Pichet Ong's Tangerine Pies "Kuey Tarts"

November 20, 2015
2 Ratings
Photo by Pate Eng
  • Makes 3 1/2 to 4 dozen
Author Notes

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

Recipe by Pichet Ong. Photo by —Food52

What You'll Need
  • For the filling:
  • 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
  1. For the pineapple filling: Put all of the ingredients for the filling into a medium saucepan and set over low heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar has melted and the juice has thickened, about 45 minutes. When the mixture is very thick and there is no liquid at the bottom, transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Place the butter, confectioners’ sugar, salt, whole egg, and egg yolk in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream together ingredients on medium speed until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Sift the flour and milk powder into the bowl. Mix on low speed just until the dough comes together. Transfer the dough to a large piece of plastic wrap, wrap tightly, and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap the chilled dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Dust the dough with flour and roll to 1/8-inch thickness, rotating and flouring occasionally to prevent sticking. Use a floured 3-inch round biscuit cutter to cut out 8 circles.
  4. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the pineapple filling in the center of each circle. Fold the dough circle in half and pinch the edges together to seal. Turn the package over so that the seam faces down and flatten slightly into a tangerine-like shape. Repeat with the remaining dough circles. Transfer to the baking sheet, setting pastries 2 inches apart. Brush with the beaten egg yolks, and stick a clove in the center of each package. Bake until golden brown, with a slight crack, about 15 to 18 minutes. Cool and serve. The pastries may be kept for two weeks in an airtight container.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • cpc
  • easyguy14215
  • Jeannie Elias
    Jeannie Elias

3 Reviews

cpc January 27, 2022
If there are 8 circles, and only one clove is put into each "tangerine", why would you need FOURTY EIGHT CLOVES? The recipe also indicates a yield of 3 1/2 to 4 dozen but the recipe only indicates 8 circles. This is very confusing. I'm also confused about the size/weight of the pineapples. How much shredded pineapple should we have when we make the filling?
easyguy14215 December 19, 2015
2 pineapples is rather vague as pineapples come in many different sizes. Why couldn't you have stated it as 3 or 4 or however many cups of shredded pineapple. These look good, but I'm not a good enough baker to risk the time and expense on an imprecise recipe. Don't you have an editor there ?
Jeannie E. December 7, 2015
A couple of errors in this recipe. First, the ingredient list mentions 1 whole egg plus one egg yolk, for the dough...but the directions only mention the whole egg. Are we supposed to add both to the dough? Second, the directions say to make 8 3inch circles of dough... But don't say how we get to 3 1/2 to 4 dozen cookies. Are we supposed to divide the dough into 6 portions before rolling? Thanks for the guidance.