2 June 2007
With regards to the pineapple tarts recipes appeared in 'Delicious Asian Sweet Treats', is it strictly using rubbing-in method for this particular recipes, or can I use creaming method, meaning cream hard butter and icing sugar till well-mixed, then add egg yolk, followed by plain flour? Any differ in texture?Another question is which brands of plain flour did you use, beside plain flour, which are the types of flour best for pineapple tarts or tarts recipes? Please advise, thanks. Adeline.
You have posed very good and relevant questions. Quite a number of pineapple tart recipes out there use the creaming method. In the “Delicious Asian Sweet Treats” cookbook, the rubbing-in method is preferred. The rubbing-in method refers to cold butter being rubbed into flour using the tips of our fingers (the coolest parts of our hands). This ensures that the butter remain as cool as possible. The creaming method, on the other hand, is usually done in a mixer, where the butter is beaten with the sugar using the whipping attachments. This causes the butter to melt and become mushy and fluffy. If the dough is prepared using the creaming method, the dough will spread during baking, causing the tarts to lose their pretty patterns and round shape. That is why the rubbing-in method is preferred. If you find the rubbing-in method too tedious, you can make use of the spiral-shaped dough mixing attachments (usually used for kneading bread dough) that come with the electric mixer. Put the cubed butter, icing sugar and flour into the mixing bowl and mix the ingredients using the spiral attachments.
You may still use the standard creaming method. The tarts will turn out tasting delicious, (the texture will be similar) but the pretty patterns and round shape will be distorted.
Most brands of plain flour sold in Singapore are of good quality. I have tried several brands and have found no discernible differences among them. So I usually end up buying the ones that happen to be on sale!
I hope the above is helpful to you. Do write again if you have any questions.
Happy baking and take care!Warmest regards,
i bought your recipe book and it filled wif great menu!! But I have a problem here..for all the receipes in the book..I was told to mix the flour etc together with the mixture but Thats no indications of specific methods eg folding? mixing in clockwise method or?? hope you can revert to me asap..Thanx!!!
Hi, thank you for your support! I'm glad you like the recipes.
To answer your question, if there are no specific instructions for mixing the ingredients, it means that it does not really matter how you mix. You can do it with a spoon or by hand, clockwise or anti-clockwise.
If the instruction says to 'fold', then here a quick and light hand is required. Fold gently and avoid overmixing. I hope this helps clear up any doubts. Thank you for your feedback.
I enjoy receiving feedback and comments from readers because I get ideas and suggestions on how to improve my future publications. My next book is titled 'Delicious Asian Baked Treats'. If you would like to be informed as to when my next book will be out, just leave a mail at email@example.com with your name and email address.
Thank you and happy baking!Do write to me again if you have any questions regarding the recipes in the book.
15 February 2007
oilin,thanks for your reply. i baked some tarts on last sat based on your recipe. the tips you gave were really useful. i made sure i don't repeat the mistakes you highligted. the tarts i made turned out good. it was my first time baking pineapple tarts. i was really excited to bake more cos i only made about 50tarts. my tarts look huge. i call them jumbo pineapple tarts. i've some questions.
1) what's the proportion of tarts and jam that you used to make the enclosed type? i'm thinking of making it this time round. is it easier and less time counsuming compared to the open type?
2) the jam i made tend to be quite soft and wet (there's juice when i left the jam in a container to cool.)am i making the jam at the right consistency?hope to hear from you.
Congratulations on your baking success!
Here are the answers to your questions:
1. I usually enclose 1 level tsp pineapple jam in 1/2 level tablespoon of dough. I find this to be the best ratio. At the beginning, you may find it a little difficult to wrap because of the small amount of dough. But after some practice, it gets easier. However, feel free to use a little more dough for each ball of pineapple jam at the start. Then as you get better at wrapping, decrease the amount of dough till you reach the proportions mentioned above.
Making the closed type of pineapple tarts isn't easier or less time consuming. It all depends on what you prefer. As for me, I like making both and I find that both take up about the same amount of time and effort.
