Monday, February 4, 2013

Melt-in-the-Mouth Pineapple Tarts !!!

I have wanted to make my own pineapple tarts ever since I finished eating the box of pineapple tarts that I brought back from Singapore on 16 Jan. I didn't have the opportunity to bake pineapple tarts in Singapore because there is no oven in my mum's kitchen, moreover I was very tied up with looking after 2 hyperactive kids and meeting up with friends. Then just after returning to Belgium, I read about SSB's Charity Bake Sale on her blog, since it was for a good cause (she was gonna donate 1 dollar to the Singapore Buddhist Free Clinic for every bottle of cookies sold) so I decided to buy a few bottles of pineapple tarts and support her, from a distance. Yes, a very far distance of about 10,500 km. The bottles of pineapple tarts would not be shipped to Belgium. No, that would have cost me a bomb! They are meant for my family in Singapore.

So I ordered the pineapple tarts from her but I couldn't taste them. What a pity, I could only drool from a distance of 10,500 km. What to do? I would have to bake my own. How else can I share the joy of eating homemade pineapple tarts with my family? By baking the tarts using the same recipe as SSB!

Thanks to SSB for sharing her golden pillow pineapple tarts. It was a godsend! If you wanna see how my previous pineapple tarts looked like 2 years ago when I was still a rookie in baking, look no further than here. That would give you an idea how clueless (or how greedy) I was in baking pineapple tarts.

What I like about this recipe is that the pastry is really easy to knead, the dough is very pliable and forgiving, and the pineapple balls can easily be pinched in and sealed up with the dough without the dough breaking. You don't need to chill the dough in the fridge, neither do you need to flour your hands, and the dough is not oily at all to handle. What's more, it produces crunchy on the outside yet melt-in-the-mouth type of pineapple tarts. I absolutely love this type of tarts, although it takes more effort and time than the other type of tarts with the exposed filling, but it is well worth the effort. This recipe is a keeper for me!

Recipe adapted from Small Small Baker
Ingredients for pastry (makes 50)
220g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (I used vanilla essence)
2 egg yolks
375g plain flour 
2 tbsp corn flour
1/4 tsp salt
50g icing sugar 
1 egg yolk, diluted with few drops of water, for egg wash
Ingredients for pineapple filling (makes 50)
500g pineapple paste, rolled into little balls of 10 grams each. (I used the Red Man brand of ready-made pineapple paste bought from Phoon Huat in Singapore. I find it not too sweet, and reasonably cheap. Store-bought fillings are not that bad after all. )

1. Sieve plain flour, corn flour, salt and icing sugar into a big bowl.
2. Beat butter in a mixer until it turns light in color and fluffy. Add in pure vanilla extract, mix well.
3. Add in egg yolks slowly until well combined.
4. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until just combined. I first used the mixer, followed by a spatula, and finally I used my hand to knead it for a few minutes until the dough comes together. Do not over-knead.
5a. Roll the dough into small rounds of 12 grams each. I weighed the total amount of dough and it was about 615 grams, so divided by 12, that would give me 50 balls of dough.

5b. Flatten the dough with your hands and make sure it is big enough to cover the pineapple filling. The sides of the dough have to be thinner than the centre. Pinch in the pineapple filling, seal the dough properly and roll it round with your hands. This dough is very forgiving and very easy to work with so there is no need to flour your palms. (Note: the pineapple ball was 10 grams each and about 1 inch in diameter, whereas the dough was 12 grams each and about 2.5 inch to 3 inches wide in diameter.)

6. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees celsius in the upper 1/3 of the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or till golden brown. Take them out after 5 minutes and brush with egg wash before returning them to the oven again to continue baking.

7. When they are baked and cooled down, keep them in air-tight containers. All 50 tarts were finished over one weekend, so don't ask me how long they can keep! :p 

Note on 20/01/2015 :
A friend informed me yesterday that she has some problems with the dough, somehow it was too crumbly and she could not form balls of dough with filling. In the end she added 1 tbsp of melted butter, chill the dough in the fridge for a while and managed to make nice open-faced pineapple tarts which she said were melt-in-the-mouth. If you find that your dough is too dry, it could be due to too much cornflour, too much icing sugar or too little egg yolks (eggs being too small), just add some beaten egg yolk or melted butter a little at a time, until a smooth pliable dough is formed. The dough has to be smooth and flawless even before you divide into balls. Normally this dough is very easy and very forgiving, but just in case your dough is crumbly, do not panic, just add a little more liquid. If it is too wet, which is unlikely, add a little more flour.

I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover.

This post is also linked to the event, Little Thumbs up organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe, Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Zoe at this link.


PS: I received an email from a reader Linda on 5 Oct 2013, with a foto of the pineapple tarts she baked using this recipe. Coincidentally, I also made some pineapple tarts on 3 Oct to bring back to my family in Singapore but that batch of pineapple tarts (being the 2nd time I tried out this recipe) was not as good due to a possible mistake in weighing the icing sugar as my baking scale was flickering due to low battery. I was wondering what went wrong, but thanks to Linda, my confidence in this recipe was re-affirmed ! 


