With Chinese New Year just right round the corner, we try out five pineapple tarts that give the traditional CNY confection a unique spin – think adorable rat-shaped tarts flecked with gold dust, to one that pretty much had our tastebuds on fire tingling.
 
Watch the video below for our verdict!
 

 

1 Fortune Pineapple Cake – Sunny Hills

 
 
What: Sandwiched together with the pineapple filling is a salted egg yolk custard that's specially concocted by Sunny Hills, which is famous for its brick-like pineapple cake. This one's also more of a cake, with a chewier pastry instead of the crumbly pastry shell of regular pineapple tarts. It comes in a gift box that comprises four Pineapple Fortune Cakes, as well as four Apple PingAn Cakes with Japanese Kougyoku apple compote. Another must-try from the Taiwanese brand: the D24 Durian Roll, French langue de chat cookie made with premium D24 durian cultivated in Pahang, Malaysia.
 
Price: CNY Cakes Gift Set, $45 for a box of 8 (4 Pineapple Fortune Cakes and 4 Apple PingAn Cakes)
 
Visit ww.sunnyhills.com.sg to order or for its store locations.
 
 

2 Golden Rat Pineapple Tarts – Goodwood Park Hotel

What: To celebrate the year of the Rat, Goodwood Park Hotel has created these pineapple tarts lovingly handcrafted in the shape of little rats. Generously stuffed with the chef’s proprietary pineapple jam, these adorable morsels are even topped with edible gold dust – ideal as gifts that'll definitely impress.

Price: $48.80 for a box of 10, available till 8 Feb 2020.
 
Visit http://festivepromotions.goodwoodparkhotel.com to order.
 
 

3 Peranakan Pineapple tarts – Baker's Brew

What: The classic pineapple tart gets a twist with the addition of cheese to the buttery pastry (though we found this a tad too crumbly). But the Thai pineapple paste, which is fresh, fruity and addictive, gets our nod of approval.

Plus, they come in the prettiest Peranakan-themed tin that would add a cheerful, festive touch to your snack table. 
 
Price: $26.80 for a tin (approximately 550g)
 
Visit www.bakersbrew.com to order or for its store locations.
 
 

4 SIAO La – Mala Pineapple Tarts – Pineapple Tarts Singapore

What: Fans of mala hotpot will want to get their hands on this mala-flavoured confection, which has a spicy, savoury kick that surprisingly complements the sweet pineapple jam. For those of you who prefer your tarts a little less adventurous, its original and cheese-flavoured pineapple tarts with a melt-in-your-mouth texture also get our thumbs up.

 
Price: $31.90 for a bottle of 20.
 
Visit www.pineappletarts.sg to order.
 

5 Can You Take The Heat? Pineapple Tarts Singapore Spicy Challenge – Pineapple Tarts Singapore

 
What: If you're all for embracing the burn, this is one pineapple tart you'll want to try. Studded with spicy chilli bits, it definitely packs a fiery punch. In fact, Pineapple Tarts Singapore made this a challenge: Finish five of these spicy pineapple tarts in three minutes and you'll get a $50 voucher for your next purchase!
 
Price: $10 for a bottle of 5
 
Visit www.pineappletarts.sg to order.
 

 

Recipe: Pineapple Tarts 

(Yields approximately 50 pineapple tarts)/ Source: The New Paper Text: Hedy Khoo, columnist) 

 
Want to try making your own instead? Check out this recipe from executive sous chef Anup Kumar of culinary school Allspice Institute. He shows you how to make the perfect pineapple tarts, just in time for Lunar New Year.
 
 
Photo: Phyllicia Wang for The New Paper
 
Yield: 50 tarts
 
INGREDIENTS
For pineapple filling
  • 5 pineapples, peeled and core removed 
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 cloves
  • 500g fine sugar
  • 5 star anise
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
 
For tart dough
  • 160 g SCS unsalted butter, cubed (keep chilled until ready to use)
  • 200g plain flour
  • 25g corn flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tsp water (if needed)
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1 beaten egg (for egg wash)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
 
METHOD

PINEAPPLE FILLING

1. Cut pineapples into chunks and place in food processor to blend.
2. Put blended pineapple into large pot. Add cinnamon, star anise, cloves and salt. Heat mixture and bring to simmering boil. Cook for 45 mins to an hour over medium heat until filling thickens.
3. Add in half of the sugar first. Stir and taste. Add remaining sugar gradually. Adjust to your preferred sweetness.
4. Continue cooking pineapple mixture over medium heat for 15 to 20 mins until thick and golden. Filling should be sticky and not have any visible moisture. Turn off the heat.
5. Allow filling to cool and remove cinnamon, star anise and cloves.
6. Store in air-tight container in refrigerator until ready to use.
 

PINEAPPLE FILLING

1. Cut pineapples into chunks and place in food processor to blend.
2. Put blended pineapple into large pot. Add cinnamon, star anise, cloves and salt. Heat mixture and bring to simmering boil. Cook for 45 mins to an hour over medium heat until filling thickens.
3. Add in half of the sugar first. Stir and taste. Add remaining sugar gradually. Adjust to your preferred sweetness.
4. Continue cooking pineapple mixture over medium heat for 15 to 20 mins until thick and golden. Filling should be sticky and not have any visible moisture. Turn off the heat.
5. Allow filling to cool and remove cinnamon, star anise and cloves.
6. Store in air-tight container in refrigerator until ready to use.
7. Arrange cut dough on a baking tray. Lightly brush on a thin coat of egg wash on the cut dough.
8. To assemble, take a teaspoon of filling, shape into a ball and place it on the cut dough. Gently tap so the filling sticks to the dough.
9. Bake for 15 to 18 mins.
10. Allow tarts to cool before storing in air-tight containers.

Hedy Khoo is the columnist for The New Paper’s HED CHEF which features Asian cuisine and recipes. You can follow Hedy on her Instagram account @hedchefhedykhoo for more of her culinary adventures.

Recipe: Anup Kumar, Hedy Khoo / Photo: The New Paper