Personal friends would know that I’m not into baking, so this year I really surprised myself by my enthusiasm to bake for the Lunar New Year! In the past, I have always baked the regular flower mold kind of pineapple tarts, this year I wanted to try challenge myself and make something different. I went for the enclosed, golden pillow a.k.a Nyonya style.
I must say, golden pillow style is really not easy to make, or at least for a novice baker like me. Along the way, I had met with some challenges like pastry too crumbly and not pliable enough to wrap the fillings and mold them into the golden pillows, color of the pineapple filling was too dark etc.
Lovely tarts in the oven
But thankfully, three (Yes! THREE!!) different recipes and many
harassing SOS phone calls to my expert baker friends later (Thanks, LilyAnette & Denise!), I finally succeeded in making my first Nonya style pineapple tarts! *Beaming with pride :)*
Ain’t they lovely? I must say I think the texture and taste is perfect too! 😉
Anyway, here’s the recipe that I used…
Pineapple filling ingredients:
2 large cans (20oz or 570g per can) of crushed pineapple
220g sugar (more if you like it to be sweeter)
1 cinnamon stick (I used 1-2 tsp of cinnamon powder and it makes the filling too dark :()
1 whole star anise
Optional : cornstarch mixture
1. Put all the ingredients in a sauce pan or pot pan and heat on high heat until boiling.
2. Turn the heat down to low or medium heat, stir constantly and let it continue to cook until all liquid has almost evaporated.
3. When the filling turns golden brown, it is done. If you want it to thicken even more, you can always add cornstarch mixture and let it absorb into the filling. I usually just omit this step.
Here’s the pastry recipe that I modified and adapted from Pinkcocoa Tabetai. (Once again… Thanks for sharing this link with me, Denise!)
45g milk powder
65g corn flour
15g custard flour
275g plain flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp caster sugar
250g cold unsalted butter, cubed
3 egg yolks
1tsp vanilla extract
some iced water (to be added if pastry is too crumbly or not pliable)
Some cloves for decorating the tarts
1. Sift the first 4 ingredients together.
2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add yolk one at a time and beat well.
3. Fold in flour mixture and combine to form a smooth pastry dough. Divide into 3 portions and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
4. Finally, assemble the tarts.
As suggested by Pinkcocoa, I also used a rough estimated ratio of 1 part Jam to 3 parts pastry.
Roll the jam into tiny balls. Take a pastry dough and flatten to about 4mm thick. (If dough is not pliable enough, add a little ice water and knead until it is pliable.) Place jam in the center and wrap the dough up so that the jam is totally enclosed. Roll into ball shaped and placed on a baking tray at 3cm interval. Repeat with remaining portions of pastry and jam.
5. Preheat the oven to 325F.
6. Brush tarts with egg wash to glaze and stick a clove into it.
7. Place the tarts in oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
6. When done, cool on rack before storing in airtight container.
If you are in mood to make some variation, how about making some rabbit shape Nyonya Pineapple tarts like I did since 2011 is the year of Rabbit? 😉
GONG XI FA CAI!!! HUAT AH!!!!!