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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Festive Cookies - Pineapple Tarts

The pineapple in cantonese is called "Wong Lai" which means good luck. Therefore, it's an auspicious fruit to have during Chinese New Year.

What used to be only available during festive periods, Pineapple Tarts are now available all year long. I really like a pineapple tart that has a chockful of sweet and slightly sour jam with a hint of cloves, cinnamon and anise seed spice taste. Some pineapple jams are light golden in color and some are dark golden brown in color. This is because the longer you cook the jam, the longer it lasts and the deeper the color.
They also come in many shapes and sizes such as the open tart, the rolled tart, the square shaped, the golf ball shaped, the triangular shaped, the apple shaped, and many more. Everyone has their own preference as to what sort of pineapple tart they like.

Here are a few types of pineapple tarts available here in Malaysia.

The Open Tarts Type

1. Elegant Nyonya Style Fresh Pineapple Tarts

I had the opportunity of savouring this type of Nyonya Pineapple Tarts in my Ex Secondary School Teacher - Mrs. Tan's house last year. These tarts are different as the jam is not baked with the tart casing. The tart casings tasted buttery and slightly salty. The pineapple jam is more juicier than the other pineapple jams that are cooked to a drier consistency as they are only scooped on the tart casing when it is served and this will avoid sogginess. I felt really elegant when eating these tarts. It was something different.

2. Open Pineapple Tarts
My Favourite from Amcorp Mall

(i) Open Tarts

(ii) Smile Open Tarts
(iii) Nyonya Tarts from Malacca

Here are some classic examples of open pineapple tarts. I think the difference between the cooking of the nyonya style of pineapple jam with the others is that the nyonyas add spices to their jam enhancing the fragrance of the jam. My personal preference will be (i) and (ii). I don't really like (iii) as I feel they lack the melt in mouth texture. (iii) is also bigger in size than (i) and (ii).

3. Rolled Tarts

Ever since finding an open pineapple tart that I really like from Amcorp Mall, it has replaced my personal favourite rolled pineapple tarts. Above shows the many shapes and sizes of the rolled pineapple jam tarts. To me, a rolled pineapple tart must have a thin buttery pastry shell and lots of jam in it. I don't really like too crumbly a texture pastry shell.

4. Taiwan Pineapple Tarts

A few years ago, I was curious and bought a box of these Taiwanese Pineapple Tarts. I actually enjoyed this square shaped pineapple tarts although the pineapple jam was not as fragrant as our local pineapple jam. Their pastry was a nice shortcrust milky pastry and the whole tart was a compact and chewy. Nowadays, whenever I see any for sale or if there is a Taiwan Fair or during Mooncake Festival, for sure I'll buy a box back to savour.

5. Singapore's Golf Ball Pineapple Tarts

I discovered these tarts after reading a one of the foodie blogs and when I was down in Singapore last October, I made my friend drive me to the shop to purchase these golf ball tarts. Why are they called golf ball tarts? These balls are as big as golf balls! I really enjoyed these tarts as they were satisfying and I would have to take 3 to 4 bites just to finish one golf ball tart. The pastry was a thin layer enclosing a chockful of jam. I heard from the lady owner that if you want to order these tarts for CNY, you'd have to place at least 2 months ahead. If not, you won't be able to buy any at all nearing to CNY!!. I heard from my friend that when she went to place her order at the shop, a lady in front of her, ordered 2400 pieces of these golf ball tarts to be picked up 1 week before CNY!!! Wow!!! You can see more at . The Tarts and other goodies are also featured in this website. Really satisying. My only complaint was that the jam didn't have a hint of spice taste.

Oh Boy! I am really salivating when I am typing this post. Does anyone have contacts of nice pineapple tarts that you can share with me? Pls do leave me a comment in my comment box. Thanks!



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