Happy Chinese (Lunar) New Year to all of you out there who are celebrating!
In this festive season, I am reminiscing of my childhood days in Malaysia where we open our homes for family and friends to visit. We would prepare (make or buy) various types of cookies, cakes, lollies, nuts, dried fruits and soft drinks to serve our visitors. The celebration lasted for 15 days where we would visit each other’s homes and the children and unmarried adults would receive a red packet filled with money (my favourite part).
Since moving to Australia, the scale of the celebration has reduced to just a simple catch up dinner with family and friends. This year, I was really craving for the CNY cookies and decided to make it myself.
I recalled making these with my mum as a kid and stamping the flower prints on the pastry was my favourite part. Several years ago, my mum bought me the flower cutter so I could make these at home. In the past, I couldn’t be bothered to make my own jam, so used bottled strawberry jam instead. This year, I decided to have a go at making pineapple jam (for the first time)!
Ingredients for pineapple jam:
50 grams of castor / raw sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
I used 4 pineapples and realised that was too much, so 2 pineapples is just the right amount you needed. Some recipes used cinnamon stick or cloves, but I didn’t have those in my pantry.
1. Sliced and dice the pineapples
2. Blend the pineapple in a food processor until it is finely it breaks down to fine strands
3. Cook pineapple in a pot over low heat, stirring occasionally
4. When the liquid has evaporated, add sugar (to taste) and cinnamon powder
5. Continue cooking until the liquid dried up and it became a sticky paste. (I removed mine off the heat after 1 hour of cooking and it was still a bit wet).
Ingredients for pastry:
250 grams of butter
500 grams of plain flour
4 egg yolks
2 egg white
10 grams of icing sugar
1. Beat butter until light and fluffy
2. Mix in sifted flour until it resembles small breadcrumbs
3. Make a well in the center and add in the eggs in batches. I used a flat beater to mix all the ingredients.
4. Knead the dough by hand, adding a few drops of cold water at a time until it becomes pliable.
5. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out
To assemble the pineapple tarts:
1. Heat the oven for 160°C
2. Roll the dough to about ½ cm thick
3. Cut the shape using the flower cutter