Taiwanese Pineapple Tart (凤梨酥)

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Ever heard of these delicious Asian treats? No? Don’t let yourself be deprived a single day further! This popular Taiwanese treat is a lovely afternoon pastry to pair with your tea. Pineapple cakes are actually buttery shortbread cookies filled with a fragrant pineapple jam. While some store-bought Pineapple Cakes use winter melon of other neutral flavored melons in their filling to cut the natural sour-sweet flavor of the pineapple, I personally prefer a cake filled entirely of the tart pineapple fruit.

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20161002_114204The filling is easy to make and can be made ahead of time and then stored in the fridge for a few days or for months in the freezer. The crust is also a simple shortbread dough. I’ve found that the easiest way to assemble the cake is to first freeze the jam in circular molds and wrapping the jam with the shortbread while the jam is still frozen. This makes it less messy and easier to assemble quickly.

20161002_161237I’ve brushed on an egg wash because I wanted a shiny crust, but normally these are sans-egg wash. Now it’s your turn to try making these special Taiwanese treats!

Copyright January 2017 ©

Taiwanese Pineapple Cake (凤梨酥)

20161002_114202Classic Taiwanese pastry with a sweet Pineapple center and flaky butter-y crust
>>> Yields 12 tarts

Time:
-Prep: 40 min
-Bake: 20 min

Ingredients:

Filling

  • 1 whole golden pineapple
  • 1/3 C white sugar (more depending on how sweet your pineapple is)

Shortbread dough

  • 8 tbsp (1/2 C) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 C powdered sugar
  • 1/4 C dry, powdered milk
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 1 1/4 C cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 beaten egg for egg wash (optional)

Instructions:

1a) For the filling: Cut and break down the pineapple into small chunks.
1b) Cook in a small pot for 25-30 minutes on low-medium heat, stirring occasionally. Smash the pineapple into small pieces to make the jam. Don’t turn the heat too high or it will bubble and spray out.
1c) Add sugar in near the end after most of the water cooks out. Keep cooking until the jam is mostly dry and thickened.
1d) Remove from heat and let cool completely.
1e) Once the jam has cooled, portion into small tablespoon molds. It will yield ~25-30 portions, depending on the size of your pineapple.
2a) For the shortbread dough: Beat the softened sugar and sugar together until creamy and light. Add the vanilla and egg in and continue to mix until well incorporated.
2b) Add in the flour, salt, baking powder, and powdered milk into the mix and beat for another minute until the ingredients are mixed and a soft, but pliable dough is formed. If it’s too sticky, you may need to add some more flour. Let the dough rest in the fridge for 1-2 hours for easier handling.
3) Divide the dough into 12 portions (can be more or less, depending on size of filling).
4) Wrap the divided pineapple jam in each piece of dough, closing tightly to ensure none of the jam leaks out. Place on a lightly floured baking sheet.
5) For an optional, shiny crust, beat an egg and brush a light layer over the tops of the tarts.
6) Preheat the oven to 350 F.
7) Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and flip over and bake for another 3-5 minutes until golden brown and the dough is set.
8) Remove from oven and let cool completely. They can be stored at room temperature for 1-2 weeks and in the freezer for 3-4 months.

Happy eats!

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