Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pineapple "Crumble" Tarts

It's the Hari Raya season and I thought I'd join in the festivities by making some pineapple tarts. These tarts come in various shapes and sizes, but I like the open-faced tarts, which are round cut-out pieces of pastry with a ball of jam in the middle. I also like the ones made with the nastar mould (the rolled up ones). However, as I did not have the particular shaped cookie-cutter nor mould, I made them into little round balls instead.

Golden caramelised pineapple jam

I made the pineapple jam using canned and fresh pineapples, combining both elements of sweetness and tartness. The pineapple that I had bought the previous day was not sweet enough to eat on its own, so just as well, it went into making the jam. The pineapples were grated and cooked down with sugar to an amber colour. It turned out well, still juicy and not overly sweet, with a subtle hint of spices which were cinnamon, star anise and cloves.

Pineapple tarts fresh out of the oven...smells heavenly!

In making the pastry, I added some cornflour to the dough to create a more delicate texture. The pastry was then shaped into round discs and filled with little round morsels of jam, then rolled into a ball with a clove stuck into it. I think it looks pretty this way :)

Delicate little gems filled with luscious pineapple jam
 This was my first attempt at making pineapple tarts. That probably explains their "rustic" appearance in the photos. The jam filling was still moist and juicy, partly due to it being enclosed in the pastry, and hence protected from being dried out in the oven. The addition of the cornflour to the dough produced a more delicate and flaky texture, such that it crumbles and melts in your mouth together with the luscious jam filling to yield the perfect bite. That's the measure of a good pineapple tart.