Pineapple Cakes or Pineapple Tarts (Feng Li Su in Taiwanese) are a delightful pastry of pineapple jam covered in a flaky shortbread crust.
Years ago, I used to work in the technology industry for several Asian owned companies. Every year in late January, or early February, someone would bring in these little squares of pineapple filled delights for Chinese New Year.
Though these pineapple tarts (cakes) can be enjoyed year round they are a tradition for the Lunar Year.
The recipe is easy to make, but reducing the pineapple takes some time. Instead of going with the square shape I remembered since I don't have the molds, I used my mini muffin tin.
It took a little trial and error to find the perfect technique for rolling the dough, but decided rolling the balls into oblong shapes was easiest to slide it into the cups and have dough to fold over the top.
Ingredients for Pineapple Cakes
Pineapple - canned crushed pineapple works the best for the filling
Sugar - I suppose you could use a sugar substitute
Cake flour - you could use all purpose, but the texture of the cake flour is going to work better in this dough.
Butter - or a butter substitute
Powdered sugar - or use a sugar substitute here too.
Powdered milk - this article on Epicurious explains the magic it does for cookies
Egg or egg substitute
- 2 cans 20 ounce size crushed pineapple
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1½ cups cake flour
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ½ large egg (slightly beaten )
- 4 tablespoons powdered milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Drain pineapple and reserve juice for another recipe.
- Add sugar and pineapple to a small skillet and cook over medium heat until mixture is thick and caramelized, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cream together butter and sugar. Add the beaten egg and mix until incorporated.
- Sift in flour, milk powder and salt to the butter mixture to form a soft dough. If the dough is too dry, add a bit more of the leftover egg.
- Separate the dough into 24 balls. Roll each ball into an oblong shape that will fit in the cup of a mini muffin pan, about 2 inches by 4 inches.
- Place the dough into the cup and leave one end hanging over. Add about a teaspoon of pineapple jam. Fold over the remaining dough on top of the jam and press gently.
- Repeat with remaining balls. Bake until pastry starts to brown, about 20 minutes. Move cakes to rack to cool.
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More Lunar New Year Ideas
Until next time, happy eating!