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Pineapple Tarts 2015




Chinese New Year is round the corner! :)

Decided to try to make some pineapple tarts ourselves! This time round, I decided to make the pineapple jam from scratch - Having a baby means I take more care in eating real food ;p

And yes, homemade jam really tastes better, and you know there's no preservatives, and you can control the sugar level!

I love how the jam goes together with the slightly melt-in-mouth cookie base. A little nostalgic childhood taste :)


Not sure about you, but I really love my pineapple jam to be packed with spices - probably because that's the kind I eat since young!




These round balls of pineapple jam were not perfectly round because they were my first try on open tarts! For enclosed tarts, the pineapple jam needs to be really dry. For the open ones, I prefer to leave them slightly wetter (but not too wet like these!), as they will continue to dry out in the oven baking.

To choose nice, ripe pineapples for these tarts, simply smell the bottom of the pineapples. They should have this sweet, fragrant pineapple smell!


Homemade Pineapple Jam (Recipe adapted from Jo the Tart Queen)
Ingredients:
- 1 pineapple *I used Morries, Malaysia pineapple
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 star anise
- 1 clove
- 80g to 100g sugar, depends on preference




Method:
1. Peel and remove the “eyes” of the pineapple.

2. Grate the pineapple using a box grater into a large bowl. Discard the core of the pineapples; it is too tough to break down even after cooking, unless you like that texture in your pineapple paste.

3. Drain the grated pineapples with a sieve and place the grated pineapples into a large surface area pot. Save the pineapple juice for later. Add 20g of the sugar and spices in the pot at this point. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon.

4. Bring the pot to a boil at medium-high heat. Once it start to boil, lower the heat to medium and stir it occasionally, be sure not to allow it to burn.

5. Start adding the pineapple juice to the pot a ladle at a time until all the juice has been boiled away.

6. The juice will start to evaporate and dry out. The mixture should start to look dry and its color should be darker by now. Turn the heat to low and continue cooking until the mixture looks very dry and coats the wooden spoon without any moisture. Add in the rest of the sugar to taste towards the end of cooking.

7. Take the pot off the heat and allow the jam to cool completely once it looks dry and sticky. The colour would also be an indication of its doneness.

8. Take note that the jam will continue to thicken after it is cooled so it is best not to overcook the mixture. It is better to under-cook it, for you can always put it back on the heat if it is still not at the right consistency.

9. After the pineapple jam is cooled, discard the spices, cling wrap it and store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a 3-4 weeks.




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