Pineapple Tarts


  • 2 pineapples, about 1.2 kg each, underripe, rather sour, fibrous, pulpy, not too juicy
  • peel and remove eyes to yield about 1.3 kg in total; rinse and drain thoroughly; chop and blend woody cores till totally smooth, and juicy part till roughly minced
  • 1 star anise
  • 5 cm cinnamon stick, split lengthwise
  • 500 g sugar


  • 360 g unsalted butter
  • 60 ml vegetable oil
  • 75 ml water
  • 60 g sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 600 g plain flour
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 90 cloves, or thereabouts


  • To make filling, put all ingredients in a non-reactive wok. Cook over maximum heat till almost dry, 10-15 minutes. Add sugar and stir till melted. Continue cooking, stirring from time to time, till light brown and starting to thicken, about 20 minutes. Lower heat from maximum to high. Cook till medium brown and just thick enough to hold its shape, another 10 minutes or so, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Turn off heat. Refrigerate 1 tbsp filling till slightly cool to touch. Press to check consistency. If too soft, cook another few more minutes. If too hard or too sticky, add 1-2 tbsp water and mix evenly.
  • When filling is cool, roll into little balls weighing 9-10 g each. Leave in freezer till firm, 30 minutes or longer.
  • To make pastry, put all ingredients except flour in a pot. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Continue boiling till foam subsides and colour darkens. Alternatively, weigh pot and contents before heating, then boil till weight is reduced by about 65 g.
  • Turn off heat. Tip flour into pot. Mix thoroughly and leave till just cool enough to handle. Knead to make sure mixing is even, adjusting with 1-2 tbsp water if mixture is crumbly, or 1-2 tsp plain flour if sticky. Divide into little balls weighing 11-12 g each.
  • To assemble, remove pineapple balls from freezer in batches so that they stay firm and easy to handle. Flatten ball of dough with palm. Place filling in middle of dough. Seal and roll as shown in video.
  • To bake, preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). Place tarts on baking tray lined with parchment paper. Brush thoroughly with egg yolk. Garnish with cloves. Bake till golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Don’t overbake or filling would be hard and too chewy. Remove tray from oven. Wait till tarts are firm enough to handle, 5-10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack. When cool, store in airtight containers. Refrigerate if keeping for more than a few days. Serve at room temperature, discarding cloves before eating. Tarts are best when filling and pastry have had a few hours to firm up after baking.