Pineapple Tarts, to me, are the best festive cookie in the world! And I know many Singaporeans and Malaysians will agree with me on that. I have zero willpower when there is a plate of kuih tart in front of me, I can never stop at a sensible number!
Originally published on LinsFood.com
Estimated reading time: 12 minutes
Table of contents
- What does the Malay word “Kuih” Mean?
- Pineapple Tarts Recipe with Condensed Milk
- Best Melt in Your Mouth Pineapple Tarts Recipe
- Homemade Pineapple Jam
- Can you make ahead Pineapple Tarts dough?
- Eggless Pineapple Tarts
- Tips for Making Kuih Tart
- Pineapple Tarts Prep and Cook Times
- How long can you keep Pineapple Tarts?
- How many calories are in a pineapple tart?
- Why do pineapple tarts turn mouldy?
- More Eid Recipes
- Images by LinsFoodies
- Comments by LinsFoodies
What does the Malay word “Kuih” Mean?
There is no direct translation for this Malay word. It refers to a sweet, and can be baked goods, steamed or even fried.
However, the word will not include cakes, which is kek in Malay. In plural, we say kuih-muih, which also describes a variety of sweet delights.
Pineapple Tarts Recipe with Condensed Milk
Our pineapple tarts recipe here is my late granny’s, and one I’ve been using since I was about 8! And it has a small amount of condensed milk in it, which is very handy for our eggless pineapple tarts recipe (also given below).
The pastry isn’t sweet because of it, as in the traditional recipe, we’re only using 1 Tbsp. In the eggless version, there is only a hint of sweetness, like sweet shortcrust pastry.
When I make these for Eid, they never fail to remind me of her.
Best Melt in Your Mouth Pineapple Tarts Recipe
I’ve tweaked my granny’s recipe ever so slightly, but it still remains true to the one we used as kids, right down to the way I mix everything up, and even the brand of butter we use.
Funny really, I’ve discovered better butter brands for cakes, but when it comes to my kuih tart, I only ever use Anchor!
Our shortcrust dough is just slightly lighter, almost crumbly, which gives the cookie an almost melt in the mouth texture, the way I like it.
Pineapple Tarts Cookie Cutters
You need special cutters for the tarts (only available in said countries), ones that cut the pastry while making an indentation for the jam filling at the same time.
These days, the “kuih tart” cutters have grooves that will create a pattern on the cookies, see the image above. However, when we were young, we used to have to make these patterns using pastry crimpers, or sepit, in Malay. See image above, that’s my grandma’s almost-100-year old crimper!
Imagine making 1 000 little tarts, cutting them, filling them and then crimping them! My older brother used to roll out the dough and cut, my two younger siblings and I filled and my older sister crimped.
As we grew older, our responsibilities changed, and the younger ones would move on to the more difficult part of the assembly line!
A labour of love!
I still remember how our pineapple tarts had a reputation all of their own – my granny would receive orders by the thousands! And it followed us everywhere we went.
Once someone tasted our kuih tart, there was no turning back. Every year until I left Singapore for the UK, I’d get asked for “a favour”! Paid favours of course, and by the dozens!
Homemade Pineapple Jam
The pineapple tarts are filled with homemade pineapple jam (image below) which is simplicity itself. All you do is chop up the pineapple finely in a chopper and cook away on the stove. We add some sugar as well as a couple of cloves and a small cinnamon stick, for flavour.
The jam will last a week in the fridge and any leftover can also be eaten with bread and butter.
Can you make ahead Pineapple Tarts dough?
Kuih Tart dough can be made earlier and kept in the fridge for up to 2 days. Leave it at room temperature for 10 minutes before you start working on it.
It can also be frozen, like most other pastry. My advice is to freeze it for up to 3 months, but
as you can see from one of the old comments left on LinsFood, one of my readers went 4 months with no problems.
Making Pineapple Tarts without the specialist cutters
Of course, you can always make these in the shape of ordinary jam cookies, or thumbprint cookies.
In fact, it has been quite fashionable for quite a while to make pineapple tarts into tiny rolls (called nastar), very popular and traditional in Indonesia. But let’s face it, these are much prettier!
Eggless Pineapple Tarts
My girls are allergic to eggs, so when I make kuih tart just for us (instead of clients and students), I make an eggless version.
All we do is:
- replace the egg with 70g (1/4 cup) condensed milk. So that will be the 70g PLUS 1 Tbsp the recipe already calls for.