2. Oops! I think the jam that you made was a little too wet. There should not be any juice left at the bottom of the container. What you can do is, when the jam is almost stir-fried dry in the pot, leave it there using the lowest heat to further dry up any remaining juice. Do remember to stir it occasionally to prevent the jam from burning. But if you are in a hurry, then turn up the heat to medium, and stir-fry constantly till dry (but not too dry though).
However, if you like the taste of very moist pineapple jam, and if it is easy to handle and wrap with the dough, then it's ok to have your jam a little on the wet side.
Make your pineapple tarts the way you like them; there is no absolute right or wrong way!
8 February 2007
I baked some tarts according to your melt-in-your mouth recipe yesterday. Some questions:
1. I put the base of the tarts to bake in the oven for 6 mins, remove it, put on egg glaze, pineapple filling, criss cross design and brush egg glaze again, and finally into the oven for another 12 mins. Is this the correct method? Because you mentioned not to put the egg glaze before baking.
2. Chilling means putting in the dough in the freezer or just the fridge?
3.When I put the done tarts in my mouth, the tarts turn out kind of powdery and flour-ry instead of the melty feeling. How can I resolve this?
4. Why do we need to put the dough in the fridge for 1 hour before we roll it? Besides the reason of hardening it, Is it for the melt in your mouth texture?Thank you!Looking forward to your reply!
Thanks for organising and numbering your questions!
Here are the answers:
1. Yes, that is the correct method. When the tarts are baked during the first 6 minutes, they spread and expand a little. It is better to apply egg glaze AFTER the tarts have expanded, so that the entire rim of the tart is glazed. If the egg glaze was applied BEFORE baking, then the part of the tart that expanded will not have egg glaze. And the tarts won't look as attractive.
2. Chilling the dough means putting it in the fridge. Actually, you can start rolling the dough and cutting out the tarts without chilling the dough first. Sometimes that's what I do if I don't have time. However, I usually recommend first-time bakers to chill the dough, because it makes the dough so much easier to handle and roll. However, if you are an experienced baker, you would have no problem rolling and handling non-chilled dough. It does take practice though.
3. If the tarts taste powdery and flour-ry, you can try changing the brand of flour. Or use freshly bought flour from a store that has a high turnover rate; meaning their stocks are regularly replaced. Flour that has been sitting around on the shelf for a long time can taste 'funny' if not stored properly or if not used for a long time after the packet is opened.
Another way to make your tarts less 'flour-ry' is to increase the amount of sugar in the dough, perhaps add 2 more tablespoons.Lastly, you can increase the baking time. This helps bring out the flavour of the butter and sugar, which will then 'overpower' the taste of the flour.
4. The reason for chilling the dough is not so much as to harden it. Hardened dough is difficult to roll! Chilling is more for firming the dough up, so it's not so soft. When it's soft, beginner bakers find it frustrating to roll and handle. By the way, chilling the dough does not help make the tarts melt-in-the-mouth.
It's great that you make your own pineapple tarts! Not many people bake nowadays; I suppose everyone's really busy. But baking is also a form of relaxation. And when you get really good at it, you can even start a business!
Is me again! thanks for your great advice.. I have tried your another recipe on the 'crunchy' pastry for pineapple tarts.. the outcome is okay.. is really tasty! and more crunchy too as compared to the 'melt in the mouth' recipe..
but i have some problem here.. firstly, the pineapple balls don't stick to the pastry after i brought out 6mins from the oven for glazing. and when i try to glaze the egg yolks, the pastry was still kinda soft and the brush somehow affect the surface of the pastry.. what should i do?
also, the same problem, i do not get a nice yellow hue on my pastry even i brush only egg yolks.. and instead, it get burnt easily if i apply more.. why is tat so?? pls advice.. =(my oven have three layer.. i normally placed in the middle layer.. and normally few of the tarts get burnt on the bottom even i placed it in the middle rack.. any remedy?? (i suppose it get worst if i placed it at the bottom rack, and more tarts get burnt.)
