This recipe was inspired by the pineapple tarts I see all over my native Malaysia (and other parts of Southeast Asia) around the Lunar New Year. Pineapples are first processed into a chunky puree and reduced over a steady flame, often with the addition of sugar and spice, turning all thick and jammy. You could use canned pineapple, but if you do, cut back on the sugar (I explain how below). This intense, lustrous jam is encased in an equally rich, crumbly dough. Of course these tarts symbolize wealth.
Featured In: These Bright, Tropical Tarts Translate to "Come Here, Wealth!" —Yi Jun Loh
medium pineapple, or 3 14-oz cans
vanilla pod, or 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
(50g) sugar, or more depending on the sweetness of the pineapple
1 3/4 cups
(220g) all-purpose flour
(115g) butter, cut into small cubes and chilled
(30g) caster sugar
For egg wash:
In This Recipe
Fresh pineapple: Remove the skin and eyes of the pineapple, and slice the pineapple flesh and core into medium-sized chunks. (I didn’t discard the core as I like how the texture it adds to the jam.) Canned pineapple: Strain the flesh and discard liquid. (You probably won’t need the sugar in step 3 if they were canned in syrup.)
Blend pineapple in a food processor/blender until semi-smooth (around 30 seconds on high). (If you still have small chunks of pineapple in the mix, that’s totally fine!)
Pour the blended pineapple into a wide pan/pot, then add in the sugar and spices (cinnamon, cloves, star anise, vanilla).
Let it simmer on medium heat until it reaches the consistency of a thick marmalade, which should take around 1-1 1/2 hours. Stir every 5 minutes or so to prevent any bits from catching on the bottom and burning. (It’s okay if you over-reduce it, it’ll make it even easier to work with when making the tarts!)
When the mixture thickens into a jammy consistency, remove the spices. Then taste and add more sugar if needed. (It should be tart and sweet but not cloyingly so.) Transfer the jam into a bowl/container and refrigerate when cool.
For the tart dough, first, sift the all-purpose flour, cornflour, and salt together, and place in a standing mixer with a paddle attachment. Add the cold cubes of butter into the flour mixture and mix on medium until it reaches a sandy texture (this should take 30-60 seconds). Then, whisk the sugar, egg yolks, and water together and add this to the flour mixture. Mix briefly until a dough forms. If still very crumbly, add one or two extra tablespoons of water until dough comes together. Roll the dough into a ball, flatten slightly, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375° F (190°C), and prepare a lined baking tray.
Take the dough out of the fridge, and knead it a few times to equalize the temperature all around the dough. On a well-floured surface, roll the dough out until 1/6-inch thick. (If you’re tight on space, divide the dough in half and work on them one by one.)
Cut circles out of the dough using a 3-inch ring cutter. Place 1 teaspoon (~8g) of the pineapple jam onto the center of the dough circles. Brush water around the rim of the circle with your finger, then gently fold in the sides in three parts to form a triangle, making sure they’re all tucked under each other on one end. Lightly pinch the three corners to ensure they hold their shape.
Place the hamantaschen on the lined baking tray, and brush a thin layer of eggwash on them. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until delightfully golden.