- we also add 1/4 tsp baking powder sifted with the flour. Eggs also have lifting properties, and that’s what we’re replacing, to ensure that our tarts’ pastry remains soft and airy.
Tips for Making Kuih Tart
The more you make them, the more you’ll get to know the process and will find it easier. Unfortunately, as this is only done once or twice a year, there is not a whole lot of practice opportunities. So here are a few things to help you:
- you may not need all the butter. Every ingredient is different. Your butter may have slightly more moisture than the one I’m using. Your flour may absorb more moisture. Also, I live in a low humidity and cool country.
>> So stick with the flour amount, but don’t use all the butter to begin with, as I have written in the recipe card below.
- Use a sheet of plastic or cling film to roll out the dough. This will not only stop the dough from sticking to your rolling pin but it will also create a smoother surface. The cling film will lose its sticky feel very quickly as you use it.
- Dip the cutter into the flour, shake off excess, then cut, after every 2-3 cuts! Trust me or it’ll stick!
- In the recipe card below, I suggest putting the dough in the fridge for 10 minutes. We never did this in hot and humid Singapore, but the reason I suggest you do so is:
1. for first timers, I’m not there to help you ensure the dough is of the right texture. If it’s too soft, placing it in the fridge will allow you to cut it better.
2. for the same reason, the pattern will stay on better if your dough is softer than it’s meant to be.
Pineapple Tarts Prep and Cook Times
A note about the times listed here. On the recipe card, I’ve given you the time it will take to make the dough, cut, fill and bake 1 tray of about 24 kuih tarts. Let me break down the prep and cook time so we can work out how long it’s going to take us to make the amount here.
Did I mention “labour of love”?
- Getting ingredients ready: 10 minutes
- Making pastry/dough: 10 minutes
- Chilling: 10 minutes
- Rolling and cutting 1 tray of 24 tarts: 10 minutes
- Filling with jam (1 tray x 24 tarts): 5 minutes
- Cook time of 1 tray of 24 tarts: 15 minutes
Total for 1 tray of 24 tarts: 1 hour
120 tarts = roughly 5 trays. All you need to multiply is the rolling, cutting, filling and baking times.
10 + 5 + 15 = 30 minutes
So total rolling, cutting and baking time for 5 trays = 30 minutes x 5 = 150 minutes.
Unless you bake 2 trays at a time, which is what I do, so it’ll be 90 minutes.
Don’t forget the initial prep work though! That was 30 minutes in all (ingredients, making dough and chilling).
So add that to our times above.
Baking 1 tray at a time = Total time will be 3 hours.
Baking 2 trays at a time = Total time will be 2 hours.
Phew! Good thing I enjoy maths!
How long can you keep Pineapple Tarts?
Traditional homemade pineapple tarts can last up to 4 weeks, if kept in an airtight container. However, I’ve had them after 5-6 weeks and they were still edible. Personally, I think they are nowhere near as good after 3 weeks, the dough takes on a softer feel.
Eggless pineapple tarts, in my opinion, should be eaten within 2 weeks. As they aren’t as crisp to begin with, they don’t survive as long.
How many calories are in a pineapple tart?
With my recipe here, each pineapple tart has 48 calories. Bear in mind, that the amount of pineapple jam in the tart will affect this figure. Take a look at my recipe card below, and you’ll have a brief nutritional breakdown.
Why do pineapple tarts turn mouldy?
- they weren’t cooked well enough – you need to ensure that the dough has a chance to fully cook through, a light golden beige is the colour we aim for. If unsure, just break a tart in half and taste the tart.
- storage conditions – in an airtight container in a cool dry place is the best. But hey, I grew up in Singapore, which is seriously hot and humid, and we never had a problem! So the first reason above is the most important.
Gosh, that’s probably more information that you were expecting!
Shall we get our aprons on?
More Eid Recipes
Head on over to the still-growing Eid Recipes page for more ideas for Raya.
Images by LinsFoodies
Comments by LinsFoodies
As you know, this recipe’s been moved from its original site, LinsFood. Unfortunately, all the many, many comments can’t be transferred over (nor the hundreds of ratings!). So here are just a handful of comments for posterity!