i realise that the 15mins baking time after glazing the egg tarts seems too long for my tarts and it get burnt.. so i reduced the time to 10mins instead.. (though it still get burnt on certain parts of the tarts).. *sad* wat can i do to get a nice yellow hue as shown in your pics? (fyi, i'm using Moulinex Oven which i bought from Courts for 78 bucks)
lastly, i did not add any egg yolks to the flour mixture for this round.. the pastry is still manageable to me.. i simply apply some flour to the rolling pin..anyway thanks so much that I found your blog for more suggestion to improve my tarts.. u r simply great! and hope to hear from u soon on my problem I faced as new year is approaching and i really hope to succeed in making delicious and pretty tarts as shown in your pics ..
If the pineapple filling does not stick to the tart, simply press and flatten the filling lightly onto the tart - just a little pressure will do. The pineapple filling should not be too dry. If it's damp and moist, it sticks better. Or you can apply egg glaze over the middle of the tart, then place the filling over it.
Sometimes when I use a nylon bristled brush to glaze the egg yolk over the tarts, the brush picks up some dough and this causes the surface of the tart to become 'rough', instead of smooth. So I switched to using a brush with softer bristles. I bought mine from Phoon Huat baking store. I've heard of some bakers who use the kind of brush available at bookstores; the kind used for doing watercolour painting - the super soft bristled ones. But I've not personally used that.
If the top of the tarts burns easily, use the lowest shelf of your Moulinex oven, instead of the middle one. This is because the hottest parts of the oven are usually the top parts (since hot air rises!) And if the bottom of your tarts get burnt easily, you can use double trays. This means place a tray over a slightly larger one. If this still doesn't work, overturn the smaller tray and place on top of the bigger tray. This creates a layer of air within the two trays and this slows down the baking of the bottom of the tarts.
You can also lower the baking temperature by 10 degrees Celsius. That will definitely help. Or reduce the baking time by 5 minutes. Or do both!
Yes, Chinese New Year is coming and it's wonderful that you want to perfect the baking of pineapple tarts. There's such a sense of achievement when you present your loved ones with the treats that you've baked from scratch. No matter how they look, they ALWAYS taste better than the store-bought ones, simply because they were made with such love and care!A very happy lunar new year (in advance) to you and your loved ones!
I have read your blog on the pineapple tart pastry. I will try it this Saturday. *excited*However, could you kindly share with me the recipe for the filling?? I actually went to the link www.boostprints.com, realised the filling is made by Ripe pineapples. But i do understand that normally ‘not so ripe’ pineapples is used instead..therefore, i would appreciate if you could share the recipes of the ‘not so ripe’ pineapples filling to me..thank you so much.. I have tried preparing the filling before..but it was very hard that you can use as ‘gor li’ (marbles)..haha! therefore, i m determine to learnt the filling again this year to surprise my family..hee..oo…btw, could you kindly advise me what you guys meant by ‘1 portion’..as in the number of portions of filling refer to??For the recipes on the pastry and filling, how many tarts can it yield???I also realise that you did not include baking powder as part of your pastry recipes..any reason why?and for the unsalted butter, the quantity stated was 280g.. but u also stated ‘2 sticks and 1 tbsp’..wat does tat meant?lastly, can i exclude the sugar for the pastry?? cos i believe that the filling is sweet enough to fill in the sweetness of the tarts..
Thank you for your message.
With regards to the not-so-ripe pineapple filling recipe, it’s the same method and ingredients as the one you saw on www.boostprints.com. That recipe was taken from my cookbook 'Delicious Asian Sweet Treats'.
When cooking unripe pineapples, simply add more sugar till the taste of the filling is sweet enough for you.
I tried using unripe pineapples to cook the filling because I read somewhere that unripe pineapples are good for use in pineapple tarts. But after some experimenting, I went back to using sweet honey pineapples because I find that I do not need to add much sugar if the pineapple is sweet by itself.
If the pineapples you buy are too ripe and sweet for your liking, simply add a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice to the filling towards the end (when the filling is almost ready to be dished out). Always taste-test before you add more lemon juice. The lemon juice adds a little tangy zing to the pineapple filling!
