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Friday, January 24, 2014

Nyonya Pineapple Tarts

G O N G   X I   F A   C A I ,    E V E R Y O N E!

It's time to wish everyone a very happy and prosperous Chinese New Year! May the year of the Horse brings you an abundance of good luck, good fortune, good health and much joy.

The first cookie to be eaten for this auspicious celebration should be this authentic Nyonya Pineapple Tarts.  Why?  Because pineapple is called 'Ong Lai' in Hokkien dialect which means luck has come.  In Chinese community, everything and anything that is considered 'good' will be largely consumed or celebrated on such auspicious occasion.

Here, I present to you the authentic Nyonya Pineapple Tarts.  My family and I love to eat this tart.  Some would call this a cookie but actually it's not.  The pineapple jam should not be too sweet.  If too much sugar is used in cooking the jam, you will not get the taste of sweet-sourness of the pineapple.  That slight sourness of the pineapple that compliments the pastry.  The store bought jam is usually loaded with sugar and they thicken it with cornflour so that less pineapple is used.  Pineapples are not that cheap.  So for commercially processed jam, all that matters is the profit and not the taste.  That's why I don't buy commercialized pineapple tarts.  I'd prefer to make them although it is a very tedious process at making them.  So, I only do this once in every few years.. :) - provided I'm in the mood to be 'hardworking'! lol

The secret to making this tart is in the kneading of the pastry.  I don't exactly have the right measurement of the margarine used.  My late mom thought my sisters and I when we were younger on how to 'feel' the dough when making this tart.  The dough should not be too dry or too wet.  That's why most people who do not have the 'right' method or tricks in kneading the dough but rather follow the recipe book, may not get the right texture or taste for this tart.  So, I guess my siblings and I are rather lucky to have learned the tricks first hand.

There's really nothing to it if you know how.. wink! wink!

So, here's the recipe for the ingredients and I try to give you the exact measurement as I can...

Pineapple Jam:
3-4 large pineapple (try to get the ripe ones)
Granulated Sugar to taste (approx. 500g, depending on the natural sweetness of the pineapples)
(I know that some families use spices like the star anise or cinnamon sticks when prepare this jam.  My family prefer not to use the spices.  We like the natural taste of the pineapple that is not being overwhelmed by the spices)

1. Cut the pineapple and cut out the 'eyes'.  Chopped into bite sizes.
2. Blend the pineapple and strain.  Run it over clean water and leave to strain for an hour or so.
3. Cook the pineapple in a wok, keep stirring for about 45 mins, then add sugar.  Cook until pineapple is almost dry and the color changes to darker golden yellow.  Leave to cool before use.  Can be frozen for a couple of months.

600gm wheat flour
250gm margarine (has to be margarine.  Do not use butter) - add more as needed
1/2 cup hot salted water (hot water mix with 1/2 tsp salt)
3 egg yolks
1 egg white

1. Rub flour with margarine.  Texture should not be too sandy or too 'wet'.  When you pinch the dough together, it should be able to hold the shape.
2. Add the egg yolks and the egg white.  Knead well and add the salted water.
3. Roll out the dough and use the tart mould to cut out the tart discs.  Fill the center with pineapple jam.
4. Use the same dough to make the center pattern.  However, the original version, for the pattern dough, do the same for the pastry dough but add more egg whites to it so that it'll be stiffer and stretchable.
5. Brush egg wash on the pastry and bake at 160d C until the pastry is golden brown.


  1. A very happy and prosperous Chinese New Year to you and yours, Jenn!

    Your Pineapple Tarts look so lovely. You are very fortunate to have learned the "secret" to knowing how to form and fill them. These are things that can be shared but most difficult to teach.

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge Jenn. They look delicious...

  2. Hi Jenn! Thank you for sharing this nyonya style, i used to buy them whenever i go to jonker street but they don't seem to give the same satisfaction anymore unfortunately. I am so glad that you have shared a recipe for this, would definitely like to give this a try one day :)

  3. Lovely pineapple tarts . Thanks for sharing this recipe & tips too ;)

  4. wow!!! these tarts look really dellcious...

  5. I can bet that your beautiful pineapple tarts will suit the occasion of Chinese New Year. =) The size does look a little like a cookie....

    Anyway, have a great CNY with your family, WB! Hope to hear from you soon. =)

  6. We love pineapple tart. You're so great to make your own jam and the tart looks mouth watering. Have a Happy Chinese New Year!

  7. Hi Jenn, Happy Lunar New Year to you. I love pineapple tarts too, yours look delightful. Homemade is still the best and worth the effort. :))

    Have a nice week ahead,regards.

  8. OMG luce espectacular muy bien hecho Jenn es adorable,hugs,hugs.

  9. Gong Xi Fa Cai to you and your family too!

    Like yours, my family don't like spices in our pineapple jam too but I like to cook them with a few pandan leaves for extra fragrance :D

    Your tarts look very pretty and very Nyonya!


  10. Love these pineapple tart, you just keep throwing them into your mouth! Very addictive!
    Happy CNY and thanks for your supporting throughout the whole time!

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  12. Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definitely be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table,but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. Hi Jenn,

    Hope all is well with you and yours. I've been missing your posts:)

  14. Hi, your pineapple tarts look yummy. I sure am going to try making them. Just a question, is wheat flour the same as plain or all-purpose flour? Is it tepung gandum in Malay? In my simple mind, I have always referred tepung gandum as plain flour.


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