Raya isn’t Raya without pineapple tarts

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Let’s face it – no Hari Raya celebration is complete without a tantalising tray of pineapple tarts.

Called “Nastar” in the local language, pineapple tarts are basically a cookie with a pineapple filling that is wrapped in a buttery and crumbly pastry.

Some call them pineapple cakes (but they are not really cakes), pineapple shortcakes, pineapple cookies, or pineapple pastries. Regardless of its name, they are absolutely delicious.

The filling is made from fresh and juicy pineapples, cooked and reduced until golden in colour with the consistency of jam.

The recipe in this article is courtesy of an amazing Malaysian food blogger named Sonia at Nasi Lemak Lover.

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Pineapple filling

Ingredients

  • 3 Morris pineapples
  • 250g coarse sugar
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice

Method

  • Skin the pineapple. Cut away the core but keep a little to give the pineapple jam some bite. Cut pineapple into chunks.
  • Using a food processor, blend the pineapple chunks till fine (do not add water).
  • Sieve the processed pineapple to get rid of excess juice. You should be left with roughly 154g of pineapple flesh. Save the juice to drink later – it’s a great thirst-quencher.
  • Cook pineapple in a big wok over medium heat. Stir only occasionally.
  • After 10 mins, add in the sugar.
  • The pineapple jam will become watery again. Stir occasionally for about 15 minutes until the jam thickens again.
  • Reduce heat to low and add in lemon juice.
  • Continue stirring for about 25 minutes until the jam is thick (when jam sticks to the spatula).
  • The whole process of cooking the pineapple jam takes about 50 minutes.
  • When done, scoop out pineapple jam into a bowl and let it cool completely, preferably overnight. Do not cover.
  • Pineapple jam can be stored at room temperature for three to five days before being made into pineapple tarts.
  • Also freezes well for several months until ready for use.

Pastry

Ingredients : Makes 100 pineapple tarts

  • 350g butter
  • 100g condensed milk or sweetened creamer
  • 510g plain flour/all purpose flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 teaspoon milk for use as egg wash
  • 700g pineapple filling (homemade or store bought)

Method

  • Cream butter and condensed milk till light and fluffy.
  • Add egg yolk one at a time, and beat until combined.
  • Add flour and mix till dough is soft but not sticky.
  • Roll pineapple filing into a ball (8g) and roll dough into a ball as well (10g).Flatten the ball of dough and place the pineapple filling in the middle.
  • Bring the edges of the dough together and press lightly to seal.
  • Roll between your palms to shape into a smooth, round ball.
  • Cut a few lines on the top of the pineapple balls to create the look of a pineapple.
  • Apply egg wash with a brush.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 165 degrees Celsius for 23 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Allow to cool completely before storing in an air-tight container.

This article first appeared in rasamalaysia.com

Low Bee Yinn is a food blogger and cookbook author.