I like to use honey pineapples because they taste fabulous! I usually buy them from this wholesaler shop located opposite Tiong Bahru MRT. They cost $3.50 for 4 pineapples! What a great bargain! (These honey pineapples cost $1.30 each at supermarkets) But you have to go during the day, because by evening, most of it would have been sold, and what’s left are the not-so-nice looking ones.
Guess what? I have made pineapple filling that is hard, chewy and tough-tasting too. That was because the filling was left cooking on the stove for too long. It became dry and hard. And after I used them in my pineapple tarts and baked them in the oven, they became harder still! So they didn’t taste that great. The solution to that is not to stirfry the filling for too long. Dish up the filling from the pot when it is semi-dry (but not too wet that it cannot be rolled into balls), bearing in mind that when it is baked in the oven later, it will dry up further.
Another way to prevent the pineapple filling from becoming too hard, is to add the sugar only at the end when the filling is almost ready, NOT when it is still watery. If sugar is cooked for too long, it caramelizes and hardens. After you add the sugar, the filling will become slightly watery. Simply leave it to be cooked till semi-dry before dishing it up.
1 portion of pineapple filling refers to the amount you get when you cook 1 pineapple. For example if you cook 2 pineapples, then you get 2 portions of pineapple filling.
For the pineapple tart recipe posted on this blog, it makes about 50 tarts (I think). I know it doesn’t sound a lot, but it really depends on how big your pineapple tart cutter is, how much pineapple filling you use and how thick you roll the dough.
I did not include baking powder because I like to keep my recipes as simple as possible for readers. Not everyone buys things such as baking powder cos they think that they’ll only use a little of it, before storing it in their pantry for a long time. I only use baking powder in my recipes if it is absolutely necessary. After all, it is a chemical, and I try to keep my recipes as chemical-free as possible. In the case of pineapple tarts, I find no difference in taste, whether I use baking powder or not (I’ve done experiments!). The only difference is that the dough expands a little more during baking and my tarts lose a little of their fluted edge patterns (which wasn’t what I wanted).
I wrote ‘2 sticks and 1 tbsp’ for the amount of butter. This is for the benefit of readers who don’t own a weighing scale and also for readers who are more used to the American way of measuring ingredients. 2 sticks is equivalent to 227g. (The brand Anchor butter comes in blocks of 227g each.) If you have a weighing scale, simply use the 280g measurement.
You can definitely omit the use of sugar in the pastry. For me, I included sugar in the dough because it helps to enhance the flavour of the flour and butter. But if the pineapple filling is sweet enough, then it is ok to omit sugar in the dough.
Do give the recipe a try. The difficult part may be in the rolling of the dough. Take a look at the tips I’ve written in the blog on how to make rolling the dough easier. And I’m sure everything will turn out fine!I hope the above has been useful to you. Keep me posted. I would love to know how the tarts turned out!
i have done my first trial of mine pineapple tarts... well..outcome...still quite okay...but there is still a few question i would like enquire from you..I have followed exactly of what you have stated in the recipes...the same brand ingredients (butter & vanilla essence)... but the pastry turns out to be very soft.. well, indeed i have achieved the 'melt-in-the mouth' texture..however, the pastry seems to be very 'fragile' on the outside..if our finger press slightly..crumbs will fall out...why is that so? and any 'remedy' to it??
if i increase the temperature, i'm afraid that it will get burnt...In my 1st batch,
i did not add any sugar..cos i thght tat the pineapple can some how add on the sweetness to the tart..but after it is done, i realise that it is too bland for my liking...So for my 2nd batch, i add sugar to it..in fact i add more than 2 tablespoon to enhance the sweetness..but the outcome turns out to be my tart become burnt! so i decided to reduce the temperature to 170 degrees celcius...outcome is still okay, but the sweetness is still not there...what should i do then?? cos i understand that sugar will affect the pastry texture rite??
