Chef’s secret to perfect pineapple tarts
Chef's secret to the perfect pineapple tarts is high-quality butter
Surprise friends and family with pineapple tarts so good, they won't believe you made them.
This week features a recipe by executive sous chef Anup Kumar of culinary school Allspice Institute. He makes the filling and dough from scratch.
The India-born chef, 30, first tasted pineapple tarts during Chinese New Year in 2011 when he moved here for work. He was so enamoured with the pastry, he learnt how to make it from other chefs and experimented to perfect his recipe.
I watched Chef Anup bake his pineapple tarts and grilled him for his secret. Each tart is sturdy but melts once you pop it in your mouth. The buttery goodness complements the pineapple filling beautifully.
If you dread the thought of grating fresh pineapple — don't. Chef Anup says it is perfectly fine to use a food processor to blitz the pineapple. The focus is on high-quality ingredients.
He said: "I use only fresh pineapple for the filling because it has a rich aroma and the flavour is authentic."
The real secret is in the butter, he revealed. "High-quality butter gives your pastry a rich flavour and plays an important part in getting the melt-in-the-mouth texture," he said.
"Even if you are a novice at baking, using quality butter will increase your chances of getting good results."
Recipe by Chef Anup Kumar
FOR PINEAPPLE FILLING (MAKES 50 TARTS)
5 pineapples, peeled and core removed
500g fine sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
5 star anise
¼ tsp salt
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 minutes 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 minutes 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.
FOR PINEAPPLE TART DOUGH
160g SCS unsalted butter, cubed (keep chilled until ready to use)
200g plain flour
50g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
1 beaten egg (for egg wash)
3 tsp water (if needed)
1/4 tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
2. Use a kitchen mixer with paddle attachment or food processor. Pour in flour, cornflour, icing sugar and salt into mixing bowl. Mix for a few seconds.
4. Add in egg yolks and beat until a dough is form. Add water if dough is too dry. Do not overbeat.
5. Remove dough from mixing bowl and shape into a ball.
6. Roll out dough on a flour-tossed board. Use cookie cutter to cut and shape dough.
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 minutes.
10. Allow tarts to cool before storing in air-tight containers.