Friday, January 20, 2012

Pineapple Tarts and Nastar Recipe

In the spirit of Chinese New Year, I am reposting my recipe for pineapple rolls (see here, here, here and here for earlier posts). I hadn't actually planned on making pineapple rolls this year as I already made pineapple tarts (open-faced ones) a week ago. After seeing so many photos of pineapple rolls being posted on Facebook by friends and cousins, I just couldn't resist the temptation to make them too. Making pineapple rolls are just a little more tedious, messy and time-consuming compared to making open-faced tarts. However, despite the backache that usually comes as a side-effect of crouching over the table making these pretty little pastries, I very much enjoy the process of moulding, rolling and cutting the dough.

In this recipe, I've added a little baking powder to give the pastry a lighter and crisp texture. I've also added some ghee (clarified butter) for an extra buttery taste. To give the pineapple rolls a lovely golden yellow colour, I added a drop of yellow food colouring to the eggwash, but that's entirely optional. The condensed milk in the eggwash also helps the pastry to caramelize a little when it bakes.

If you have any leftover dough after making the tarts/rolls, you can use them to make butter cookies, which I did using the nastar mould. The kids helped to sprinkle some chocolate rice and rainbow choc chips over the top of the cookies before I popped them in the oven. The kids don't really like pineapple tarts or rolls, but they did love the butter cookies, and just couldn't stop eating them. I had a few myself, and they were just perfectly light, crisp and buttery! I even made some sprinkled with aonori flakes (Japanese green seaweed flakes) and they were simply scrumptious!

Here are the butter cookies with chocolate sprinkles that I made with some of the dough
Can't resist making pineapple rolls too? Well, here is the recipe. I hope you enjoy them too!

Nastar Pineapple Tarts / Rolls


300g good quality butter, at room temperature
80g icing sugar
3 egg yolks
3 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp fine salt

Sift together:
420g plain flour
50g corn flour / custard powder
1 tsp baking powder

Lightly beat together for egg wash:
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp condensed milk
2 tsp fresh milk/water
Pinch of salt
A drop of yellow food colouring

2 medium-sized pineapples (about 1.4kg after peeled and cored), cut into chunks (or 2 cans (about 800g each) pineapple chunks in natural juice, or you can mix both)
300g - 400g sugar, or to taste
2 tsp lemon juice (or depending on how sour/sweet the pineapples are)
1 inch cinnamon stick
4 cloves
1/2 star anise


Blend the pineapple chunks with a food processor. Make sure they are fine enough that you can't feel any course chunks when you rub them between your fingers. Pour into a sieve to drain some of the excess juice, but not too dry. Cook pineapple and spices in a wide heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat until it begins to boil. Lower heat to simmer (or use high heat but stir continuously and watch it to make sure it doesn't burn). Add the sugar and stir for about 30-40 minutes or until mixture is dry, thick and amber in colour. Halfway through, check for sweetness and add more sugar if necessary. Add lemon juice to taste. Leave aside to cool, refrigerate for a few hours and roll into small elongated pieces (about half teaspoon of pineapple jam each) to be used as filling.

Line baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Cream butter, ghee and sugar until light. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time. Then add vanilla and salt and beat until fluffy. Fold in sifted ingredients and mix into a firm dough. Put dough into a nastar mould and press out into a strip of about 2-inch lengths. Place a piece of pineapple jam on one end and roll up pastry to enclose the jam.

Put the rolls on prepared trays. Brush with egg wash (optional), and bake in preheated oven at 180°C for 15-18 minutes or until it starts to turn golden. Do not overbake as it may turn out too hard, and probably burnt too! Remove from oven and leave on tray for about 5 minutes. Then transfer to wire racks to cool. Store in airtight containers.


Mel said...

You are absolutely right, pineapple tart is a must for CNY!! I like to eat those that are wrapped around. Very beautiful colour of baked you have made. Still baking more cookies? Here, I would like to wish you and your family Abundance, Good Health, and Prosperity throughout the Dragon Year!!

Jessica Dimas said...

Oh YUM, those look delicious!

Janine said...

for me too! CNY is not CNY without the Pineapple tarts for sure!

And luckily for me, I still have 2 days to churn out these tarts for my family! Just a quick question - it's okay if i just use my own clarified butter and not ghee right? hope you see this by today so i can get on with the recipe :D

Quay Po Cooks said...

YEZZ! This is a MUST HAVE cookies for CNY. Yours looks perfect. Happy Dragon Year to you and your family. That is a beautiful shot.

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

@Mel: Thanks Mel! A very Happy Dragon Year to you too!
@Jessica: Thank you!
@Janine: Yes, you can make your own clarified butter! Have fun making and eating them! :)
@Quay Po: Thank you and Happy Dragon Year to you and your family too!

Anonymous said...

These look so yummy! I haven't tried pineapple tarts, but love the idea!

LoLy said...

As usual, Lots of yummy yummy things here :D

Small Small Baker said...

Lovely pineapple tarts! Wishing you a Happy Dragon Year! :)

smbp said...

These little rolls are adorable!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Droll... how nice to continue eating cookies after Christmas! =D Oh I love how your cookies look Fern! I wish I can be a good baker and cook like you!