And another problem i have is the temperature..do we need to adjust the temperature of the oven after the 1st batch of cookies? cos i realise the temperature seems to be too hot for the cookies...
lastly, my tarts dun turn out to be golden brown rather, it was kinda pale white..so i actually add some yellow food colouring...but it do not seems to help.. and i try to brush more egg yolk on the pastry, but the outcome is that it will get burnt easily den surface without much egg yolk glaze...what should i do den??
Thanks for sharing with me the results of your baking session!
Here is why the pineapple tarts turn out too soft and crumbly:
It could be that the butter used is not cold enough. If softened butter is rubbed into flour, the pastry may turn out soft after baking. To remedy this, take the butter straight out from the fridge just before cutting and rubbing it into the flour. Do not let the butter soften at room temperature before using it.
Also, do use only the fingertips to rub the butter into the flour. Our fingertips are the coolest parts of our hands, and this helps to prevent the butter from warming up too quickly while being rubbed into the flour. Using the palms would cause the butter to melt faster because our palms are warmer than our fingertips.
Another remedy is to add icing sugar (instead of caster sugar) to the dough. Icing sugar helps prevent the dough from spreading too much in the oven.
If all else fails, simply reduce the amount of butter to about 250g.
If your oven has two levels, use the lower one. Baking the pineapple tarts using the upper level in the oven causes the tops of the tarts to burn quickly.By the way, which parts of your pineapple tarts get burnt first? Is it the top part or the bottom? Let me know; I’ve got ways to remedy those problems.
Some ovens (over time) may have faulty thermostats, so the temperature you select may not accurately reflect the true internal temperature of the oven. If you have an oven thermometer, you can use it to measure the oven’s temperature. But it’s OK if you don’t have one. If 190 degrees Celsius seems too hot in your oven, lower it by 10 degrees Celsius and see how it goes.
Here’s another way to prevent the tarts from getting too crumbly and soft:
You don’t have to increase the temperature; you can bake the tarts longer instead. After baking, let the tarts rest for a few minutes on the baking tray before transferring them to a wire rack to cool. If the tarts are placed on a dish to be cooled, the bottoms may turn a little soggy (from the trapped heat) and this contributes to their ‘crumbliness’.
I do not usually adjust the temperature of the oven after the first baked batch. To bake the tarts at a constant temperature, I prepare three trays of unbaked pineapple tarts. Once the oven is preheated, I put in one tray. When that tray is baked, I remove it and immediately put in the second tray. And so on. (My oven is the medium sized type – placed on top of the kitchen counter top. It’s not the huge built-in kind of oven.)
If your oven is too hot after the first batch, you can either reduce the temperature or switch it off for a few minutes before turning it back on again.
Yes, I do agree that adding some sugar to the dough gives it flavour. To add sweetness to the dough and prevent the tarts from getting burnt, use icing sugar instead. Or how about this, use your dough to make the closed type of pineapple tarts – the bengawn solo kind. Closed tarts don’t burn that easily. And they taste fantastic too!
Colour of pineapple tarts:
To make the pastry part more yellow in colour, you can add one more egg yolk to your dough. If you do not wish to do that, you can take out the tarts halfway through the baking, and brush them with egg yolk glaze, then put them back in the oven to continue the baking process. In this way, the yolk glaze will not be burnt and yet give you that lovely yellow hue.
When it comes to baking, it all boils down to the details – the type of ingredients used, the mixing method, the assembling part, the baking, the cooling of the baked products and even the storage too. All these may seem quite tedious but it’s very satisfying when you bake a batch of pineapple tarts that you really like. Better still, if the success can be repeated every time!
I tried the recipe in this post... And for some reason, my "tart" is really crumbly! I can hardly pick the tart up! Do you know what happened? The tart is slightly better if I refrigerate it for a little while just before baking. But it's still really crumbly. It crumbles immediately upon biting. And I've got to pick it up REALLY slowly and lightly.Thanks a lot!
If the tarts are too crumbly, here's what you can do:
- reduce the amount of butter used by 30g, or
- increase the amount of flour by 40g, or
- bake the tarts longer.
Hope the above is useful. I do appreciate your comments and feedback. Keep them coming!