutes to get it to a nice golden color and have the sugar start to caramelize.

The dough is similar to a pate brisee or flaky pastry dough (you can actually substitute if with those recipes if you prefer), which mean you shouldn't over mix it or over-handle it, or you'll lose the flaky quality. Form a ball to roll when it's just barely mixed and still crumbly.

One item I always use when baking on cookie sheets is Silpat. It's a non-stick surface, but the mesh inside also helps keep heat evenly distritubed. It's a little pricey, but worth it.

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