These Pineapple Cakes or Pineapple Tarts (Feng Li Su in Taiwanese) are a delightful pastry of pineapple jam covered in a flaky shortbread crust.
I ended up buying two cans of pineapple because they were on sale. I knew I would use the juice to make Hawaiian Bread, but I struggled to come up with what to make with the fruit. My friend Tola suggested a stir fry with beef and peppers and the chunk pineapple, but I knew my guys would never go for it. Then I remembered the Pineapple Cakes someone always brought into the office for Chinese New Years.
They were these delicious little squares of flaky crumbly crust filled with a scrumptious pineapple filling. Oh yeah, that’s what I wanted. But, I had no idea what they were called or how to describe them in order to search for a recipe.
I went with a simple “Chinese pineapple filled…” and up popped a bunch of recipes from a variety of Asian cultures: Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, etc. I found out many commercial bakeries in Asia use part pineapple and part Winter Melon for the filling. I had no idea what Winter Melon was, and I only wanted pineapple anyway. And after more digging I found they are called Feng Li Su in Taiwan where they have the square shape I remembered.
I ended up mixing and matching a few different recipes because More Than Bread used fresh pineapple, but the crust ingredients looked like it would make the shortbread like crust and hers had the familiar square shape. I used the filling from Rasa Malaysia but reduced it to 2 cans and omitted the cloves because I wanted it pure pineapple.
I followed Phoebe’s advice and weighed the ingredients, which made the 1/2 egg more precise than eyeballing it. But, I am not sure it is something you need to stress over too much. Both US measures and grams are listed below for your convenience.
The recipe is easy to make, but reducing the pineapple takes some time and of course shaping each one takes a bit more. I didn’t have the molds you are supposed to use so I just shaped them into a square by hand. The dough is pliable so it is simple task.
The crust was not as crumbly as the ones I remembered. They were much more like shortbread. Meaning THEY WERE BETTER! Seriously, these were so fabulous that I bought two more cans of pineapple to make them again. And this time I promise to share with my mother.
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Until next time, happy eating.