  1. Wow ! Wow !!! What a dish and inviting too...

  2. Thank you so much for mentioning and buying to support my charity bake sale. Your sis just collected from me. I hope they like the pineapple tarts.

    Yours looks really great! Yes, I love this recipe and will stick to this for a long time. Next time you can bake for your family, I'm sure it tastes much better than mine.

    1. Yes, I read about it, my niece took a picture and posted it on my FB. I am sure they are delicious, coming from the shifu/master of the recipe. It is nice of you to do a charity bake sale, next time I will support again! :)

  3. Nice to hear from you!

    Saw your comment on my blog... No worries! Of course that you are welcome to link your post with me. All you need to do is to 1) mention Little Thumbs Up in your post and link back to Bake for Happy Kids or/and my little favourite DIY, 2) then submit your details at my Acar post and that's all!

    1. Hi Zoe, I just amended the blog post and submitted via inlinkz on your blog. :)

    2. Happy that you can link up with us :D

  4. I love the look of your pineapple tarts, so round and smooth with no cracks!

  5. Ur pineapple balls are so round and smooth. Nice!

  6. Well done, Miss B. You're a pro now, but I love the amount of pineapple paste you had on the tart when you were a rookie. Ha ha ha!

    BTW, I'm looking for ready made pineapple paste/ jam. Do you know if we can find this in an Asian store somewhere. I've been thinking abt making this little gems for sometime now...

    1. Unfortunately I have not seen any pineapple paste being sold here. I have seen canned red bean paste though. Ready made pineapple paste is in fact a Singapore/ Malaysia product, I doubt the Asian stores here know what it is. Why dun you try making your own. It's not so troublesome, I made it once following Lily Ng's recipe, in my rookie post :)

  7. Hi Bee,

    I love how your pineapple tarts turn out.
    They look round and filled with heap of pineapple jam which i love love love:D
    Tell you ah!! they look like little golden

    Thank you so much for linking your pineapple tarts post with our 'Little Thumbs Up' event. We are glad to have you in our event..:D


  8. Hi Miss B,

    I am thinking to bake these for the upcoming CNY.
    Any idea how long they can be kept?
    Thanks in advance!

    P.S.: love your rice cooker banana cake and cabbage rice!

    1. The last time I made them and brought them to Singapore, I think they were kept in the fridge for 2 weeks and still remained good. I know they taste better at room temp, but I dunno how long they can keep. But I think generally for self-made pastry, it depends on the expiry date of the butter, so only buy good quality butter with a long enough expiry date. Also check the expiry date for the pineapple paste filling (exp date usually a year or longer if unopened), if you are buying ready made.

    2. Hi sherlyn,
      You may wanna check with Small Small Baker, got the recipe from her, and she bakes them for her cny bake sale for last year and this year, so she is an expert. :)

  9. Sorry, I miss the last part of your post.
    I googled and seems that they can be kept for around 2 weeks!

  10. Hi, I followed ur recipe but my dough breaks when I tried to wrap, wld u know wat cld b wrong?

    1. Perhaps your measurement of icing sugar is not correct, I encountered that once when my measuring scale was flickering. Btw, pls leave your name or nickname behind, I don't normally answer anonymous comments.

  11. I have just edited the post to include some tips on what to do when the dough is too crumbly. Just add some beaten egg yolk or melted butter, a little at a time, until a smooth pliable dough can be formed.

  12. Hello!
    Seems like crumbly dough is a common issue with this recipe. I followed your recipe, instructions and measurements to a T and had the same problem. Got around it by slowly pinching the cracks together and gently rolling out all the lines and cracks between my hands; each ball took me much longer to put together compared to some other pineapple tart recipes I've tried.
    That said, the tarts turned out lovely. Love the pastry texture which was perfectly melt-in-the-mouth and had an ever so buttery smooth taste.
    Thanks! :)

    1. Hi Purpleheart,
      Thanks very much for your feedback, yes this is really melt-in-the-mouth if you get the shortcrust pastry right and if you use good quality butter. I have never done this in Singapore, I have only done it 3 years in a row in Belgium, each time during winter, so I dunno how the dough is like in tropical weather. But I can tell you the dough must be smooth and flawless even before you divide into balls. I would divide them and roll into balls of 12g each, before I do the wrapping. It's adviseable to cover the dough balls with clingwrap or damp cloth to avoid drying out, or chill in the fridge if it takes too long. If the dough is too dry/crumbly before dividing, add a little egg yolk until you get a smooth dough. Press the dough together with your hands, and roll it between the palms, use the heat of your hands to smooth out the cracks.

  13. I made 2 batches of pineapple tarts (125 in total) following the same recipe in Singapore and I didn't encounter any problem with the dough. I didnt have to flour my hands and the dough was very easily rolled unto balls. I used Lurpak unsalted butter. Plain flour, icing sugar, corn flour and pineapple paste were from Red Man. If anybody encounters crumbly dough, do check your corn flour and icing sugar quantity. The corn flour should be 2 level tbsp, not rounded tbsp.


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