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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Nastar (Pineapple Rolls)

Hey guys!  It's super hot Sunday today.. feels like wanna walk around in the house with bare minimum of clothing.!!  Of course it ain't gonna happen. :)

Or maybe I should just join my fishes in the pond eh! Lol . In Malaysia the weather is really unpredictable. It gets real hot in mid morning till the afternoon and sudden cloudiness in the late afternoon before it pours like crazy in the evening.  Even with the rain, some parts in Klang Valley are facing water rationing.

Chap Goh Mei, also known as the Chinese Valentine's Day in the Lunar calendar is the last day of Chinese New Year.  This was on Thursday, 4 days ago.  In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that I planned to make Nastar rolls for the Chinese New Year celebration and I did.  This is my first attempt and glad to say that it tasted quite good.  My sisters warned me that it's not that easy to make this cookie as the dough is difficult to manage.  Reason being, it's too soft and it breaks when piping out the dough.  With advanced cautioned and tips from my two lovely sisters, I googled for success stories.  Finally, I settled with this recipe from Amy Beh, a local chef.  I vouched that this recipe is GREAT and for amateurs like me where Nastar rolls are concerned, you can never go wrong with this. Only thing is that I added and extra 1/4 cup of flour to the dough.

Here's the recipe:

Pastry: (pastry does not yield many Nastars, I suggest you double this recipe)
150g butter
100g margarine
75g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tap vanilla (I omitted this)
1/4 tsp salt

Sift together:
350g plain flour
50g cornflour

Combine and lightly beat for glaze:
1 egg yolk
1 tap condensed milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. water

(my version is really simple for the glaze:  whisked 1 whole egg and that's it)

450 g grated pineapple
200g caster sugar
1/2 tap pineapple essence
1/4 tsp. lemon essence

(my version for filling: 3 large pineapple peeled, cored and grate.  Cook in a wok and add sugar to taste.  You can add cloves if you like but it's optional.  Keep stirring until the moisture dries up and take off heat to cool.  Can be frozen for many months).

1. First and foremost, you need to prepare the filling ahead of time.  You can do this and freeze the filling.  Defrost to room temperature before use.
2. Pre heat oven to 180dC
3, Cream butter and margarine and sugar until light. Beat in egg yolks one at a time.  Add essence (if use), salt and beat until fluffy.
4.  Fold in sifted ingredients and mix into a soft pliable dough.
5. Put dough into a nastar mould and press into a strip of about 6-7cm length.  Place pineapple jam (roll into small balls - 10 cents coin) on one end, and roll up pastry similar to making sushi. Cut off excess pastry.  Place rolls in baking tray and glaze with egg wash.  Bake until it's golden brown.
Transfer to wire rack and let cool. 

You can google for the Nastar mould if you don't know how it looks like.  The mould is not expensive. There are plastics ones or chrome ones as well.  There are many YouTube videos that you can also check out on the step-by-step in making these rolls.

This cookie is soft and I love the buttery dough.  It just melts in the mouth and the pineapple jam is thick and sweet with a tinge of tangy-ness.  I have extra jam in my freezer.  I shall make this again in the near future... definitely!