I tried your recipe today and it was a success. I took your advice to use milk in place of condensed milk and it worked well. Also made it enclosed. The dough was rather dry and crumbly initially but it turned out well once rolled into balls. I also gave it an egg wash for a more auspicious colour. Thanks so much for gifting us with this recipe.Sheryl
Thank you for the recipe and video. The instruction is easy to follow. My girls love the tarts. Will make another batch for Eid as this one won’t last the week.Siti S
Firstly, you’re beautiful. There’s a certain calm on your face, and I so need that in my time of anxiety. I was reading Crazy Rich Asians (as an escape route, to be honest), and there’s a mention of pineapple tarts somewhere … . Thank you, thank you so, so much!Meghana
Great recipe, making the eggless version for Diwali. We tested them yesterday and they are amazing, thank you!Devika
Hi Azlin, thank you very much for this recipe. I’m so glad that you are sharing a treasured family recipe. When I was a child, I remember making with my granny for Raya too, but we never wrote the recipe down … Yours are so pretty and from your description, I know we are going to love them. Thank you!Khadijah
Just had a trial run with this recipe yesterday, for Raya. They are the best pineapple tarts I’ve had. Thank you!Fauziah
♥ If you like the recipe and article, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Thank you! ♥
And if you make the recipe, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood
Pineapple Tarts Recipe (Resepi Kuih Tart)
- 700 g plain flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tbsp condensed milk at room temperature
- 400-500 g salted butter, at room temperature (14 oz – 17.5 oz)
- 1 portion pineapple jam
- a bowl with extra plain flour for dusting
Eggless Pineapple Tarts
- 700 g plain flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 70 g condensed milk, at room temperature
- 1 Tbsp condensed milk, at room temperature PLUS this amount too
- 400-450 g salted butter, at room temperature (14 oz – 1 lb)
- 1 portion pineapple jam
- a bowl with extra plain flour for dusting
Making Pineapple Tarts Pastry
- Sift the flour.
- Whisk the egg and condensed milk with a wooden spoon until combined.
- Add 400g (14oz) of the butter and mix in as much as is possible. You will most likely not get a smooth mix, and that's perfectly fine. The only way to get it smooth is with an electric mixer which we are not using here, as you will end up with a dough that's way too soft. It will get smooth as we add the flour.
- Add the sifted flour and mix it in by using cutting motions with your spoon (or pastry cutter), i.e., north-south, east-west. If your dough feels too dry and crumbly, add more butter, bit by bit, but remember, we want to be gentle and not knead the dough. Just use your fingertips, see the video.You will probably not need all the butter.
- Now, using your fingers, bring it all together lightly, do not knead.
- Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 10 minutes, no longer as the dough will be too brittle.
Rolling, Cutting and Filling Pineapple Tarts
- On a floured surface, roll the dough out to a depth of about ½ cm (⅕ in). Remember to place cling film on the dough before rolling.
- Dust a small amount of flour on the surface of your pastry and very lightly spread it out with your fingers. This will aid in the pastry not sticking to the cutter.
- Using your cutter, cut out shapes (dip in flour!) and place on cookie sheet. If your oven takes 2 trays at once, fill 2 cookie sheets.
- Preheat oven to 160˚C/310˚F (Fan 140°C).
- Fill the tart shells with jam, being careful not to overfill them. To me, they look rather unsightly when the jam is bulging out almost like a ball. Place the dough back in the fridge while filling the cut out tarts.
Bake ’em, Dano
- Bake the pineapple tarts for 15-18 minutes until a pale golden colour, not brown. We are going for a beige look!If your oven runs cool, you may need more time, the full 18 minutes. One of my readers had to cook hers for 22 minutes each tray because her tarts were just not browning!Also, the thicker your tarts, the more time you will need.And, if baking 2 trays at a time, the one on the lower shelf will probably need 2-3 minutes more.
- Repeat the whole rolling, cutting and filling with the rest of the pastry.
- When cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature, every layer lined with baking/parchment paper to prevent sticking. They will keep for 2-3 weeks easily, that is, if they don’t get eaten up first!
Eggless Pineapple Tarts
- Sift the flour and baking powder.
- Beat the butter with a wooden spoon for 30 seconds.
- Add all the condensed milk and mix thoroughly with the wooden spoon.
- Follow the rest of the recipe as above and bake for and additional 3-5 minutes until you get a very light brown golden colour. The reason for the extra cooking time is because they are eggless, they tend to get softer as the days go by, so I like to give them a good crisp start.