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"Tangerine Pies" Do Not Contain Tangerine, Are Not Pies

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Self-taught pastry chef Pichet Ong, a New Yorker who grew up in Thailand, Singapore, and Hong Kong, introduced us to these whimsical filled cookies with a deceptive name.

Photo by Pate Eng

Here's what Pichet had to say about them:

"Just to clarify, there are no tangerines in this dessert, nor does it look like a pie! "Kuey tarts" translates to pineapple tarts and in Singapore, they're a highly-prized gift for Chinese New Year.

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"Traditionally, people give away fresh tangerines, a homonym for “gold” in Chinese. When Western-style baked goods were introduced, this round turnover was created to resemble the real thing, with its crackly orange egg yolk wash and clever little clove garnish on top.

"Some tips: Don’t eat the clove! It is only a decorative touch and will definitely ruin your tasting experience. And be sure to roll the dough thinly. The dough’s primary purpose is to encase the filling."

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Pichet Ong's Tangerine Pies "Kuey Tarts"

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Makes 3 1/2 to 4 dozen

For the filling:

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  • 2 pineapples, peeled, cored, and finely grated
  • 6 1/3 ounces (180 grams) palm sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the pastry:

  • 12 tablespoons (180 grams) unsalted butter
  • 10 tablespoons (70 grams) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 10 1/2 ounces (300 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon dried milk powder
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 48 whole cloves


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