Freshly and Lovingly Baked on : 26th Jan 2014
To be very honest, I really resisted making pineapple tarts, almond biscuits and whatever Chinese New Year goodies which is sprouting up faster than I can say Gong Xi Fatt Choy during this CNY period. Why am I expected to make the norm? Why? And why is everyone buying ready made pineapple paste to make pineapple tart? The very purpose of home baking is to provide the best ingredients for the family and friends. It should be done from scratch! Fresh pineapples chopped and cook down. Exercise those biceps people! Do not go for the short cut!
Alright, I am not going to work my bicep that much this year. I am older and I have pass that herd instinct stage. I like to do things my way. I do not like the norm AND I AM NOT GOING TO MAKE TRADITIONAL PINEAPPLE TART. Alright, I shall stop ranting before you think that I am a nut case and need to go for anger management class. haha.
So here goes: My version of “pineapple tart”. I titled this 花开富贵.Y(^_^)Y
1) Dried pineapple
2) Pineapple Pastry Cream
In this entire project, fresh pineapples are used. I deliberated if I should use canned given the syrup in the canned version might be useful to accentuate the pineapple taste. However, I cannot get pass the preserved fruits thing. So I just bite the bullet and go for the fresh one. Its very troublesome but I love the intense fresh fruit taste. I use kitchen towel to dry the chopped up fruits to prevent excessive liquid in the batter.
For the garnishes, I started a day ahead to dry the fruits in the oven. I dried this pineapple the same way which I did for my butter cake project. But this time, am wiser. You really need to slice this pineapple really really thin. Toweled dry as much of the pineapple as much as you can. In this project, I basically cut the pineapple into smaller pieces so that I can stacked it to look like flower.
Place the fresh pineapples onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake these golden slices at 190 degree for 30 minutes or until dried on top. Half way through, Flip sides and baked for the remaining amount of time.
Once done, take it out and cool it down. Keep these in a airtight container for up to 3 days.
Next prepare the pastry cream.
Ingredients: (adapted from Sherry Yard’s Pastry Cream recipe)
1/2 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Pineapple Puree
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour or Cornstarch (I used Cornstarch in this bake)
A pinch of Salt
1 1/2 large eggs Chilled
1/2′Tbsp Softened Unsalted Butter
To further accentuate the taste of the pineapple, I dried some thicker slices of pineapples. I did not let it dried up but dry enough to have a more intense flavour. I chopped them up and stir into the pastry cream just before assembling the parts.
Sift the Cornstarch and stir in 1/8 Cup sugar and Salt. Mix well and set aside.
Prepare a nonstick pot and bring the milk, pineapple puree, vanilla extract, and 1/8 cup of Sugar to simmer.
While waiting for it to be heated up, beat the eggs with a whisk in a large bowl. Add the sifted cornstarch mixture and whisk till fluffy.
Once the milk mixture came to a simmer, remove from heat. Ladle some of the heated mixture into the whisked egg batter and stir well.After which, pour this egg batter into the pot whisking continuously. Return the pot to the heat and whisk rapidly until it thickened. That should take less than 1 min. Continue to cook and whisk it for another 2 to 3 minutes until it achieved the texture of a pudding.
Then strain the pastry cream through a fine strainer. Stirred in the butter and ensure that it is well incorporated.
Scoop the pastry cream into a clean dry container. Cover it with a clingwrap. Ensure the clingwrap touches the cream directly as this will help prevent a film from producing. Let it cool down to room temperature and chill it thereafter. It can be chilled up to 3 days.
280g All Purpose Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
1.5 Egg yolks
1/2 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 Tsp Salt
165g Unsalted butter ( Cold and diced)
4 Tbsp Ice Cold Water
I do not have a food processor so I did everything in my trusted Kitchen Aid.
Mix the wet ingredients up in a separate bowl.
Sift APF and the baking power together into the mixer bowl.
Add in the cold diced butter into the flour mixture and process till it resembled crumbs. Then pour in the wet ingredients before adding in the chilled water. Mix well until it form a dough.
Gather it up into a ball. Wrap it up in clingwrap and refrigerate for 1 hr.
I used square molds for the tarts. It is enough for 8 squares of tarts with each around 7 cm by 7cm.
Bake it at 190 degree for 15 mins and let cool.
Scoop a desired amount of pastry cream into the tart and arrange the dried pineapple into a flower shape. Crush some tarts and stir in coloured sugar and use it to fill up the centre portion as buds.