Pineapple Jam (Filling)
If you are using canned pineapple slices, drain the pineapple slices and then squeeze the extra water/juice with your hands. Blend the canned pineapples until they are mushy, about 10 seconds. If you use fresh pineapples, remove the skin, cut into pieces and blend for 10 seconds.
Transfer the blended pineapple into a deep pan (non-stick preferably). Add sugar and cloves and stir well. Cook on medium to low heat until most liquid has evaporated, and the pineapple jam turns golden in color. Stirring constantly and continuously using a wooden spoon to avoid burning. Taste, and add more sugar as needed. Remove and discard the cloves and let cool in the fridge.
Sieve the flour, cornstarch, salt and sugar in a big bowl or container. Soften the butter to room temperature. Combine the flour mixture, butter, and egg yolks together. Knead to form the dough. The dough is ready when it doesn’t stick to the hand. If the dough is too crumbly or dry, add a little bit more butter (about 1 tablespoon) until the dough is easy to work with.
Divide the dough and pineapple jam (filling) each into 30 equal rounds. Flatten the pastry dough with your 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 1/2-inch long shape. Use a small paring knife to make criss-cross patterns on the tart and then brush it with the egg wash (see picture above) using a small pastry brush. Place the pineapple tarts on a tray lined with parchment paper, arrange the pineapple tarts so they are at least 1 inch apart of each other.
Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) and bake for 20-25 minutes or until light brown.
- For the egg wash, you can just use the egg yolk. However, adding condensed milk to the egg wash will make the surface of the pineapple tarts look more glossy and golden, a trick that I learned from my friend at Indochine Kitchen.
- In my original recipe published in 2008, I made 24 tarts, bigger in size. You can make about 24-30 tarts, depending on the size you like.
- In the previous version of recipe, I also used 1 tablespoon of shortening, added when kneading the dough. It made the pineapple tarts even more crumbly and melt-in-your mouth. Shortening is optional and not required.
- If you run into the problem of the pastry dough being too dry or crumbly and very hard to shape and work with, add more room-temperature (softened) butter into your dough and knead the dough again until it’s not sticking to your hands and easy to work with. Some readers added a wee bit of water and it worked, too.