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I love making pineapple tarts during Chinese New Year, seeing my family members enjoying the buttery tarts over tea and bonding together brings me tremendous joy. So I have made the traditional type of pineapple tarts in open faced shape, pineapple shape, heart shape, flower shape, and also bunny shape. Here is something different from the usual–the addition of parmesan cheese. Imagine pineapple tarts that are ultra buttery that it melts in your mouth, comes the aroma of the cheesy saltiness, then the sweet tartness of the spiced pineapple jam. These buttery cheesy pineapple tarts are to die-for, quoted by my sister’s family and my Italian BF. They just can’t stop munching and one bake is not enough to satisfy them LOL.
What are pineapple tarts?
Before I go on, for my dear readers who are new to this Chinese New Year cookie, pineapple tart is a cookie filled or topped with pineapple jam. This is commonly available in Southeast Asia and different countries have different names for this — Peranakan pineapple tarts or Kuih Tart in Singapore; Kueh Tae, Kuih Tair, or Kuih Tat Nanas in Malaysia; 鳳梨酥 (fèng lí sū) in Taiwan; and Kue Nastar in Indonesia.
The origin of the pineapple tart dates back to the 16th century from the Peranakans, descendants of the Chinese immigrants who arrived at the Malay Peninsula (Malacca(, and tied the knots with the locals. Their culinary was highly influenced by the local Malay communities as well as the Portuguese when these Europeans conquered Malacca in the 16th century.
The making of these buttery cheesy pineapple tarts are actually not difficult. The recipe follows that of my usual pineapple tarts, the only change is to add grated parmesan cheese into the dough and sprinkling these cheese over the tarts before baking for that extra cheesiness.
How long can I keep the buttery cheesy pineapple tarts?
These cheesy pineapple tarts rarely last more than a week. You can store it at room temperature for up to 3 days in a sealed airtight container, but because it contains cheese, it’s best kept in the fridge. Once in the fridge, you can keep up to a month if stored in an airtight container.
Watch how to make Cheesy Pineapple Tarts 芝士凤梨酥 on YouTube
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Buttery Cheesy Pineapple Tarts 芝士凤梨酥 (Kue Nastar)
- 160 g unsalted butter cubed and chilled
- 200 g plain flour can be substituted with cake flour
- 25 g corn starch or corn flour (in Asia)
- 50 g Stevia sweetener
- 2 egg yolks about 60g in total
- 1 egg beaten for egg wash
- 300 g pineapple jam homemade or store-bought, rolled into balls
- 75 g grated parmesan cheese and more to sprinkle over the pineapple tarts
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- Cut 160g cold butter into small cubes (about 1.5cm) and chill in fridge until ready to use.160 g unsalted butter
- Add 200g plain flour, 25 g corn starch, 50 g Stevia sweetener, 1/4 tsp fine salt into a food mixer with paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for a few seconds.200 g plain flour, 25 g corn starch, 50 g Stevia sweetener, 1/4 tsp fine salt
- Add cold butter cubes to mixed flours.
- Beat on low speed until the mixture turns sandy.
- Beat 2 egg yolks. Add the egg yolks into the mixture and beat on low speed until a rough dough is formed. Do not overbeat as we will need to add grated cheese and mix further.2 egg yolks
- Add 75g grated parmesan cheese and mix on low speed briefly until a consistent dough is formed.75 g grated parmesan cheese
- Wrap the dough in cling wrap and let rest in fridge for 30 minutes.
- Roll out a dough ball (about 13g), make a hole in the middle, place pineapple jam (about 8g) in, gently push the edge of the dough to cover the pineapple jam completely. Roll into a round ball.300 g pineapple jam
- Beat 1 egg to make egg wash.1 egg
- Place the dough balls on a non-stick baking tray (or parchment paper on baking sheet) at least 1-2 inches apart.Apply a thin coat of egg wash evenly.
- Sprinkle more grated parmesan cheese on top of each dough ball.
- Bake in pre-heat oven at 170C / 338F (convection oven) or 180C / 356F (conventional oven) for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.Note: before baking, if the dough is soft, chill in the fridge for about 5-10 minutes before baking it. The dough should ideally be a little more firm when it's put into the oven.
- Allow the pineapple tarts to cool for about 30-60 min before storing in air-tight containers.Note: it's normal if the pineapple tarts crack a little when it's fresh out of the oven.