Lunar New Year

Pineapple Hamantaschen

February 11, 2018
2 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Makes 50
Author Notes

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!" —Jun

What You'll Need
  • Jam
  • 1 medium pineapple, or 3 14-oz cans
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 vanilla pod, or 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar, or more depending on the sweetness of the pineapple
  • Dough
  • 1 3/4 cups (220g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) butter, cut into small cubes and chilled
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) caster sugar
  • For egg wash:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. 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.)
  2. 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!)
  3. Pour the blended pineapple into a wide pan/pot, then add in the sugar and spices (cinnamon, cloves, star anise, vanilla).
  4. 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!)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Preheat oven to 375° F (190°C), and prepare a lined baking tray.
  8. 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.)
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Bea
  • Elizabeth Evon
    Elizabeth Evon
  • Jun
  • caitolawso

10 Reviews

caitolawso May 4, 2020
I don't quite understand how in step six sentence three, when beginning the dough, it calls for adding "sugar, egg yolk, and water" what water? The 1Tbs water from the egg wash?
Jess May 18, 2018
I was so excited to make this recipe. Unfortunately, the cookies were really disappointing, especially given the amount of work they require. The jam was tasty, but the texture weird. The pastry is eh. About a third of my triangle broke open. I would not recommend these cookies.
Jun May 24, 2018
I'm so sorry to hear that, Jess. Would love to hear your suggestions on improving it!

As for the triangles opening up (during baking I presume?), perhaps dabbing a bit more water on the pastries as you fold, and pinching the edges tighter would help them hold their shape better.
Bea February 22, 2018
I absolutely love this recipe!! It was no problem making the jam. I'm used to making marmalade so it was easy peasy. Now, for the taste... OMG.its so damn DELICIOUS. Everyone loved them and the tart itself was really good. With a few I sprinkled some toasted coconut just for me and it was divine. Bravo***
Jun February 22, 2018
Thanks Bea, I'm so glad you liked it! :)
Elizabeth E. February 14, 2018
The recipe says cornstarch but the directions says corn flour, which one?
Jun February 14, 2018
Hi Elizabeth! Ah sorry, it should all say cornstarch, I'm just used to the British way of calling it cornflour. It's a habit I need to kick. Sorry about that!
Katcha M. February 12, 2018
My family is from Malaysia and I have been thinking about making pineapple tarts for a million years! I absolutely cannot wait to try these, so brilliant to turn them into hamantaschen. I have found the tarts in Malaysia are a little more salty than the ones found elsewhere (such as Taiwan), so I may add a pinch to the jam as well.
Nancy M. February 12, 2018
While I would love to get rich, I think I would have to employ someone to stir the pineapple every 5 minutes for 1 1/2 hours because I am certainly not going to do it, and I'm not rich enough yet to afford to hire this person. What to do, what to do.....
Jun February 13, 2018
Haha it'll be worth it though! If you're feeling particularly brave, you could try keeping it on a really low heat and stir every 20 minutes or so! It might take longer overall however.